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Shoot: Adult Cats

Lesson 17 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

Shoot: Adult Cats

Lesson 17 from: Animal Photography

Rachael Hale McKenna

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Lesson Info

17. Shoot: Adult Cats

Lesson Info

Shoot: Adult Cats

A quick question from ducky is when trapper was dozing in the hammock, would you ever take images with his eyes closed? Of course, yeah, yeah, but I didn't today because I wanted to like he probably would have gone to sleep in that scenario. You looked really, really relaxed, but because we're on a time schedule, I just wanted to keep moving on, so but he's in a I would have definitely done sleeping shots as well. Great. So you're not anti sleeping chance. No, no, no, definitely not. And we did have a question of the student body legs. Well, we did have a question to the audience. Oh, sorry. Yeah, I have a question regarding using a great big soft box and strobe versus using speed lights because that's kind of out of the range of most space constraints that I have. Yeah. So using a speed light if you have thoughts on my muse and I'm not even actually a hundred things like you extend a flash, I guess. Or on the heart shoes like, yeah, I just find so, like, the on camera phone, but, yes,...

I'm neighborhood. It called a speed like before that's, obviously a different tune you guys were here, but that is I don't mind that. But I do find that it's a very directional light and it flattened an image quite a lot. He hits a reason, like way I keep going back to natural light. You cannot beat the natural like we were given to use. Yeah, but it's but it's not always available, so I'm sure you would. But you might be able to do something in postproduction because often it could be. Do you ever get redeye problems and stuff with not with you? Oh, you bet I'll be bouncing in a bouncing. It should be about bouncing light, usually like I did. You know that that should be it should be great. You should be able to use that to bounce off. Where you working? So you know that? Well, you know, not everyone is gonna have access to one of these on knows that's that that's huge and thinking of, like, shelter situations or in people's homes. I mean, even if I had that yeah, you know, that's, a it's, a big line try and bring you no, definitely. And I market lucky when working in new zealand. A lot of people's houses are quite spacious houses, so we have got a lot more room to work with if I do. I have it but I've got smaller soft boxes I worked with us well but if I have a preference and if I can use this I will use this because it is a much softer, more even life but as I was saying yesterday I often bounce that off the ceiling so I use bounce light as well because I much prefer it to directional flesh so if we find a little travel bud who buddy we might actually need something underneath this because this is going to slide all over the place with him just bring that I'm right back again and she always put it with the the other side up yet underneath well stop it sliding so much and then we'll put the other blink and on top of the dark great um no, this will be fine let's come up yeah, yeah that's not gonna slide now so what we'll try and do is bring him up here that is why I love this. I loved the textures of this especially with kit because cats love blankets and sleeping and bearing and being comfortable so it's a really appropriate type of prop to use with with the kit he's very going to destroy it but he's really if you come back again what's up here oh scrumptious right to sit on yeah it's all yours nobody else has been on this before it boy it is gonna be off again it is too boring too boring so what I'm going to do now is see what happened to my green feather who stole that al qaeda do you take off with it probably thank you where's he gone okay over good boy can you jump up no no you're gonna lynn and a jump about a bit of buddy okay now this is gonna be interesting you're going to he is a really little feisty little guy this is actually it is quite a difficult age to work with because they really really playful he's stealing again isn't he's a thief you are a thief so what I'm going to try and do you but yeah point I'm just wondering whether we're better off teo avoid that because he's this is just rocking him up you want to try the uh the way one of the money yeah yeah I mean that when I'm just even even just even connect you turn around and use a stick underneath the fabric and just to get him onto us see if he can eyes totally hyped this guy that's right just let me handle he's isn't it funny that way all thought that al qaida is going to be the easy one er exit I'm so glad we decided to bring treachery okay you think I want my money I'm determined to get something change the lyrics on the one behind thank you, danielle can't you risk you up, boy? So if we just try and keep it a bit more calm when I want to do is just snuggle up it might even work like if we do something like this and try and miriam and actually just get someone's hand underneath um tickling him so this works also if you actually want to try and settle a care you khun no, not that way doofus come on. So what? I might get you to do it? She put your hand underneath the blanket and just given way might actually air you ableto pass tripper over might bring in the magic touch of his mummy who he's used to and then you might be ableto but this is often if you do have two photographic hair which is not able to sit still very well then this is often a good way of doing it. You can have use a blanket and you can have someone's arm and underneath it she patching the cat orjust holding it so it just feels more secure and you're not going to get it running what to run away but it's still important for me to try and capture that relaxed state, so um at least yet she relaxes into it, which I'm just going to have to leave I'll just see if we can get get him to relax a little bit and then because at the moment he's got arms outstretched he just doesn't know I need him to sort of relax, lie down and just look like he's actually chilling a little bit but he's in hunt ma, don't you just do them? You did it before by rubbing is yeah, I might just see if you can show us what your magic touch was before to get himto you started with the ear. Okay, this was gonna get that out of the way so that we do know one he's been running around quite a bit. So you would hope that you'd get, like, a a minute that's all you need is a minute of him sitting still to get some shot men. It would be nice e o it's far more interested in running around having fun though. It's quite a fan's stimulating environment for something. Yeah, yeah, we do need to try and I wonder if we just put him down like how he wasn't then. Yeah, that's it here we go, here we go, here we go. We can see that he's going to start what I need, what I'm going to try and teo that's, right? We've gotta pour out, which is good I do when they're lying down, I really much prefer poor coming out than the hunched in like that? That just looks like it makes him look more like stop looking at my father. Okay, if you just keep it and just keep you can keep your hand and underneath the blanket of the back. Guster, try this on natural letters. Well, you can see the difference seems quite relaxed this time. I'm remembering to change my eyes. Oh, and shall speed down to sixty. We definitely have a yellow tinge with the studio lights with its right. Nothing. Which can't be adjusted point. Good boy. Good boy. Good boy. Like a puppet. All right, that was gonna be movement in that one. He's. Definitely much more relaxed. Now we've got the perfect little toe in the front there we have got definitely got yellow. I'm gonna need to remove from the because of the studio lights were getting much more so normally I wouldn't have he's like these yellow tanks turn bites in a studio environment. Who has anyone got any more questions? Because, yeah, we do let's go to our studio audience when we get to think. One question that we want push a little bit further on is that connection that you're able to make and you can let him go, you can see it in, you know, in the eyes of the animal is that tell us more about how you get that connection or is that something people can learn? Is that the noises that will allow you to get that connection yeah, I think it's a it's a combination of my patient and also just knowing teo knowing how to read an animal and to know when they've got that that really relaxed state like you noticed with trapper at first he was really quite anxious and not that and then he suddenly went into much more relaxed state but I'm not want is sorry if you got your name cristina cristina what when you were saying that I was I'm not one to the shooting to shoot I really wait for that connection through in it but it's more through the camera I'm just waiting for their eye contact to actually I suppose it goes through the lens and straight into me and that if I feel like it penetrates my brain or something, I'm not sure I'm not sure what it is but I can really see it happen but it is I think the more you work with animals the more you're going to be able to see that may be a lot of you're nodding your head so you obviously already do know with that you you can really really sense that with animals and no wind that's when that connection is happening so it's probably something you can but there's something you can actually learn by just working with animals yeah oh oh he looks gorgeous on this count these colors too hey big guy so what I would often doing with this I go and get the kids elbows and I just pulled the league's forward a little bit just really really gently it just brings them into a bitter more stretched out position and we're just is tuck them backing in typically but what I want what I'm aiming for this is just have a really really relaxed stretched out or you can use they can use a stick just to get them to stretch a little the league out towards that if you want he's so cruzi being being thirteen he sort of being around that has bean there done that so he's so relaxed oh you gorgeous boy not your good boy hey, could we get a photo of you on here too? Just so you're not gonna go in your heart you will know that the moment your thinking about it until eyes I'm not gonna watch that not interested anymore oh thank you you're a little bit unsure about this anybody yeah he's pretty he's pretty crazy he's thinking about it though but he does monkeys and doesn't look to me he's not looking one hundred percent relaxed so I haven't taken a photo because he's not he's not giving me a relaxed um expression I really like him I think if you're going to create an image which is going to really appeal to people and for people to be really happy with you do need to get the animal into a really relaxed situation to be ableto which is it is hard with rescue pete's when you are in this and them rescue center is working with them and things but good boy just get you to relax just a little bit more thank you coming to his cds are sleeping can't I think he's just so crews he just wants to go go he loves his ears being but we just leans and right gorgeous anybody boy you want to return a little sideways with hey he's all nice all right he's all right the way is okay I'm just just want to try and get him he's probably got his claws hooked on this rag it's such a big hug good boy could all look atyou the good thing about see how I've got a fabric I can spend them around really easily to repeat a position um without fully disturbing him which means now I want to go this way it's filling in a bit more blanket background there looks from what I've had with women they don't know we got it before he moved no precious little man so I'm just gonna bring him around but he's so he's so oh I am gonna hear this gorgeous gorgeous kill we got any more questions while I'm just playing with kids actually we dio and I've seen a few people asked this so I think I will just ask you this is from anil or ac four from mexico who wanted to know how many animals you have what do your animal? What is your animals situation right now? My animal situation I hate to say I haven't got any at the moment I know we've been traveling so much so we have to be realistic about the pits with we're able to have and for five years we've seen on the road so it's impossible to have animals really with what I've been doing but we have just moved back to new zealand and we plan to be there for a while so my four year old daughter is desperate for a dog she's wanting it to wildwood but that's because you don't listen to boy ones and but I can't really see myself with a two hour I love them but not really my type of dog I've always seen a a big dog person so I think hopefully charlie saw cope with the fact that we'll get a little dog to start with, which just might get a bit bigger yes I'm really looking forward to getting back to new zealand and getting a dog or maybe one or two or three from the rescue local rescue center and yeah, if I can twist my husband's arm will have some kids as well so yeah but at the moment man but thankfully I work with them so I get my animal does nearly every day so that's all good look at the skies because gorgeous that is at least cover ups like tickle let's go keep ticking always gonna improve your ways says I'm not gonna look at that camera anymore that's right? But we've got some gorgeous shop so I'm I'm all happy actually, um he's on there, isn't it? If you notice I often make a little more like booed like noises which could work quite well with kit that he's just going to go to sleep. He's not really that interested in, you know, just go the just get the green one might describe him toe. So what I'm doing here is is coming in to justin to his vision to try and get him to look up without moving his head, so I'm keeping it really come but he's so relaxed he's almost going biscuit? Yeah, yeah he's um he's like he's almost getting the role life back as well. Is that relaxed on there? But he's just so so I'm closing not so much no thiss one will um he he doesn't seem to go for the laser too much you put a bird at a window on really active when she does, I'm just gonna go. Sorry. Poking you in the eye problem. I'm just gonna go down lower with him gone. Tell me when I'm just keeping on shooting until you tell me to stop. Wait anymore? You guys got any more questions? You were ill try the kiwi. Yeah, it is a bird. Yep. I have got a little kiwi toy here. Which what if I don't break straight with my there's a lot more kingly booty there. This one here she does make a little noise, but just let me just get the shot set up and they know it does if you squeeze it a chips like a little he's listening let's bring it. So with us, what we want to do is I'm trying to get my line right through here, so just bring it he's not trying to he's looking in the sky with that food. Pepper, wait, I I'm really I'm really, really happy with what we've got anyway. So it's a good, good boy, you are very, very extra special.

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