Digital Photography Master Class – Assignment Pet Portrait

I’ve talked about Tom Ang’s book before and posted the results for a couple of the assignments that I have tried working on. If you don’t remember feel free to take a look back at earlier posts on this book, it has been a while since I wrote something about it.

Digital Photography Master Class —  DPMC-Assignment Urban Nature —  DPMC-Assignment Basic Image Enhancement

Yesterday D said that the company he works for was needing pictures of employees and their pets to put on the company website. One of the gals that works there set up a studio to take the pictures. Well, our Bella dog is not the most cooperative beast when it comes to portraits. Believe me I’ve tried many many times and she usually runs straight up to the camera and sniffs at the lens!

Bella’s lack of cooperation and hyper personality meant that she would never sit still in an unfamiliar environment with a stranger trying to take her picture. D’s employee/pet portrait was going to have to be taken at home. We all know my living room is the worst place for taking pictures of any kind but we gave it a shot.

Oh, what does all this have to do with Tom Ang’s book? –Pet Portraits

There is a chapter on perfecting your timing and developing your skills, the assignment for that chapter is Pet Portraits. The brief for this assignment is to “obtain a telling portrait of a pet animal to convey its character, charm, or features… work with an animal that is lively and has an expressive face..”

Bella Dog is very lively and really does show many expressions on her face. You can almost hear what she’s trying to say just by the look in her eyes. One of my favorite times with Bella was the night she discovered she could move her eye brows!

Last night I set up an old blanket for a back drop, didn’t matter what color I knew I’d have to remove it later. D sat down in front of the blanket and we tried and tried and tried to get Bella Dog to pose. Oh she did pose nicely a couple of times, about 4 feet away from where D was sitting. Crazy dog. Finally L grabbed some treats and gave Bella a little help getting closer to D. With the promise of a tasty treat, and a snug hug from D, Bella managed to resist the urge to sniff the camera for just a moment and I managed to get one shot.

I think, even though it’s not a portrait of just Bella, that it really does convey her character and brings out her funny personality. And you can tell how much energy she has by the fact that she is getting that snug hug to help keep her still.

Hope it’s good enough for the company site!

D & Bella Dog


2 thoughts on “Digital Photography Master Class – Assignment Pet Portrait”

  1. Lovely Bella, great pic.
    I remember laughing a LOT reading about her discovery of her eyebrow! I don’t have a dog, but I have two tiny hamsters, and I enjoy taking shots of them, which is really difficult, as they never keep quiet, the treat won’t work!

  2. Thanks Ana,

    I have tried to take pictures of my daughter’s tiny pets. She used to have a tiny mouse and a fat furry hamster, they don’t understand sit and stay at all!!

    If I had them to photograph now I’d but them in my light tent and just let them run around. Maybe I could catch a shot or two that way! Good luck with your hamster shots.


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