Animal Photography

Lesson 1 of 27

Course Overview and Rachael's Bio

 

Animal Photography

Lesson 1 of 27

Course Overview and Rachael's Bio

 

Lesson Info

Course Overview and Rachael's Bio

Welcome, everybody is I'm kinda mentioned I have come all the way from new zealand to share this with you today, it's it's a fantastic thing to be able to share my knowledge of head well over twenty years of experience, working with animals and other subjects as well, but animals is my passion. So this is it's going to be great fun. We've got so much in store like like back it's, full of cute nus I'm you know, I'm so excited with all the animals we've got to work with and also but it's, not just for just not just for animal photographers, this course I'm going to be talking about my experience and publishing in licensing images as well. So how you can take your images to publishes and process it? It takes to get images into books and onto greeting cards, calendars, that sort of thing so there's a lot more to this course, then just animal photography, but I differently will be sharing those tricks of the trade and how to get those animals to smile. Yeah, you know, I'm comfortable I'm go...

ing to run you through just an overview of what we're going to be covering in the next few days. So first of all, I'll talk a little bit about my background and how I got where I am today and what I've done over the years and things, how it all started and also, of course, why I love animals, which is not a difficult thing to understand why on dh also I'll share with you the gear I use and how I come up with my ideas just about all sorts of things, so today is the first segment is but a bit of an overview and just telling you a bit more about how I got where I am today, then of course we were after the first break will be moving on to working with kittens the to the gorgeous, too lively and new lover you've just met absolutely door adorable little kittens, so that'll be fun. We're going to be working with them, and I'll be teaching a little bit about the techniques of working with with kittens and the spear touching based more on the safety and the environment of working in a studio with animals on also what breeds a base for certain things and also the simple fix for effective ideas for working with cats and kittens. Then of course, this afternoon we have puppies and we have seven saving gorgeous little labradoodle puppies coming in because I think that six little blondie's in one chocolate one in the mix so that is going to be so exciting to work with them it's amazing it's off with that segment I'll be touching on the techniques of working with puppies and tips for sourcing and making props and things for puppies often I work when I'm working with animals I just do what I often keep it really simple but if I use props I'm just using them to enhance and image so but I'll teach you I'll be talking to you a little bit more about the types of props to use to sort of just like enhance and image to make them give it that little little tip of cute miss and then not so then and also of course choosing what brings to use with certain props and what what type of things to look for if you are going to add something to an image then we're finishing off today with a live shoot was a gorgeous little black paige called cooking who is owned by surprise a lot of you might have seen some of the courses here on creative life by su who's that phenomenal photographer herself she's incredible and she's got a new little baby who cooking he was nearly fourteen weeks old so it's going to be really great to be ableto I have the chance to create a gorgeous image of cooking on see it and because cooky is black I'm going to be teaching you about the working working with black on black so the difficulties of keeping the detail when you're working with black animals I love working in monochrome monochromatic images working with liza say black black brown on brown cream on cream it's just it's a very typical part of my part of my production as you can see with the pig pink on pink it's I love working on a crime so but black and black on black is one of my most popular once ideal with but it's also one of the most challenging so there would be a great segment to loon loon about that sort of thing on daito tomorrow I'm going to standing off this is gonna be a fantastic segment about working and shooting for licensing and publishing so here I'm going to be going into the creative process of how you need teo look att producing working, producing images and creating your books how you what? How I come up with my ideas and actually how I make them happen the the commercial appeal for licensing how you gonna bring that into into the concepts for your images on dove course bringing on going into copyright trademark issues that sort of thing within your images and of course I'm going to teach you the things you need to have onboard for design approval working with the publishing companies and the licensing companies for actually getting images out there I'm making sure they look good when they're out there then after that second tickin segment on day two we're working with more challenging animals this is where we're gonna be bringing george bailey the rabbit a gorgeous rabbit and teo to work with it also will be going into a bit more detail about working with more exotic animals lions, tigers, chimpanzees I've worked with everything from goldfish toe frogs toe say lions, tigers, elephants yeah so it's it's gonna be great segment it learn a little bit more about that then way are going to marry one of the most challenging things you can work with us an adult yet we're actually going to bringing two kits and for this segment because it's here we're going to be working in studio which is a little bit more different from what I would normally do in real life normally I would probably go to an animals cats house to work with it because the much more comfortable when their environment but so we're going to be bringing in a very young adult ket to work with so it's still probably technically a kitten but they were also bringing in a thirteen year old I can't work with but we I'm not sure how the thirteen year old kids going to go so we just have to go I thought that's what we bring into so we've got the option toe work with both yep then I'm going to touching on post production I'll be bringing up some of the chutes which I have actually shot prior to this segment and I'm going to showing you the little tricks of the trade which I actually due to my image is to enhance them make them look a little bit more magical toe for supplying two clients or what publishes and things and also letting you know what you have to do to file preparation to supply two publishers and licensing companies then my most exciting shoot I think this is I'm really, really excited about the streets of a gorgeous gorgeous little pig called penelope coming in which is going to be so much fun yeah she's I haven't met her yet I can't wait to meet her but I've seen photographs and heard all about her character and personality and she just seemed adorable so this we start off day three with the sigmund and it's when you're just not gonna wanna miss I'm sure it's going to be absolutely and mystic then then I'm going to take you on a little journey through my experiences with the french ket, the french dog and my most recent release the new york dog so it's gonna be a little bit behind the scenes how I worked with the animal owners approaching them on on the street things like that and it's just it's gonna be a great way of and this is where throughout the a ll the court days, I'm hoping in ask plenty of questions because I've come up with things to talk about, which I think you're going to wantto learn, but I'm sure there's so much else, which I've heaven actually thought about, which you're gonna want to know it. So please fire questions my way I'd love I'm perfectly happy to share all my knowledge with you, and so just ask questions when ever you like, I'm just happy to help, so there's going to be great sex and talking on shooting on location, which is quite different from working in the studio? Then then we've got we've got a segment on said an afternoon what shall be two? I've got two great danes coming and they're quite nervous, a nervous breed, the great dane. So I've come up with this, I came up with this concept and everybody's like, well, this is quite a big concept trying, trying get so we're gonna bring in a couple of great dane to see if it works, but we've also gotta back up dog to work with us well, but I'd be a great experience for me to teach you how to deal with more nervous dogs in a situation of species with wanting toe I photographed him in a bathtub. So but I think the great day is gonna be too big to go in together, we'll cross these bridges when we come to it, but but I think it's going to be a fantastic segment for this looming, the real challenges, which you possibly can get when working with animals when you've actually got a concept, what you want to get, sometimes you mind takes over what you're actually physically able to do in a shoot, so these that this will be a great segment to talk about that sort of thing, then to finish off, we're goingto gonna be talking about ways to get started on the animal's struggle with your review over the whole course and of course, touch based on anything, anything out, additional things you're wanting to learn, and I'm also going to give those of you out there at home a few little helpful tips on how to capture great shots of your animals in your own environment at home just reappear it's, and to bring talking, talking a little bit about social media, working on iphones and also not sure if you guys know yet, but I'm going to give you a little bit of a challenge must, since studio audience, you're gonna have a lot of a challenge where I'm going to get you to come up with a concept of your own, and we might actually discuss a little bit of that in the final segment as well so that we can I can help you with some of the challenges you might be having with anne within your ideas as well yeah so that's gonna be a fantastic course I think it's going to be full peck full of goodies and lots of things to learn which is great and I'm really looking forward to sharing it all with you anywhere but those of you who hopefully a lot of you have seen my images but just if you haven't seen I'm just going to show you a little slide show just to give you a bit of a overview of a little bit of my animal photography before we move on to a little bit more about me and how I got here wait wait wait wait so that's a little bit thanks for listening to your the laughter of obviously with the images where I do add a little bit of props and things it does at that little hint of humor which does get that great reaction which which which I'll be bridged it going into when we were gonna talk about licensing and things that's fantastic greeting cards and calendars and that sort of thing it's a it is but you've also got to be clever with what you do so yeah I'll talk a little bit more about that but you were going on too to this quote, it is so, so true at some. Yeah, until one has loved an animal, we're part of one's soul remains an awakened it is incredibly close and talking truth and talking about the soul. The soul is within my images that's what I'm trying to capture with my animals, like when I'm working with them, I'm trying to really, really connect with them. It's I often like I've it's been a bit different with the creative life proceeds, some of the animals I've managed to meet prior to working with them, some of them are coming in, and I haven't haven't met, but I always do try to make my animals prior to talk, photographing them because on one hand, it's really important that they get to know may also and every feeling of trust, andi also so that I know what the personalities like, so that when we were, when I work with them, we're not goingto upset them. Well, I'm not going to do something which is going toe ruined my opportunities to try and capture their image. So, um, but and the animals are the most precious thing in this world, we until it is far too many people who don't treat them with the respect they deserve, and I have, I am blessed that I have a job where I can actually create images and give someone a lasting memory of the loved pee it unfortunately pete's don't stay with us for nearly as long as we would love him too they have a much shorter life and we're doing and oh I'm so passionate about it a little bit my goodness I haven't even started talking about henry go but yeah animals uh amazing so you can tell by the way I am that I am incredibly passionate about what I do I was, um I'm really really fortunate to have an incredible empathy with animals as well they seem tto seem to really love may I walk along the street and I've got kits following me and like pied piper it's terrible you know aquino was talking about susan how you love meeting dogs I'm always like that as well whenever I whenever I walk down the street and I see an animal I'm always wanting to meet the animal when like that's the owner's always sit in the second person I've talked to tio you won't feel that bad sometimes that I focused so much energy on on the animals, but but I love it and it's they're such incredible things that give you so much warmth enjoy animals yes, I just want I chose to work with them because I do love them so much I'm working with animals is incredible, incredibly challenging but it is so rewarding when you get that magical shot, it's just that's not nothing like the feeling of being able to supply your clients with with an image which that you know, that they're just gonna absolute treasure for them for a lifetime. It's such a magical feeling, and I'm really, really lucky to be able to do that for a living and also it's uh, it's funny, like, if I if I'm in bookstore and I've seen a few times, people pick out my cards and I'm just like I still have to decide watching what reactions and it's fantastic to see the reactions which people get from the images which get published onto greeting cards and things, and I love the little smiles or that I was in the ass that's, it's such a nice feeling to know that I'm doing my job well and actually getting getting the images that they don't put a smile on. Everybody's face that's fantastic. Um growing up, I thought, this is my this is my twin sister and I when we were probably about four the age of my daughter. Now, actually, but I grew up surrounded by photography. My father loves photography is an architect, but he always always I love playing with cameras and things, but his parents were really keen amateur photographers, so I grew up. I grew up surrounded by photography and was spent so much time in the darkroom just mesmerized as my grandfather was just like shaking the developing trays and moving them from the can it turn into the fix and everything? I just I was yeah, I think at the age of eight, I knew that photography was what I wanted to do for a living that's very, very blessed that I was able to know from a very early age that that that was the path which I wanted to take so s o I think I went, I went at school on dh I made it in, I did all think painting, printmaking, all sorts of things, but I majored in photography at school wasn't photography wasn't available is a subject at school for may, when in my liver what came in into the what we called the fifth form, I'm not sure what it's all changed these days. I have no idea what the grading system is now, having got to school with my daughter yet, so I haven't haven't moved the grading system, but and I still did a lot of photography at school. For the new school newspapers and things like that, and I did, I did night classes while I was at school, my parents were very kind enough to put me through night courses so that I could learn about photography because I was so patient about it back then, and my dad built me a back room of my own. So every evening I was after school, I was in the darkroom if I wasn't playing with family pete's, of course photographing them, and then so I went straight from school, I went to at school, majored in photography and passed with distinction, but that was just a year a year course, but it was at school that I really discovered my passion for animals. I actually was doing more documentary style photography then, but with my first of a camera, which was a minnow to three hundred, I think yeah, and I did like I did the topics I chose to do, my my studies on where I did a followed a circus around which I wasn't I'm not a fan of circuses, andi those days they didn't have quite such a bad name and new zealand way have some do have great circus did have some correct because you don't really see them now and their animals always really well treated, which was great, so I did and they also did race days, which involved horse racing and things so I did a documentary on this it was all the topics I chose unbelievably head animals in the some stranger strange reason clear but then from from at school when I then went to wellington politick design school, which is quite well worldwide renowned for for its course excuse me and theory did a professional photography course for a year where we learned all about all sorts of ethics and I was in at school in wellington at the design school where I discovered my passion for large form it cameras so I don't know if you know the old like the old plate cameras where they used to put the cloth over the heads and and that something so I I actually started out using one of those cameras for a lot of my portraiture. I did for my my topics in subjects in assignments and things and not at school, so that was a lot of fun. So when I first started into during animal photographer, you actually wanted to challenge myself and use the four by five camera, which is a crazy thing for by five cameras for a still life like you don't use them for your moving, but when when you look at my first like this is my first even book, which I put out one hundred once elevations nearly every single actually probably if every single bow one image and here was shot on the four by five camera what yeah really I would not think about it now with the I just think hell did I do that michael it's just I think the animal trainers I worked with sometimes I just go on working eyes like that night it's it's amazing though if you've got the patients and it really the most amazing thing about working with the full by five camera though it may be really really made me really connect with the animals this is what taught me how to actually work through the camera to connect into the soul of an animal that was an incredible process actually it's and I find it sometimes I actually when I'm photographing I actually wish I still had the full five camera to work with because having forcing yourself to have a camera on the on the tripod you've got to keep an animal within the area but then I had the ability to be able to work in and out off the camera work with the animal my animal myself and actually really build a great relationship with that animal which thing I met was able to connect it through the camera I don't know how I do it in something in questions asked even by the people who have license with how does she create the images like how what is it and the those images which make themselves so well I don't know what it is, but I think seriously years I managed to capture the soul of an animal and it's um it's a skill I've got of connecting with the animal and I'm really, really lucky to have it, which is great. So then I was really early on when I was when I first I went I was working with straight from high school, I worked with a photographer and gigi's I'm not sure if any of you know you're very very well one renowned for her baby photography and was an amazing person to work for. I worked with her before she became famous, so for three years I was his personal assistant did although sit ups for room worked, I was the one who managed to make all the babies get those cute little smiles and things and and it was so much fun and I learned a lot within and which was fantastic, but I wasn't there really when she was doing the licensing side of it. Also a lot of my licensing side I've taught myself but in had ended path the way in licensing for us photographers to be able to get out images actually out there onto greeting card something she was she did some incredible things for for the industry in that in those regards um but anyway when I first went after working for and for three years and then when overseas for a few just a few months and then when I came back I was terrified I was like, oh my god, what I'm making to do I'm gonna have to I really wanted to start out for myself but I had no equipment, no money I was like, oh my god how did I how did I do this? And then I read in a local and a local magazine for the profession photography association that there was a competition put up by a photographic supplies company and you had to photograph a watch and I said, okay and but the thing that really got me was the prize was a state of studio lights and I thought, okay, I need those lights how can a photograph a watch and came up with all sorts of sort of things are going to do this and then woke up in the middle of the night when one day bolt upright like midnight going oh my god, I'm gonna photograph a watch on a pig and so I and my boy, my boyfriend at the time said what? Why would I walk? Why would a pig where what and I just I don't know but every great image in any way so I made a watch out of an old alarm clock a man's believe the belt I got the stuff called I think it was called female I don't know what something which you put in the oven and it had and stuff so I just I made this made the watch and put fake die monty's into it and everything it was like the most cumbersome the clunky looking thing as I only got how am I going to get this on a pig? But anyway and looked but I thought this is gonna work we're gonna make it work then I went on a hunt for a pig so I tried it was it's quite a small little museum with pig school cooney cooney's which are native to new zealand good old captain cook brought them over with him and but they I think they only and are in new zealand now I'm not quite sure he brought him over, but we've only got them but anyway I tried it with one pig and she just wasn't interested at all and then I went to the panic and look at this pig in either sought my god that pig's got so much character it was probably sorry pixies, but the ugliest pig in the paddock and she was so fat I remember photographing who'd like I'm center down here for what five cameras set up we had a background in the garage fam I had a studio lights it up and everything we bought pixie and and she sat down and I was like, where's your bet legs she was like when she sat down was completely having a baby so I had to put my hand underneath here and like, pull a little bit league out so that you wasn't like completely because she looked legal us in the back because such a poor little league out so that you could see leigh and then we put the watch around in your head and it wasn't she was so big it wouldn't fit around try to get elastic and like trying to touch around back but scrambles it was great and this this image happened toe when may the competition so I got my studio lights and then it also won me a gold award in australia and the australian photographer association awards and then so with that I got a little bit of publicity in the newspaper and things and a publishing company saw this image when I was approached bye jeff blackwell, who was who is now the head of the publishing company who are still work with today and he hey approached me about developing a whole range of animal images from this one image and I tell you now pixie has been the worst ever selling image and she was the star of the whole thing she's not she's never bean never, never been a good seller, but she was the start of everything, and I've got so I've got so much to think for fixing the pig, but I'm so that's how it all happens and that was all within I got that was all within a month of getting back from overseas, which was so my career was parked out in freedom, and I actually had dreams of going to film school in new york and doing all this sort of stuff. But that was I had to put that all aside because I suppose my my career was chosen for me, but I was happy I loved animals and working with them has been has been incredible it's really, really important that you follow your heart and do what makes you happy. It's um, when I first started out, I was during a sigh, I was doing a lot of weddings, what tricks and things as well, and it wasn't until sort of early two thousand that I started the instead of really developing into the licensing of things I was working on dh I had a head of business partner, and we had a um we developed the rachel hey old brand, which was which was becoming quite big, and I put my for my first book, one hundred once elevations it came out in two thousand two and it was when this came out that everything really really started tow sattar to take off we had cards and calendars and also it's all all around around but around the world but after years of doing the same thing that's what I started to feel a little bit bogged down the licensing industry and working in a partnership it was just becoming a little bit challenging I was I felt like I was sort of being forced to create images in a way which I wasn't comfortable with um and things were just going a little bit not how I wanted them I was I wasn't feeling like it was just it was the right thing to do it so I needed to make a change. So in two thousand seven I made a huge decision to actually leave the rachel hail brand um there's a lot there's a lot more behind this which I can't tell you about it it was it was a long I had a very long three year legal better, which was not not a comfortable time from your part of the worst time of my time in my life actually, but I really really, really believed I had to do what made me happy and it was wasn't happy doing what I wass and I was not prepared to create images which I didn't feel comfortable with so that was really really important for me to move on so with that I made this decision to walk away from twelve years of it images which I created yet again I haven't even started talking about henry you're soon you're going to know who find out real soon yeah that was as you can imagine was a huge choice I made so I now hits the reason these images have been talking to you about like pixie with the watch in all these I can't cheat with you because I don't know in them excuse me huh just compose myself we like tears here I'm so good to start with getting out of the way exactly exactly after the after the sigmund I think what be anymore tears that'd be so much fun and we didn't hear it we didn't hear your tommy yeah you've got a question yeah yeah when does it start to take that turn where suddenly you know you're the creative genius behind these ideas and suddenly someone else is telling you what to do how how does that happen? And it's it's an interesting interesting process like I was really really happy with everything and it was it was going really well I suppose it's like that like the marriage the seven year marriage it's sort of a similar sort of timing that's things started to go no exactly how I had envisaged my photography career going and I suppose that's when the brand started getting a lot bigger and there was a lot of call for certain types of images and I was being pushed into making the maura the cute see chocolate box, the images which which I no sell a lot, but it's, not it's, not really. How I create my images are more about capturing the emotion in the character and the humor and things, and I didn't want to just get q t little chocolate boxy images all the time, and I suppose it's, when people start feeling greedy, exposed and they sort of feel and the way I have such a field that I actually well, I think they felt that anybody could do what I did. And so, um, which way is probably lots of people out there who can create images have the white with the passion and the feeling, which I do, but for them to just to bring any photographer in off the street, and they were wanting to try and bring other people and shoot with me and things, and I wasn't comfortable with that. I've always been the one who's photographed by images, and I just I just needed toe, um, get yeah, it was just really the pressure, I could just feel that something wasn't right I actually I felt that they didn't believe in me. Anymore? And that they felt that I wasn't I wasn't special, I was there was anybody could create what I did, they didn't need me anymore is how I sent two field and I just I felt like I was sort of being pushed out and people were taking over they were trying to, you know, tell me that I had used this animal in this prop in this color and it just I just wasn't I don't feel right if I didn't feel I think it's good that you did what you did, but I just think it's amazing that companies can end up doing that to the people that are the reason behind them. And yeah, unfortunately it does happen, but yeah, I think if you really true to yourself and feel the you, you follow what you believe in is the most important thing, like I made the decision to walk away from a multi million dollar company with nothing. I left my images so everything I created prior to two thousand seven I don't own anymore um and, um, yeah it's, not it's, not an easy thing. Yeah, like I'd love to share with you all my images you can you can I still own the rights to my books, which is great so I can promote my books and everything and which in but if you want to see see all the images for that within these books, you need to really go to amazon and buy a copy that's a good play, isn't it? Ah yeah it's bean it's been amazing, but all I can say if you do go into partnership, make sure you do not do fifty fifty make sure you keep a lot more percentage for yourself. Why even like, sixty, forty years? Ok, make sure when you do make a brand and actually get a registered trademark, don't use your name on this, you one hundred percent own it I currently the rachel hail brand is still out there, but every image which has been created since two thousand seven is not an image created by may, so I still have the still the brand out there with my name on it, which is a lot of the image they still hears all the images I created prior to two thousand seven, but a lot of the images out there now and not created by by may. So, yeah, I just can't highly stress that just be really, really careful always used a lot legal advice when you're signing contracts don't do anything under juris yeah, so it's very, very important in your careers quick comment from the internet, yeah um nikon muse says bravo rachel very few people are as genuine as you I don't even have to watch the rest of this video to know I'll be buying the workshop you are my new hero oh, thank you that's pretty it's really nice. Yeah lots of lots of internet love from the folks in the chat room and really are appreciating the advice and that you would share that part of your story on and that it's very real so thank you for sharing your rice I'm glad I can't hear you I can see everything but I can share a little bit yeah about anyway so when I made the decision to leave the rachel hell brand I think I had a discussion my publishes pick you blackwell who are an incredible publisher have stuck by me this entire time. So they published my first book a hundred once elevations and have published all of my books bow one which was published by an american company andrews and mcmeel but pick you blackwell have have bean my my heroes really they've stuck by me the whole way. But anyway I for three years I wasn't able to photograph animals so we had a discussion and we decided tto was babies for a little bit so I did a couple of books which involved baby images but I approached babies and exactly same way is a photograph animals it's all about the character, emotion and just capturing the soul of a baby and getting a really, really feeling. And within my images. And then, of course, the natural progression from working with just babies. Tio, when I could work with animals again, my publisher really came for me to do a project which involved babies with animals. They, steve, say, never work with animals and children. I put them to give up, which was an incredible project to do. But, hey, you never know. There might be another workshop, which we don't, what we work with babies and animals.

Class Description


From incorporating pets into family portraits to photographing animals on their own, strong animal photography skills can be a lucrative component of your photography business. Join award-winning animal photographer Rachael McKenna for an introduction to the art of photographing animals.

Rachael will guide you through everything you need to know to photograph any animal -- trained or untrained. You’ll learn about the unique empathy needed to capture an animal’s one-of-a-kind character and emotion. Rachael will provide you with proven tips, tricks, and troubleshooting tools for making your ideas come to life. You’ll also learn how to make your photography business more profitable by licensing and publishing your images.

Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you’ll leave this course with a whole new approach to working with creating unique, dynamic images of animals.

Reviews

Shawna
 

I loved this class! I don't I tend to be a "pet photographer" but I do want to be a "Pet friendly" photographer! I have gotten lots of tricks and tools to use while photographing occasional clients pets and my own! ( I have a horse, a pony, bunnies, cats, dogs and ducks) I'm super glad I watched the class live and I'm even more glad I bought it so I can re- watch it whenever I want :) (The shoot with the mini horse, dogs, chicken, duck and people was awesome! It loomed like my family picture would look if my husband didn't say "no" on occassion! lol)

Rebecca Potter
 

Love, Love, Love this course... Rachael is so down to earth and inspiring and I enjoyed all the hands-on shooting which shows you how patient you need to be for this type of photography. Truly an amazing course... Thank you.