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On Location: Dos and Don'ts

Lesson 24 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

On Location: Dos and Don'ts

Lesson 24 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

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Lesson Info

24. On Location: Dos and Don'ts

Lesson Info

On Location: Dos and Don'ts

Working on the new york dog was very, very different but I'm just gonna talk you through a little bit of the process of how I created the book so the image creation process basically I finding the locations in the dogs I would meet dogs on the street talk to them I hate little I'd made myself little little leaflets little brushes which just advertised on the new york dog gable out contact information and everything so if I was out on the street I could give someone a postcard and then that if they went to dinner just said hey love the look of your dog check out a website I created an actual specific web site for the new york dog which talked all about the process of what I was doing gave everyone is much information basically the information about how I create my images on what they would get if they were involved talked about the fact that I was during the working with the humane society as well so just as much information as I could possibly give them they could just go to the websit...

e and then those people who have been emailed me I knew that they had read it and we're committed to be involved in this project and that was it was very clear with a net that I would own the copyright of the images and the images were possibly to be used within the book so often a lot of the dogs that started off with me making them on the street and then people would contact me and then of course, word spread. So I ended up having so many people contact me by email that there was it was impossible for me to photograph, the more it was just absolutely and I I could probably go back and do to bet another three or four books in new york just for the amount of people who came to be involved, and I feel terrible that some of these people I didn't even manage tto meet the dogs or photograph them and things but a say I had to go through those lists of people and actually choose different breeds of dogs and things to work with, make sure I wasn't repeating the same thing over and over and what you do as a person, I'm I love to be over create create images for everybody, so I did feel really been upset did upset me that I wasn't able to do images for everybody, but I just had to keep telling myself, it's, just not possible, there's only one of me only a certain amount of time and only a certain amount of number of pages within the book. So I had to be realistic, but as the same word of mouth took over and when I was wondering the streets just meeting dogs and things as well, I would find locations and I'd like, well, that would be really cool. So what do I always have my phone with me and take little snips? If it was a shop, I'd go and get the contact on the deep the details of the owner, if I wanted to go back this image here, I met the dog well, my husband actually make this door when he was out on walking round and said, I'd make this crazy looking dog it's just absolutely amazing and really explained it to me. I said, wow, that you lost he sounds really cool, and then so I spoke to the owners and they explained he was just a labradoodle puppy. I hadn't had a haircut yet, he was about to happen here and it's kind of mean, don't tell me what can we do? Some photos? First, I said he'll be fantastic in front of this babashoff I walked past the other day, it was a gorgeous image on a gold, gorgeous shot had such a riel classic vintage feel to it, but still the funk of new york, so I thought, hey, let's! Get floyd in front of the barber shop so I went into the barber's shop talk to the owner and hey said fine norway's I'd love you to do it so but I did get permission from the store owner to be able to do this legally I probably didn't have to because it's public sort of public property but because it's so obviously in the shot and very, very readable and detailed sign itch of the shop, I thought that space that I got a permission of course I will and when I'm in new york next week, I'm going to take a book a copy of the book to the barber's shop and give it decided copy to them so that they have one for the collection as well, but so this is great. I found the shop found the perfect dog for the image and arranged to meet up and that so I had to contact the shop owner and say, this is this is when we coming is that okay? It's? You know I don't have anything happening, which is going so I'm going to interfere with what you're doing the and I arranged a time which was suitable for the dog owner he only lives round the corner self is gray and the shot only took probably oh ten minutes so but it was it was all pre arranged yet quick question did you get a written release from the property owner of mr josephs, philip hairstyles? I did indeed for this one purely because I want to be able to use it for licensing as well, but it was your only going in the book and I probably didn't need to, but I did get a property release from him um purely because I want to be able to have this image about a bit for calendars and cards and things as well. So the yellow cab went by in the window or is that they're just everywhere they everywhere and I actually didn't know that that had happened until I looked at the shot and I went, oh my god, how perfect I couldn't have asked for a better image. Yeah, so and it just happened because floyd was just a puppy and he got it he actually got because we tied him up outside as if he was tied the wedding for his owner in the store and the owner was like that it's really just out of shot, but he was getting a little bit anxious and he was leaping up and down and backing and you'd never think that by looking at the image, but he was a little bit anxious, so he was only there for like or pretty tied up for about two minutes and that was it and to get that cab in the perfect position and him calm at the same time I mean, it was meant to be it was like here that's comma, yeah, so it was it was great and the bicycle wheel everything that's just the reflections were perfect. Yeah, but I did. I did actually tell the guys inside I didn't want to show any faces within the store, so I did say, can you just move over a little bit so that I can you just standing there so I can tell it's someone in the store but not actually physically visible, but now this is the one we talked about you, so I I made a mistake when I see that hadn't been retouched this image thie only thing I did to this image because I changed the sign on the texi because it had an every advertisement for monsters university movie, which I didn't think was quite appropriate, so I just purchased in image online oven I love new york sticker and then I digitally put that into the top of the tech c just skewed it made it look and I I wrapped it up a bit to make it look a little bit more antique e and so that looks like it's a I love new york sign on the top of the tech c which you actually do not see any texans with I love new york on the top of them, but it was very, very appropriate for the cover of the magazine, another of the book are mixing yep, yeah, so you guys all just talk you through the process of what I did for this image, so I wanted to find a large dog, which was likely to stick its head out a car window. So what I did, I emailed all the people who content me so far with large dogs and said, this is a shot I'm wanting to do let me know if your dog is suitable for this particular shot I'm wanting and this woman, the owner of bangor, emailed me back and said, I don't know whether hey seems tto love the window is it in his face but waken do anything with them and all the other dogs, but you can't get which would stick out there was too small or they won't quite the right look, so I was willing to give it a go with danker and he was amazing. So you saw in the video that he leaped out of the texi window a few times when we were doing the I did some static shots so this others shot here he was actually the texi was sitting standing still for these particular shots in the soho area of new york and that's when he jumped out when the car was still, not when it was moving. Yeah, but that's because because I had I had them, I think that's what occasionally? But I had both the owners with may so the moment in the dead of mango so one was in the car and one was outside with me calling bengo as the car was driving past so that we could get him to look. Yeah, but in this situation he was in the car was sitting still, so he was still but he jumped out because you wanted to get to the to the other owner. Yeah, so it's important, I had to find a taxi driver who was willing for me to put a huge dog in the car, which is not that easy, norma, we have to get a proper dog texting in new york to be able to do that, and they're not that I have the right look, there wasn't the look I wanted for my image, but I found this a gorgeous guy called rio who I'm also going to see a copy of the book, too, and he was perfectly actually we found another guy and he didn't turn up on the morning of the shoot, I was just talking, I had a dog waiting for me another location chosen that's like we're stanley writing andy and I like, I'm a god we used to go out with the texan guy and he never showed up and so we were like any like writing down the street and was like, this is really early on a sunday morning because that's when I had chosen to do this shot because I didn't want too much action on the street because new york is just like most of time you can't see for people or cars, so I needed it to be a lot quieter so start early morning on a sunday wei had arranged the texi who didn't turn up, so we literally had to we were on broadway like hailing texas car kids and saying, would you leave us put a blogger not not in the drive officer oh my gold like five minutes to get to the dog and then this guy pulled over rio and it was it was quite a like an old texan which actually worked out perfectly for the images like obviously had bean beating around bush a little bit but and this guy said yeah, sure, no worries and everything that seems ok and we just paid him some cash we paid him a hand even though it was only a hundred hundred us dollars I think for that we had him for about half an hour and and yeah, he was he was great and he just drove around were recent alway do you want to go through now in malabar? And it was it was fantastic, so thankfully we probably actually got a bit of texas driver's dream, but it was a bit of a panic for effect that I had arranged somebody and he never showed up for thing. Yes, it is it is a saying you need thio make sure you've got someone in the car in a situation like this sort of thing and you've also got and then and I had someone on the street calling him to get his attention, so which, even though it was sunday morning, I was still pretty loud, so to try and we were yelling bang goes name to get went in the shop where it's his driving past to try and get attention that in new york I have never, ever had so many distractions when trying to work with animals I normally, as I keep saying, I love to connect with the animals, I found it really, really, really challenging sometimes because it was so much noise and nothing nothing I could do often seem to work to actually connect with the animals, so, um I tried to find places which weren't so distracting and weren't so noisy, but sometimes it was impossible this particular shot created here I'd found a wall down and tribeca what knows? It wasn't rapping at the meat packing district somewhere you around here anyway but was heaps of contracts construction going on and we the guy turned up with his dog and rina was amazing but there was a construction site straight across the road and I've been there the night before to check everything was fine got there the next morning the street was closed off and there's all this action I was thinking oh my god there's nothing happened used today but then that's that's in new york so yeah, everything changes by the hour there and anyway what? I was trying to get this dog's attention I had a ll these guys and the construction site wolf was sling and going ahead of you don't you? Don't you and all this is nothing oh my goodness so but I managed to get the shots but it was just so hard because everyone to sign loves to jump in on it all and which was but that's an experience was it was great. Yeah and if you're working in an environment were it's the dog could run off for something it's it's really easy to keep the dog on a lead try and just keep the lead behind so you can retouch it out if you want but don't risk the animal for anything don't let them off if there is a risk of them running off into the street or to end, we're going to get hurt or anything, so just do whatever it is the safest for the animal imagine compass composition in the content within the image usual eyes your surroundings when you're out there on the location just keep your eyes out just anything which captures you would you think? And I don't know if you guys do it, but whenever I'm looking I'm always looking as if I'm viewing through a camera like I looked at things in the form of a off a camera so in this like when I was and this was an amazing piece of graffiti which I discovered on the wall and I was at the location with with two dogs and it was one of the last things I found when we're on the shoot and I just thought, my god will be so gorgeous to get all of it was the boxes name to sit there and and so I just got to sit facing one way so I had one person getting attention one way and then I got the owners to be behind her and just call her it was just that that's exactly how I managed to get that gorgeous profile looking back but it's great how one face goes one way and the other face goes the other and so really, really kip etching catching attention grabbing image so when you just when you're out shooting just try different angles but here these are the same two dogs but this is the same wall on the left here created in the image on the right is created on exactly the same position moxie I'm photographing again with the graffiti and vision but then I moved over to to be walking shooting along the wall with moxie just peering around the wall so it's really easy to catch it really different images different looking images within the same concept yeah so just keep your keep the creative nag's going and just thank to utilize your environment to actually create different angles and use your dog's obsessions to your advantage this dog was obsessed with sticks hey hey is the most adorable adorable dog the stock valentino but anyway on dh this was we went to um just quickly tell you about um I had two two trips to new york we had one where we stayed for five months but them prior to that had hit andy and I had gone to new york in february last year for ten days to capture someone to images we've given up on waiting on snow there's no just didn't come and we thought what we're just gonna have to go and just captured like beer trees and just get wintering looking images so we booked a flight to me we got there and I went and did some shots and then that that I think a day, a day later this huge snowstorm came in, it just came out of nowhere and we woke up the in the morning and this is what was there that was amazing the day before this, there was no snow, and I just couldn't have believed there was a camera again or is this, like, meant to be great? And it was just beautiful, so I got some shots to show you before was the but the day the day it started to simple is it was before you there was two dogs running down some steers and central park, and that was I went out I was a ll day photographing in the blizzard when the weather warnings to say stay inside and all the stuff I'm like walking the streets, but everyone had to take the dogs out so people out there but there weren't that many dogs out there, but I still got some gorgeous shots through that period, but the next day was a beautiful, clear blue sky and there was like this much snow that was amazing for me coming from new zealand, where we don't get much snow, we only occasionally got it in france, it was yeah, it was amazing, I loved it so often there's a saying I'm with the new york doctor actually sourced things to create the inside of a victim wanted within a minute within an image so I had seen this gorgeous brooklyn pharmacy building I should just throw it on the internet and then I hunted it down was like oh, I wonder if it still exists and it did it's actually and now it used to be I think used to be like a pharmacy a chemist type place but now it's but spelt like that but now it's like a tells ice cream sodas and lets the stuff it's a great gorgeous gorgeous place but anyway then I found a man with an antique car collection. So I went to his garage which was full of like about fifty cars and winter than chose a car which he was willing to drive to the seat for me for for a dog to sit in, and then I source the dog which I wanted to sit in it. So this was completely created this image. So this is for me there's not not that many of the this intense creation behind the images within the book but there are a couple which I actually did really source things to create what I wanted to capture and then just have a bit of fun at the end of the shoot we got thie girl who worked behind the counter to come out with an ice cream soda and the dog just had a little excuse literally wasn't even that interested, but I managed to capture the shot of her looking, which is used as a little filler within the book, which is quite cute and then here this is working with with people, other people so like here we are in a public subway situation I had arranged with the girl and her dog teo, via absolutely gorgeous young girl on her dog buddy, and I'd meet her on the show. I was just traveling from home from a shoot one down at the store, and I thought god she's got she's gorgeous looking she's a natural girl on whether dog be fantastic toe for her if she would let me photograph here on the subway and she she was totally up to it. She came along, I thought I thought she was in her twenties when I approached you and he was thirteen I know which was which was amazing, so therefore when she beautiful young girl anyway, so when she emailed me back, she said, but yeah, I'd love to do it, but is it okay if my mom comes along and I thought I should just want to bring a madman wants to come on the photo shoot this fine, but then when we actually did the shoot that wasn't I didn't discover until the day that she was thirteen I was like oh that's why your mom's coming way just totally understandable but yeah, she was really she loved and the dog was adorable and she's so excited to be in the book and everything which is it which is great but you in this instance I had a whole lot of other people on the train so I had to explain to them what I was doing andi I had to be very clear to them that they were going to be totally out of focus in the background everyone was fine with that not a problem, but if you were working with somebody else who is going to be in focus or face visible then you will need to get a model release from another person as well what is going on? I'm going to quickly discover a little bit about the other one type of work I do on location. I've done a lot of work for magazines and things catching and I do a lot of the covers for dogs magazine, which is in germany, which is the most incredible magazine and I really, really, really wish they would publish it in english because it is full of the most incredible articles which I really want to read, but I can't because I don't speak german but I'm being white when I was living in france they would fly me over often this this magazine actually just quickly tell you this magazine actually started from the inspiration the editor got from seeing my images I created which was incredible and he he tried to track me down in new zealand and that was just one night I decided to leave the rachel hail brand on dh they contacted and basically we're told that rachel hale doesn't do interviews so he thought that I was just like fantasy person which didn't exist he tried for five years to contact me and couldn't get me then he finally saw something about me working in france on the french dog and discovered oh my god she does exist and he contacted me and came and interviewed me in in france and explained to me then that the whole magazine started because of the inspiration of of that my images had given him and so since then since we made I've been creating cover images for them but the cavern images I create off the readers dogs so they have a competition every month but your read of winds and then I go on photograph those dogs so it's like really creating a private commission because I'm just going to work with untrained animals and I've only got those animals to work with and I'm going to be a location to shoot so this is in these situations this is where I take a background with me we find whatever it is the best lighting situation to work work and then we create the thing so on location set up you need to figure out what you need to take so I've listed here the types of things which I would take if I was commissioned to do that type of type of job and often now if I know that they're going to have a good light natural light area, I don't bother taking lights but sometimes if I don't know that I'm right text might take some lights and these are some more images which have been created this image on the leaf was created in a little sunroom like with beautiful light. This image on the right was created in the back garden. The dog was going nuts in the background was a complete miss but ijust retouched it all out and it looks like it's shot in a beautifully calm studio environment. But it's not wasn't a background with the dog was right chasing balls up and down and then it would come I would finally get it to sit down and the background was like a mess and model over it and that's it so it's possible to clean things up in post production and then of course I always have also created images for them the covers which are on location but these would work as beautiful portrait's for the owners anyway, so even though they were I've created them for a cover of a magazine they're still really stunning poor traits for them. So it's just really on location is the same thing that's just patients just work with them get make sure you've got plenty of things to keep the animals happy and come give them brakes let them god chase a ball down the street we'll not street but I'm in the park in the park yeah and but it's all possible and so these are some of the door the some of the images are created for the dog's covers so as you can see when I'm doing a voice going keep keep the space for the, um magazines title and think yet master that's the one thank you I was like going what's the main boat so thank you that yeah, I have a question about the backgrounds that have the designers decided or the magazine publishing decided what color they want the backgrounds for these pictures for these covers or do you shoot them several different colors or is this changed in post for the colors of the background? I take a few fabric his choice, but I have had a conversation with the editor prior to going is toe because they need to make sure each month which in this case by monthly is different they can't have the same color each time so they do choose the color which I worked with occasionally they'll choose a color and I say they're pink it'll work, but they've chosen yellow yellow is a terrible color toe work against because it reflects yellow everywhere you're going to get yellow cast through that animal's fur so reed is not a good color either anything like those sort of things it's why I like to stick to soft, muted tones because it is it's the most pleasing to the eye to look at and it also makes the animal more dominant within the image. If your photographic events read background quite often, if if I choose rid it's a really deep reed and it's you so you can still manage to keep the animal is the main focus point when you can't when you're carrying your backgrounds, what colors are you carrying in their cloth? It might be a goddess fabrics amazon oh everything if I'm doing puppies and kittens often I worked with the cute, even more cute sort of colors like pale pistols and things but I seriously it's more browns gray's yeah it's I've always being very muted tones the things which I which I deem toe choose and all with pale kind of animals would go for creams on dh those things as well yeah, thanks and these are just some of the like this is an example of a feature I've created for dogs magazine as well, where I've gotta then create some poor traits of the animals like him or and isolated environment so that's when I'd have taken backgrounds with me, and then I actually actually have to capture those images, those dogs on location as well and in an environment so it's, quite it's great to be a body, actually, can't you both with the same dog, which is what I often do for my private commissions. I do often they want a studio style as well as the location type thing, and this is I offer also do for making scenes also do sell images are blurry, existing lee created, which were in my collection, which is a great way, so I don't know if any of you so have your images with photo libraries and things like that, but it is a great way to earn a bit of additional money with images. If you've got the copyright off your images and have model release assigned, then it is a great way to learn a little bit of extra money is to have some of your images with photo, libraries and things. You probably saw in the video I don't know if any of you recognize the photographer who I photographed william wegman I also had an amazing experience in new york where I had toe I got the opportunity to actually work with bill as he calls himself in his dogs, so I photographed him for the new york dog so he's included in the new york dog and that's what showed in the video, but then I went back. I approached him and said, look, okay, dogs magazine in germany would love me to photograph you with your dogs in your home environment. Are you open to there? And he loved the idea, so I got to spend a whole day with william wegman in his dogs and photographing him in his environment at home, which was just fantastic. Yeah, like a total honor for me because he was one of my idols when I first started out, and I also got to work with albert watson for the new york dog, I photographed him with his dog, and that was incredible as well, because both of them just huge inspiration to me through the years. So yeah, it was incredible. This is just quickly going into my private commissions, so just to let you know what I charge, I've only just starting to get back into port traits and things I'm my portrait fees stat from five hundred us dollars and that's for a basic I'm no props involved very simple studio environment on debts that's the same if I go to the person's house or if they come to me but if they're safe they live quite a way away then of course I've gotto take into account travel in that sort of thing as well, but most of my commissions are individually priced depending on exactly what somebody's wanting but so that just gives you a little bit of information about how I do things and then location portrait's are different from studio ones when you're out there you've got to try and capture different things so you capture those classic poor traits as well as the beautiful scenic shots as well so but the best thing is to do talkto talk to your clients about what they're wanting one of they likely if you have a portrait business and your wanting to sell large prints find out what they're wanting is a large print make sure you capture it on give them options because otherwise if you don't get what they want then you're not gonna make any sales so just so just find out and this is just another example of just some shots they want to just really really natural even said to me I don't know sis I don't really want the dog's looking at camera I want the dude to capture them just being free and having fun in the forest we go the every day and we die I just want a collection of images of the dogs just doing the thing in the forest so that was yeah I'm very fortunate I must say america's amazing you've got the most incredible locations here to work with and in this area here are I've seen some of you guys have got fantastic I'm very envious actually we've been where I love really ice got beaches and forests to get to the mountains I've got to go for a long time to get here so we have got plenty to work with us well, that's great now next up is a little little promo it'll sneak peek at the the video which is going to be included in if you purchase the purchase this workshop, you'll get a bonus feature of me working on location with the horse, so I'm just going to show you a little sneak peek video of a little bit of what that will entail wait way hey today at chelsea creek farm to photograph a I've got gorgeous trees framing the image that trees behind, which is very perfect to make the whole stand out because he's white you don't I don't want to be sure you get the white sky okay I'm gonna be working on is over two hundred was the lights will but dull here in the forest I'm exposing for the detail in the white of the force with important thing when you're working on vacation with animals is to keep it really safe, make sure the environment is safe. The animal was comfortable where it's working, don't you my fingers, don't you? No, so that's just a little sneak peek, but I'm pretty sure the video is going to be like about twenty minutes long, going into a lot more detail of actually what I did to create those element and how I worked with the horse on the on the location. So it's a really great bonus, coming with the with the course if he pushes it online anyway. Next up, I'm going to be talking about taking an idea and working through the process. We've got two very, very timid, great dane's coming in who I'm not sure a big issue, but we had a little taste with them the other day and I did manage tto get them into the bathtub, which is my concept, one of them actually this so big that there's no way I'm going to get to win any way, but we're going to try, try and get augie one of the biggest one, and because he seemed to be the most calm. So what is planned? But I had a I had a whole concept which I wanted to do, which I'll talk through before we actually start the shoot on the next segment but but we also have jeannie who's a labradoodle who's going to be coming in after the great danes for me to hopefully be able to capture the full essence of the great danes don't actually perform yeah so we're going to give it a go and we can show you how I work through the process of working with more timid dogs in a situation where it might be a little bit more tricky that was incredible I love watching you talk through all of that you guys have any questions you want to start with coarse ugo yeah just a quick question on the new york dog did you have to pull any photography permits are as long as you stayed away from the monuments and stuff you're fine yeah that's a very, very good question I didn't actually I should have actually talked a little bit more about permits on there was a lot of things I tried to photograph, but I discovered I need a permit and also thousands of dollars to be able to do it so I stayed away purely for the budget of the book I didn't have the money to go and do some of the shots which I really really wanted to do I had a vision of which I could have done because it wasn't gonna cost anything. I didn't need a permit, but there's a shot I really wanted to do of a fisherman in a dinghy, but you know what the thing is? Is that the right word for a year? So it's, babying, kiwi and I don't even know if I'm saying the right word, but I really wanted a fisherman sitting in a dinghy with this dog and a dusk or dawn sitting with statue of liberty behind would have been amazing, but I just couldn't it just didn't work out, unfortunately didn't find the right person with the dog and timing wise, I just didn't have enough time to actually make it happen, but I'm determined to actually go back and get that shop because I think it would be a really, really stunning shot if I can get it, so but there were other things, like, I wanted to get a shot of a dog up, but the top of the rock with the beautiful thing I've approached them was five thousand dollars to get it to create a number, jump it top of the rock. So I just said, I don't know if it's with that, so yeah. So there's certain things I looked into it I didn t permit for there but a lot I didn't it there was one shot I did on staten island which I got a permit to work in a historic house and that was about seventy five dollars for a permit to work for a couple of hours so that wasn't wasn't too bad but most of the locations I worked on with public areas and so I didn't need a permit but you just know if you're going somewhere which is a um is not public is a little bit more privately owned then you will need to look into getting permits and what was your question did you ever feel unsafe at any time because there are areas of the city that are more unfriendly yeah I always if I was going anywhere I was a little bit more unsure off I'd always make sure my husband was with me and we actually we made plenty of friends in new york and sometimes often you'd have the dog owners there as well and when you deal with dogs way and if it were in rough here is routine did to be with rough looking dogs so actually I know it sounds sounds bed but but it's an almost of those rough looking dogs with dita was anything and wouldn't have a fly but you do have to take into those records of those precautions and yep definitely make sure you don't go there one just wandering the streets by itself with the camera. No, uh, when you have a plan that may be, the owners want a particular image like these great danes and this I really want them in the tub. Both of them. Yeah. Do you say? Well, if it doesn't work out, do you have a different plan b for them to consider? You? Definitely definitely, but if they really, really want that, then I'm going to have to talk him into spending extra money and getting an animal trainer and, like probably and had this been a concept of mine, not for creative live, I would've had more time. We would have chosen great danes, which weren't a little bit more wound as timid, probably and would have actually had them trained, like possibly what I would've got the owners to feed them in the bathtub for the first for two weeks prior to during it so that they get familiar with the environment, they actually it's not strange for them to get into a bathtub. Some dogs hate having a bath so it's they don't like that song, but if you bring something which they love, like food on dinner time is in the bathtub, big an associate being in the bathtub with something good so you just gotta you can make it happen. Just give yourself time and be realistic. Took teo. Just talk it through with your clients and say, are you willing to with an animal trainer? Or you do want to? Are you willing yourself to put the effort and to train your dogs to be able to do this? Yeah, but it's, always good to have a backup plan. Yeah, let's. Take some questions from online. Can you tell us again this a question from zhou when approaching people and to photograph animals on the street. Do you carry a book? Or, uh, with your work or a business card or images on a digital device? What do you say to people again when you when you approach them or yeah, sometimes I did carry have the french kit, all the french dogs, french dog and rick case, and the phone was out and about on the new york dog scouting with me. But I always existed before I had postcards made which were really easy to give with a gorgeous, like dog image on the front that was in relation to the project I was doing. It had all the information which they needed on the back, they could contact me, phone numbers, websites and that sort of thing. So which is always handy, but if they want to see my work, I often they would just say, ok, check out my website and you can see my work here um or otherwise there was occasionally I have a meeting where I was going to go and so talk to somebody about location or something then I would take a copy of my book with me wait if you have got a book there maybe take a few images from your portfolio or something that sort of thing thank you, because I can't imagine saying I'm a famous I'm a really important famous photographer really works probably with you're so humble to so you could never say that no it's not actually for me something I don't you know I can't see that happening. So going back to the when you were talking about walking around your village in france nancy l had said I just had the most beautiful virtual dream trip through france living vicariously through your photos which I gorgeous imagery, she says, and she had two questions. What are the two lenses that you brought that you took around with you which a lot of people had asked and then also are you shooting the majority of your image is at the in the golden hour in the morning or the afternoon or are you shooting all day long? Yeah, very good question okay to go the two lenses, which I carried with me was the eighty mil, which is the one which I'm norm issued on with the heads of land, which is equivalent to a standard fifty mil on a thirty five mil um and also I take a slightly wider lindsay how was france was full of really small alleyways and sometimes that eighty wasn't quite wide enough for me to get back, but it was always a pretty it was a fifty mil which I took, which didn't have any distortion, so I didn't want to use any any angle, any lens which was going to create and distortion within the image. So I had an eighty mil in a fifty mil for my medium format camera thirty five yeah or for four even maybe a forty five forty year that's everything on dh what was the other question wass were you shooting primarily all morning on the cat's eye was differently shooting more morning and evening because that's when the kids were out you don't really see kids during the day, so that was actually great was like it was like I'd go out for a few hours in the morning come back, go swimming with the family and all that stuff during the day then I go out again for a few hours in the evening for the kids which was great and list of course I speak today at the chateau and then I was that should be inside working creating images during the day inside and using natural light in that regards the french dog and the new york dog it was all day every day pretty much just capturing whatever you found dogs around about with their owners all the time so it was pretty much yeah anytime of the day yeah an interesting question from tomato in the chat rooms I've recently started taking photos of rescue dogs for local shelter but have discovered that some dogs just aren't photogenic have you ever had that problem and any advice on how to go about getting that money shot how come you said dogs but I'm you know I suppose animals do happy beside some of them but I suppose just just here just try try the animal from a different angle if you don't think something quite pleasantly acidic with with the look you're getting but but you know most of them most of them if you catch a character anything gonna shine through whether it's aside the first image I created was pixy the pig was there I said it again the ugliest pig of even me it but she just had such a gorgeous personality it shone through in the image so that her personally overpowered the fact that she wasn't the prettiest girl on the on the planet but yeah and just yeah just just spin time just have a look at different angles and try different lighting options yeah, a different angle with the light coming in from a different direction or something show it well, I think it I think it just comes back teo you the way that you get he spent so much time with so much patients to get the connect shin and to get the eye so that you're drawing the audience into that eye and personality and therefore yeah that's what that's the beauty died so yeah, one final question yeah, I kind of have something to say about that because I shoot a lot of less adoptable cats which you know are either ill free legs you know, all the funky stuff and so I think some people think of that as not being the pretty side but there are a lot of people out there who really want the quirky animals yeah, and if you spend time with them and understand their history and that sort of stuff, you will find that thing that you need to photograph yeah, I mean, it takes it takes more time, I think but the quirkiness and the ugliness is sometimes we'll have a really special yeah, yeah no, I totally agree with you sometimes I've it's a same with working with babies sometimes the thing sometimes they're very not so attractive looking baby that she gives me you the bitter image proves cause it's got more personality yeah so yeah when I'm working with babies and not always after the perfect beautiful baby I'm after something with character and all those animals have got character, so just just reach for the soul and that character will come out and you'll be able to get what you want. All right, we'll take one final question from valerie in the chat room. So will you be doing more books like the ones you've done with different locations other than new york in france and what are the top three locations? E I would love to I'm going to take a bit of a break in the moment cause I have bean literally the last ten years or so has bean dedicated to books and I do need to take some time out just just even to start during some personal projects for myself, I just need to take a little bit of time, but yeah, who knows? Maybe the new zealand dog is my person, my next personal project? I don't know but it's, I need to be in one place for a little while as well is the settle down a bit more for for my daughter's sake as well? Because she's needs to start school soon and I can't can't keep flitting around the world and doing things. But yeah, I hope there will be a lot more. But in the last segment today, I'm going to talk a little bit about what my future holds.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Black on Black
Photographing Kitten and Puppies
Shooting for Licensing and Publishing
Working with Adult Cats
Working with More Challenging Animals
Shooting on Location - The French Cat - The French Dog
Taking an Idea and Working Through the Process
Ways to Get Started in the Animal Photography Industry
Rachael on Location - Kelsey Creek Farm

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This course was definitely worth the investment - both time and money. With about 15 hours worth of video sessions and amazing bonus handouts - Rachael provides some really useful, practical tips that you can apply straight away regardless whether you're just beginning your photography journey or are a seasoned professional. It was great to see Rachael at work in session - especially her techniques used to calm and quieten her models if needed. She had a potpourri of helpful suggestions such as remember to take both landscape and portrait shots (if possible), know your rights to take and use images - don't assume, be extra vigilant with cleanliness especially around kittens and puppies who may not have been fully vaccinated, keep kittens and puppies isolated in pens or cages if not in their own environment as they're escape artists etc. Her extensive experience with licensing agents and publishing houses was insightful ... and not for the faint-hearted, so it seems! Thanks Rachael for taking the time to share your know-how, tips and techniques and giving us a peek into your world and workflow you follow to produce awesome animal shots.


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.

Student Work