I'm always on the lookout for session locations. Everywhere. I can't drive anywhere in Coppell, where I live, or beyond in the Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex and not see a field of flowers or a cool alleyway and think "that would look great with a dog or high school senior in there!" I keep a notepad in my car to remember these finds so I can return to them with clients.
There hasn't been a whole lot of driving around lately while we're under a shelter-in-place order, so I was left to look in my own backyard for this week's post in the 52 Week Pet Photography Project and it's theme, "Golden Hour". I've written about this in the past, but in short, the Golden Hour is the hour just after sunrise, and the hour just before sunset, when the light is a beautiful, soft, golden color and photographers go weak in the knees over it.
I'd been watching our weather and we had one day with forecasted clear skies so I started scouting out my backyard for ideas to capture one of our four dogs in the golden hour. Our oleander plant is in bloom, but they're quite high. I figured that I could stand above them and put Gracie down below in just the right spot to be able to see her through the blooms. After years of photographing, I could "see" what the final image would look like when photographed with a shallow depth of field bringing the subject into focus and blurring out the foreground flowers.
I was almost getting what I wanted, but there were too many leaves in front of her face so I called for back up and an extra set of hands (aka my husband). I showed him the branches I wanted him to part to make enough room for our model, Gracie.
Voila! We have a beautiful pet photo of our brown-eyed girl surrounded by pink blooms. This was photographed just before the setting sun slipped behind our neighbor's roofline, in fact you can actually see the roofline shadow on the camera-left side of Gracie's muzzle.
How Can I Incorporate the Blooms?
Select a Focus Point Through Them
Now Add the Model
Now on to Jo Lyons Photography, the down-to-earth dog-loving photographer for cherished dogs of the Great Lakes NSW, to see what she has to share for the "golden hour" and then continue clicking at the link at the bottom of each page for an around-the-world tour of warm and golden pet portraits. Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in both outdoor and studio photography providing pet, family & pet, equine & equestrian, family, couples & engagement and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.