Daily Cuteness: Sue Bryce’s Pug, Cookie

Looking at cute things can help you be more productive, so here’s our contribution. When Sue Bryce brought her adorable pug, Cookie, in to be photographed by Rachael Hale McKenna during her Animal Photography course, we knew it would be cute. We didn’t know it would be this cute.

…Or this cute.

Due to her dark coat, Cookie presented some shooting challenges, which Rachael embraced by posing her in front of a black backdrop in natural light. Black-on-black is “a really stylish” look, says Rachael, and one that lots of clients ask for, so shooting Cookie on black was especially instructional. Her advice? Ensure that you’re shooting an animal who won’t move much, since your shutter speed may be a little lower than on a brighter backdrop or with a lighter-colored pet.

To get the engaged look on Cookie’s face, Rachael interested the otherwise wiggly pup with high-pitched, dog-like noises, which made her cock her head and look right into the camera. Sue also brought a ball and a few other distractions to help her focus. And, because she was teething, it was important to keep her from chewing the backdrop!

In post-processing, Rachael lightened the photos to give herself more to work with, and adjusted the contrast to help Cookie stand out from the backdrop a little more. She also removed some of the blue and green tones to offer a more rich black shade.

Thanks to Rachael for sharing the photos, and Sue for volunteering such a willing participant! If you need even more cute inspiration, you can rewatch the magic of Rachel’s course, Animal Photography. Or, you can check out Sue’s upcoming course with Felix Kunze, which promises to be a highly educational (and entertaining) time. No word yet on if Cookie will be making an appearance.

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.