Yeah that was a lot right. I mean it's a lot to juggle and I just wanted to kind of mention that it might seem like I'm totally calm and cool and collected on the outside but inside I'm thinking about the client expectation. I'm thinking about what's next. I'm thinking about what's happening in the moment. So it's a lot of things to consider at once. Some stuff that went right, some stuff that went wrong. I try not to spend time thinking about what just went wrong so I can move on to have the opportunity to do something great and just be ready for the next thing. So it's a lot. It's a lot to juggle and so I just want you to be aware of the fact that even though it looks like I'm super calm, because you have to be for your clients and for the animals, you really have to be calm on the outside but that there is like an internal dialogue going on in my head about is this going okay. I mean there's judgment, there's also the technical things I'm thinking about and there's judgment of like ...
is this gonna work. You know there's a lot going on in there. So I just want you guys to know that that's happening for me. So if it happens for you and if it doesn't great but if it does it's totally something that's normal. But you can work through it so it's great.
Since you guys were patiently here in the studio so that we could keep sort of the space with the fewest people for the animals, any final questions about what we just did in that session. Go for it.
So I noticed when you were shooting in there that you used a lot of furniture and when you go into people's homes like do you take any special precautions because I've had an animal have an accident on the furniture and like fortunately they were super cool about it but is that something that you kind of put blankets or anything that you would do to prepare or what would you do in that situation?
If something were to happen?
Yeah, I mean I almost have a heart attack. Like when this dog like peed on the couch and it was just kind of like what do you do because is it your fault or is it. I always ask permission before a dog goes anywhere. It's like okay this is what I'm thinking is it okay with you but as far as like especially if we're gonna be talking about businesses is that like a liability thing an insurance thing, an oh my God it just happened thing?
Yeah it's an interesting question. It's not something that I've really given a ton of thought to in terms of being nervous about it happening. I kind of feel like you know if you're gonna do newborn pictures like the baby might pee. It's kind of part of the process and I really would take it on a case by case basis. So judging who are the clients I'm working with? Do I get a feeling they might be really stressed out if something happened? Or are they very protective of their furniture? Cause sometimes people are like no they're fine they're allowed anywhere and if they're gonna let them do that on a regular basis then it's no ones fault if something like that happens. And most people I think will be really understanding. I mean if there was a client with really high end furniture for example I might bring it up like hey this might happen if that's okay, if you're willing to risk it. It's kind of on them you know. But I wouldn't wanna take the fun out of being able to have freedom to move within the home. But some people say no the dog's not allowed on the furniture and in those cases obviously you respect those things. But yeah I wouldn't not do it moving forward because you had that one incident. Because that sounds like a pretty rare occasion too. Does that answer your question? Okay good. Any other questions about what happens? So that situation was definitely kind of rushed. It was like we were moving from one group to the next. In a normal situation for me I would spend a couple hours with them and maybe not in a studio setting but I would have more flexibility and time to really work ideas. Like there were some ideas that if I had more time I would have done but we were kind of limited on some of the time. But for what it is we wanted to give you lots of different types of animals so you could see how we work through each one of those.
Norah Levine is a portrait photographer, fine artist and co-founder of the philanthropic Lifelines project. Her work has been featured in a number of prestigious publications, including Professional Photographer and Austin Monthly magazine, and she is the author of Pet Photography: The Secrets to Creating Authentic Pet Portraits available in December 2016. Norah’s photographic work is often defined by her clean compositions and authentic moments shared by the people and animals in her images. Whether showcasing her collector's edition encaustic paintings or instructing at the world- renowned Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in New Mexico, Levine is thankful for the ability to share her love for animals and children through her fine art, photography and teaching. Norah Levine resides in Austin, TX with her husband and their five rescued pets.
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.
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!