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Pet Portraits: Dogs, Kobe

Lesson 8 from: Integrating Animal Photography into your Business

Norah Levine

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Lesson Info

8. Pet Portraits: Dogs, Kobe

Next Lesson: Pet Portraits: Cats

Lesson Info

Pet Portraits: Dogs, Kobe

I met Kobe. And Kobe is, very young, and spunky and adorable. So the energy level was gonna be very different than working with Judy. Let's see, Kobe and mom, Christina, and she might help out and might be in here because I do know that Kobe's very much in love with her mama. So sometimes that's just gonna be, if I'm doing solo images of animals, having the pet parent around is a necessity if they're really attached. So I'll start with that and if it becomes too much, I might ask Christina to step out if it becomes overwhelming. So she loves treats, laying in the sun, the water hose or spray bottle, playing fetch with two balls and her mama. She hasn't found any words that really get her excited yet because she's still really young and she's very treat motivated and sometimes toy motivated. And she can sometimes pee when she gets excited and that'll be okay if that happens. So let's bring her out. Thank you. I would like to move this. The table? Yeah. Just move it out of the way?

Please, thank you. And then maybe, where's that orange chair? You want the orange chair back? Yeah, and if we can move the couch, too. Pull it forward? Hello. So let's give-- hi! Hello, sweetie. That was so much. Do you want her off leash? Yeah let's let her off the leash and let her just sniff around for a minute while we're setting up. I know one thing I was talking to Christina about was the concept of her, she was like, I hope Kobe does well and it's important to talk about the expectations and really just say, you know, it's going to be great and it's gonna work and there's no judgment about it. It's just, it is what it is and we'll have fun and I'm sure she'll be great and if we have troubles, it's just totally normal. So ti's important to communicate that with the pet parents. So what I'm thinking here, yeah, is moving that out of the way. And I'm just feeling like, getting that, we had an orange chair in here. Yeah, so I'm kinda feeling like, I had a chance to visit with Kobe a little bit and I saw she has this adorable way of, she has like a side saddle sitting position, which I think is just the cutest thing. I'd love to do kind of a wide shot here. I'm gonna start with this orange chair and I love the coloring against her fur. So I'm gonna do, I'm gonna start with that. Yeah. She has treats? Okay. And we're gonna leave her collar on, I think. Okay. Because it's so bright and colorful. So we'll leave that on, most of the time, and we might take it off for a couple if you're okay with that. I just think it's a really nice contrast. Most the time I like to take the collars off, just to simplify things. But in this situation I think we'll leave it on for a few. So we've got my bag of tricks, right? And we've got your treats, you wanna give me a couple treats so I have them close to me? Do you want the chicken or do you want cheese treats? Ughhh, what's high value? Chicken. High value? Yeah. Okay. So even though Kobe's pretty young, she already knows sit. And we're working on stay, right? Okay, good, so let's get her in this chair. And let's see, will she jump up do you think? She might. Yeah. Okay. Come on, Kobe. Come on, hop up. Come on, up, will you go? Will you go? Here, chicken. (kissing) Come on, up. I saw her on the couch in the other room. So I know she's a couch lounger. Hey, sneaky. Hop up. Come here. (kissing) She's like, you got the chicken. Here. You get a chicken, ridiculous. Come here. She's just got this face that. Hop up. You can't ignore. So I'm gonna be shooting pretty wide here. Actually, oh yeah, okay. That's really cute. Before you get her up there, oh, nope, okay. If she jumps down again I'm gonna move the chair. Good. So, now what I'll do. Oh the side saddle. Here, look. So I'll have you 'cause she's attached to you, right, so I'll have you kind of stick with me and I will try to get her attention, okay? Oh, chicken fell on the floor. Happens every time. So I'm gonna move this chair a little bit. Okay. You ready? Come on, up. (clicking tongue) All the way, up. Jump up. Come on. I might need you to help, Christina. Come on. Up. (clicking tongue) Nope, you wanna help her? Yeah. Kobe, come on, hop up. Here. Come on. (kissing) I love you. Kobe, come here. Let's actually skip the chair. Let's pull the chair out for a minute, please. So I'm gonna have you, Christina, have her do just a sit right about here. Kobe. That's good. And then I'll take that from you. Good, can you sit? Stay. Yeah, look. Oooh. Oooooh. Oh. (clicking tongue) Sit. Yeah, good girl. Stay. Stay. (blowing) Come here. Come here. She knows lay down, right? Yeah. Come here. Sit, yes, that's a good sit. She takes treats gently, you're such a good girl. She's like, where you want me to sit, how you want me to sit? That's good. (blowing) (clicking tongue) Oooh, oooh. (snorting) (blowing) Too much, too much. So she didn't really like that last noise I made and I'm just gonna note that, you know, so I won't be doing that again. That's good, let's try again with the chair, if you don't mind, Danielle. And I'll need you to help, so what you could do, is you could get her on the chair and you could maybe kinda hide behind the chair, yeah. It's gonna be fun. Okay, chicken for you. Come on. (clicking tongue) Kobe, I've got it. She's got it. Come on, hop up. Awesome. Sit. Sit. Am I in your way? Yeah, you're in the frame a little bit, but, it's okay. Stay. Let me get this. Stay. Come here, up. Come here, hop up. Good girl. I love that, just, oh gosh. Do you want her around? Nope, that's good, that's perfect. (meowing) Go ahead and give her a treat, yeah. Oh dat was good. Good girl! That was really good. Yeah, that was cute, very good. One more try? Let's try one more time. One more time, what is this? Yeah, she likes toys. What about her tug, she's got a tug, right? Yeah. Okay. Just gonna get a toy out for her. What I was thinking, too, let me come, yeah, let's try one more time. Up. There. Come on. She's like, I want the chicken. She likes chicken more than tug. Yeah, that's okay. So another idea I had was to come over here, let's see. Let me see if I can get her, see if I can get her to lay down next to this wall here. Sure. Kobe. Yeah. Come here. Come here. (kissing) Can you sit? Down. I think I've lost my squeaker. If you see a, oh no, I've got it. Let's sit her as close to the wall as possible. Can I have a piece of chicken? Yeah. Here I'll give you the bag. Are you shooting at the wall? Hmm? Are you gonna shoot? Yeah. Come here. Sit. Down. Good. Nope, sit. Down. Stay. And if we could move this orange chair. Stay, down. Look. Look. Nope, you gotta wait. Oooooh. Sit, you can have a little bit. Okay, that's good. (squeaking) Good girl. That's good. You lay down? Lay down. That's good. Sit. Oh da paw. She does shake? Mm-hmm. Sit. Sorry, Norah and Leslie. Yup. I could go on forever. I know you could, but I think it's time-- Perfect We need to wrap. Yeah, she did great. She did great. I think it's so interesting the way that you adapt to each of the animals. And I think that's such a skill that photographers out there need to understand as well. In terms of, we saw you with Phoebe become much more subtle and mild and even slow in your movements. Right. Versus some of the other animals as well. Yeah it's really important to adapt to each situation. And even thought we're in the same environment in the same studio, it's important to just respond to their energy. (laughing) Kobe was really interested in food and definitely more connected with her mom, so that was something else to adapt to, you know. And not every animal's gonna be that way. I've definitely got to shift around. And what were some of the things, I think we're gonna pull up one photo of each of them from this segment. But what were some of the things, again, with Kobe, that, talk us through what happened. Yeah, with Kobe she was just really great and she was really good at sit, but her attention span's just like half a second. So I missed a couple of shots. You know, trying to get my attention getter in my hand and so there were a couple moments I totally missed. And that happens. 'Cause her attention span just wasn't quite there. But for a puppy she was pretty amazing in terms of, you know, her training level is pretty high level. So the fact that she can sit on command. I mean that was kind of the shot there that I wanted to get her sitting in the chair with that stance, it was kind of the moment that I was really hoping for. And I feel like I always try to have a golden moment, and then anything else I have is kind of extra after that. But she was amazing and was really responsive and if I had more time to work with her, I'd probably work in different scenarios and just get different looks for her.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Norah Levine Book Coupon Code
Norah Levine Resource Guide
Pet Packing List
Pre Shoot Questionnaire

Ratings and Reviews


Norah is really great and I learned a lot watching her. Even non-pet related things, like how she's continually trying to better herself were really inspiring to me. Since watching this, I've learned to take every shoot as a learning opportunity by evaluating what went right and what didn't, and thinking of what I can do next time to do better. I liked the way she showed interacting with animals in a way that doesn't stress them (well, depending on the animal there may be some level of stress anyway I guess...) too. Great class.

Chelsea Beauchamp

So inspiring! Great information on both family pet photography as a craft as well as the business side. Norah obviously knows what she's doing and has tons of experience, so it's a good chance to hear/see what it's really like to take this on as a specialty whether it's the focus of your work or one of many parts of your work. She focuses not just on the mechanics, but on the personal side of working with people and animals. You can tell she's passionate about what she does, too. It's only been one day of class and I already feel totally inspired!

Student Work