Skip to main content

Prepping Q&A

Lesson 10 from: Pets and People Photography

Vicki Taufer

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

10. Prepping Q&A


Class Trailer

Day 1


The V Gallery Evolution


Selling the Experience


Why Pets?


You and Your Clients


Pet Photography Intro Q&A


Creating a Market: Dog Days of Summer


Educating Clients about Dog Days


Lesson Info

Prepping Q&A

Quick question I know maybe you'll get into this but do you prep parents owners on what they're going to do? I mean, I've had people come down there like they were yelling, their dog pointing and the dog looks at the finger you know and they're they're trying to get the attention the dog or there go there and set him down and ah lot of times I just kind of the weather that let everybody settle down and then go do you have that conversation at all? Yeah, you know, I have definitely I approach it different ways we just had that, um I protected her waist with, you know, depending on the person as well, but I've definitely been known to just ask a parent or somebody who's around if they're just like trying to control that situation too much, you know, grab one of my assistants or even just say like, hey, let us try teo do this sometimes in a dog's kids walk differently when it's not the owner and definitely like, stay here and watch and hang out or sometimes double duty that's why I like g...

iving them the reflectors toehold because then they're fighting find the reflector but I would say more often than not this just happened other day with the shoot we did, I just kind of have to let it run its course and that with dog days that's not going to be the case so I have to keep flipping back and forth because I don't want to get those confused with you guys like that I have to take a little more control I'm probably a little more bossy and it might be a little more like ok, you gotta hold your talk we've got to do this but if it's just like we're doing a session I just let you know it's not your dog go it's okay because to me the more anxiety you give a dog you give a child and you're like they know like they know I think they know something's up they know if you're like trying to force him to do something and you know they're not gonna want to do it it's just like my three year old like they know when you're trying to get him to do something specific so yeah, I would usually say I let it just kind of run its course but I haven't known and I would say something if it really was like in my mind I keep going back to not a dog but you know the parent is I I'm saying say cheese say cheese smiles at you know like I'm gonna have to say something something at that point as you know, depend age of the kid that's when you start getting like that awkward like I think my mom's mad at me and I got a smile and, you know, it's just it's, not good it's, not good all around, but any other questions from in studio audience? Okay, great. When you're out doing the many sessions at versus a regular session, how many images are you going to try and bring back for the client to look at in each case? So do you want me to talk about just the many sessions with dogs or just in general, any of the many sessions, okay, yeah, so I'd say with the dog days with these ten, fifteen minute sessions, I'm talking about let's just take one dog scenario if there's two dogs, that obviously affects things a little bit, but, um, I would say we're probably and also go farther and tell you how much I think we're shooting versus what we're showing. Um, I would probably say I'm shooting um four to five times, maybe what we show, like I shoot pretty fast when it comes to working with pets like that. What I tell people like member, that progression of these images I showed you with the little boy on the couch in the feet and, like mom's hole in the head, and this is happening this stepping that's, the one thing with pets like I don't know any other way to do it besides sometimes you just have to shoot because it's so fast like that moment's gonna happen just so fast and so I would say people see um between anywhere say five to fifteen I know it's a broad range the one thing we don't do like we don't tell them this is what you're gonna see so that's why I'm like okay with having to be broad like I'm not just going to show people images that aren't the best dog like that's one thing I see people struggle in sales whether it's this kind of a session or any session is if you over show if you show too many images on and I've been guilty of that like it's overwhelming for the client it's just too much and they can't narrow it down again if you position yourself and think of yourself as the professional and you know what's vast and they want your opinion think of yourself that way and position yourself that way then I think that that will help you know tremendously to help narrow that down and you know there is one thing I will um I think I have an example here let me just talk about this really quick because we'll talk about a little more tomorrow but you guys do have these but this is um since we're talking about sale were jumping in that real quick on artist suggestion and again this was something I was inspired by bevin tim waldon they were doing in their studio when I studied under them uh but it's really the idea of it is to give the client a suggestion of which images you think our best and what they should do with them now I want it oh I wouldn't do this for a limited edition like when I think of the limited editions we really tried to, um control like how much time we're spending on it because the investment is that much less so but a normal kind and normal client a normal session you know, we're hopefully you know, expecting you thousands of dollars in order like we'll definitely spend that time the reason we started doing these is because I actually until recently with some changes I have never been the sales person so you guys know, working with your clients I mean I would be the same way if I just spent x amount of money time investment with somebody an artist like and then you're looking at the images your first question is what like you're the client would be which ones to pick you like or what? You know? I mean you hired this artist so you want to know what their opinion is, so this kind of will help walk through that sales process and I don't have to be there so that's why we started using so that client who comes in they're actually going to be with celia doing sales and we're expecting them to see their images and order them on that initial viewing date like that's all done one time we have to help them we have to direct them so when they say which ones and vicky like oh well actually you know, we have this great little sheet that does help them so and there's some other big things I don't want to get too much into that that's another day but big things with workflow that this will tie into that we helped take control of the sale which is really good like we actually will make certain images look better and spend a lot more time on him on purpose because that's the ones we want the clients to order and it's not tricking um like it's really what all it's doing is rather than do that to all your images and spending all that time on things they may not order you're only doing it to the ones you want them to order and so hopefully they'll be more likely to order those and as an artist that's more satisfying you know that there isn't there like there's nothing worse than like when you get like your favorite shot you've taken all year, you know and they're just like like that one or we're not smiling or you know it's like my husband I says that's the one you get is the you know, forty, sixty wall sample and put it you know, in the front windows so every time they drive by there like, oh, I should have got that um I was wondering if you could go through your little goody but yes that's what I was just actually yeah that's what I was going to actually do so and I didn't know while I'm doing that if anybody had it's one thing to show the sides and I'm talking about things, but I think once I'm shooting I feel like it's so focus and shooting like we have some of these actual backgrounds and floors and some of the things that I purchased like I think we should maybe look at him and I could talk about that as well stable people would love that cool yeah okay, so I want this is my target box I went last night, so things in here I guess that we're not there are still good things, so I was just thinking like which things this would be actually I have this stuff in the studio all the time we do have pets coming in enough it that I would want that on hand, but these will be the things that are like essential absolutely you would want for a dog days, so I've got obviously is he my e I don't know what I'm gonna do with all this stuff afterwards the dog bowl oh you know what I will tell you because I couldn't find my feather duster I actually really haven't used the cats are difficult cats are hard you know dogs you'll see what I'm working with them dogs you khun typically you know make some sort of high pitched noise squeak do something and you're going to get that year's up the head tipped the the cat's definitely are more of a challenge they know don't they like they'll look the opposite way on purpose and they'll go on run away so the feather duster sometimes works for them or this little this little thing um lots of dog treats I will tell you I purchase some other dog treats and where they went director thie other day and I didn't realize how big they were the one thing I will tell you is to get the smallest ones you confined or things that break up little because during a photo shoot like you might be spending dog days ten, fifteen minutes or a full shooting our like you might go through a lot of these soto have like the other day I had like this huge dog biscuits and I was like spending this time with breaking them up because I can't just be like giving them these huge dog biscuits you know, every five minutes on dh there's bright but I'd say that everything I do in the studio like that is by far the most obviously I do bribery like I try not to do it you know with kids and stuff but what dogs it's just like if that's what they respond to and not all of them dio um or it's not the right tree they're picking so so I usually have a couple of different ones on he and um and then you just oh, this this is this is this I'm actually really excited to use this I've never used one of these but I've ever received is he? Do you see it is it last night my brother's dog literally for forty minutes was going bananas chasing this which I don't know that it was in the cab toi toi I'll um I wasn't even thinking about it for dogs, which I don't know if I really want the dog to go crazy, so I can't decide if that's really a good thing, but then I thought we have this problem with the happy inn in the couch and my brother's dog was literally following and whenever it went so I thought I couldn't I could we could try this out, but I could have the owner you know, laser on the couch and the dog is going to jump up there rather than have to we'll see if we can test it out is he didn't think it was too exciting but maybe some you know some dogs do yes please I just want to say one thing with with the little pointer asked the owners before you use it because we've used I've a border collie and we've used that before and she just goes completely crazy and now we can't even have a flashlight when we need to look for anything you know she just loses her mind are you serious so be careful don't be careful yeah that's no that's really good because that's I have never even used it yeah I had never even used it before so that's kind of like oh I don't know in watching zeus runaround last night all crazy so may or may not may or may not use that um the lint rollers the wife's the little the little bags and things but oh this I actually got I will tell you I really struggled last night I actually even called someone in creative lives there's like ten o'clock and I went to target and I really wanted to find a rug like that's something you see them I'm just a lot I've got pink and the white the really long furry rugs both of those air actually not very inexpensive I do have a couple of cheap ones but then even target I'll tell you what if I lived in seattle like I private about it was it was like one hundred and seventy bucks but it was like thanks five by seven foot I mean it was a really nice size and it had just I like the long shag and like neutrals and things so that's kind of what I look for is a lot of texture um probably something more neutral just cause it goes with most most dogs so I was struggling I had like I was just staring at him for like twenty minutes like I had the seventy dollars rug one hundred dollar rock one hundred seventy dollars bag and then I was calling there and I'm like I get any of these I have other things do with them I just being impulsive like I just want it like I wanted to do with it and then I saw and we're going for nineteen dollars um it was the same size but it's just a blanket it's not all the I actually tested that last night was here this morning with zeus he's a white or off white dog but the only struggle or the thing I was thinking about what this is you know it's going to shift a little bit so I'm thinking when I and this is just for me probably shooting above down so just when you guys are thinking size wise so I'm not going to obviously put a lab on here but somebody is the size or any smaller dog this actually I feel like would mimic pretty well my rug which I think cost five or six hundred dollars versus nineteen dollars so I felt pretty safe trying that but what I was going to say is I think of the sides I would probably gaffer's tape or something the sides if I were to use this because I'd be a little bit like you know a client's trying to help hold it or you know it might shift you want to try it out he won't come down high I'll see that you could just see this would look so gorgeous um yeah run pattern yeah the thing is the way I shoot I shoot you like it I think we have a approval yeah yeah and actually I'll tell you the white rug in the studio dogs love too that is awesome I love your posey you are so good I think we have a winner here uh so yeah so I I was just saying the way that I shoot so fast I don't know yeah the rug patter like said just quick tape a couple of the corners you busy doing teach oh ok I don't want to rally up so yeah I was really super excited about that but I think grab can I get this somebody have to you know like any of the um do I have someone who can help me grab like any of the it's lord, because I'd love to actually because once it's set up it's kind of set up and we're shooting but to show kind of how how it looks in someone yeah, I know they said those had come in but I don't think they have any questions while we're grabbing those way definitely do yeah there's so many questions from the internet right now and, um see there were there was a question here about leashes from katya ll hello tau, wondering how do you handle leash issues for dogs that their owners are super apprehensive about taking off their leashes photoshopped can usually take care of most of it, but is there a way to position things you have to take our put it through photo shop to take the leash out? Yes, probably um no excite have run into that no, I don't have a good you know that the there's a few dogs I don't want them off the leash either, so I'm okay with them beat on the leash a little more like aggressive dogs, but, um, I think it depends on the scenario like I would be a little more apprehensive too if you know we're out on location or you know, if they're worried they're going to go somewhere, but I would be I would I mean if there is seeming like they don't want the leash on the picture I would probably talk to him and try if I'm in the studio and it's controlled and they can't go anywhere I guess I would tend to try to just get him to take the leech off I guess and if the leaf stays on you just photo shop it out yeah it being official you know I mean there are times I guess I say that I'm trying to say because I mean we have run into that more on location I don't think I've really run into it being on in the studio um but it's just I guess yeah there are some ways if the owners with them for sure that you can you know you just kind of hide it and step on it or I get a lower angle so the grasses they're kind of hiding it but as some point that would be probably spent more time doing that and lose the shot like that's where I kind of look at that balance and I have to make a decision I think it's really important to get it right on camera like that's really important to me but if I'm going to lose this shot to do that then I'll override it and I'll just take the shot knowing weaken tweaker fix it fix it later which that happens in the studio actually quite a bit with all my sessions like I might be focusing say on dad and son and dog here shooting and mom is that kind of fixing her daughter's hair something back here and there's a really special moment that start is like a wedding almost special moments happening back here and I'm like, oh, crap, like I'm not, you know, set up like I don't know what the lighting you know is and what's that my camera that I'll just wing it and I'll tend to try to shoot that the way I would almost shoot a wedding when I did weddings um and you know, it's, something has to be black and white it has to be black and white if it needs to be great me, it needs to be grainy or I may not ever show him that maybe it doesn't work, but rather than like, you can't recreate some of those moments, you know, rather than just be like oh, okay, stop do that again let me take a light meter reading it was just not goingto not gonna happen so great answering good solutions. Yeah, okay. Question from dave owen in manchester, england. How do you keep the dogs tongues in their mouth? We just had a client moaning that dog's tongue the dog's tongue is out way too much it was a warm day warm studio do have any tricks for that um that I mean I've run into that as well that to me tends to come I've seen that more like with an anxious dog again I keep referring to the session with the other day because that was kind of happening specifically and the owner made it known like oh they're times never hanging out by the end of the session on we'd allowed enough time by the end of the session the dog put I was keeping its tongue this month marks it was just relaxing you know, a couple things I think prop choices like head by having the couches and the chairs and things were even the rugs if you can have comfortable settings for the animals like I think that will show but otherwise I think just having the water available and really you know I actually my main solution for that and how we got the shots we got so I would say in that chute ninety five percent of time the dog's mouth was out but the shots I was able to show the client weren't like maybe they were a little bit or was closed and it was that was like a chicken scenario that was literally like dogs panting dogs panting dogs panties okay I'm ready okay one two three squeeze the chicken I take the shot hi you see you like that too in the second like it's just everybody working together but the second that we squeezed the toy the dog's ear years went up the mouth closed and so so it gives you know I mean you wouldn't know looking at the images that I'm showing them that the dogs tom was hanging out the whole time but it's just working and reworking it yeah and on the mouths shut if that doesn't work alone ones do you have any formal dog training experience you washed the dog whisper like what is it all just kind of have I failed actually doggie school with my lab and killing trevor and they might have even kicked me out so no no no no formal training uh k it gilbert twenty two is wondering if you have rules for pets like vaccines and leashes or extra children like extra kids during a dog david the rule would be already what I talked about which is um that thief focuses the pet I mean that's my only really main rule so the focus is the pet other kids other people that want to begin it they can come they could be dressed ready to be in the shoot I'm going to try to get him in but I'm not guaranteeing it in that short time frame as faras the vaccines the different things I don't have anything I do specifically with that I do know what we run into and we just did this last time is a couple of people that had puppies uh there's that concern when they're little but you're not really supposed to have him around other dogs and so that's and I totally respect that so what I actually did with the one that was coming I put her is the very first session and I made sure I actually left an extra block of time so there was just no overlap so yeah, I think it's just yeah the client has a concern I guess it's spend more hoping they will let us know that you know ahead of time and we'll try to accommodate but also if it gets to a point where they're asking for everything in the moon then it might just be time also to say you know what I think would be better to book just a normal session you know on a different day to not try toe that it all into the the quick the quick type session with the dog days ok, another question here from cat tanker sleep photography how do you deal with dogs who are deaf or blind and may not engage like a younger healthier dogwood? I have had that actually, um yeah and the client and tell me so I just say I have a specific steri mind where I'm like speaking and I'm doing stuff and they're like no no no no like the kids see you like you don't need to do all of that um yeah you know I really I really don't have a good answer for that mean typically in that case I'm just thinking of my past experiences when it's been an animal like that it's really just in a lot of cases they might be moving slower and things anyway so it's just getting them into a comfortable position and I might just need to get a little bit closer or again it's no different than with kids but having the owner closer like if the owner is closer and engaging with them a little bit to get him to look up to get him to tow pay attention I khun b back farther zooming in with my seventy two two hundred lens getting a shot the owner's cropped out of it awesome well I'm not sure if these backgrounds are ready oh yeah bringin yep can I just go grab absolutely ok sure we'll get somebody to help you know it's cool okay so basically I love these because one of the things my kind of talk about how we have downsized our studio space a little bit down size some of our props um so it's important that I have things that actually store easy so I could get the most bang for my buck in the most variety so these air really crazy and I will tell you what I had a dog last week that was pantene a lot and I have the same one floors and I have the same would the wood floors that the dogs like see you know kind of they get slippery and they kind of get a little bit like anxious sometimes I feel like so getting on a couch getting on a rod calmed him down a little these actually do the same thing it was actually the first time I had done that but I had this dog that was kind of running around crazy but all sudden this is just it must be soft enough or feel that much different you know from the wood floor um he got pretty comfy so look at these air pretty cool so I actually shoot these two under here but they come in the four by eight sheets and then I have one that's an eight by eight which just is made up of two four by eight sheets but I really was impressed with what I got from this with the dog the other day and I would just same thing to me this is no different than my rod if I'm shooting from above and I'll shoot with these specifically in these ways for you guys if I'm shooting from above I've got really cool texture behind and this is plenty big like not for like a massive dog probably but definitely somebody is the size I could do something really great with us on the same thing this one's that brooke one that you saw in the video and then that's when I even started just having people holding it up because I wanted it to look like an old warehouse brick wall so they they're they're great I mean faras um you just brought him up next to each other and then it looks like a larger piece of flooring for the I've never had to had to clean them, so I guess that's a good question, but I've been using up like justin nice save they first like I had in my store them kind of messy and they had a few wrinkles so then I just laid him flat again and then they just got they got flat they're pretty slick, so I just have one little section of my, um camera room where you actually have like a handful of them just all stacked on each other, but I was thinking I might try to change that and do something where I hang them on the wall too and I can conceive him because that one thing I do the only thing which is not a big deal but you can't slide step on it it's like on the wood floors, you know you can obviously slide, but you can't slide on carpet like it's really no it's really no different can you remind us again where you got these? Yeah, these air from w c c so they do that they have backgrounds and force so this is the end that's where I shoot with these together so I'll put a backdrop I'll do the floor and then that's where I add my own little trim piece that we make to create a transition so it looks a little more natural awesome. Um jerry cole from clearwater, florida is wondering if you ever have customers bring in their own props it's our backgrounds like a special pillow um do incorporate these items into your shoot? Absolutely I mean, I would say percentage wise that the very small percentage of monsieur I don't I guess that's not part of my process to stay that to them to bring something, but I guess I'm kind of the same way even with kids like I don't necessary say, oh, bringing stuff is and it starts to seven to property for the style I want to shoot and then I'm afraid, like what if they bring something and it's not really what I wanted dio it kind of gets me away from shooting that ones look like also drive all these things to do, but I would definitely respect that if somebody brought something I would try to use it a few shots and sometimes it's a comfort thing like sometimes like that might be I mean that's what the animal reacts tio most owners know that. I mean, they know their pets that if they have an item or something like that, then, um, they're just they're going to definitely bring it. Bring it along.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote Slides
Keynote Slides Day 2

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This was a great topic. I tuned in thinking I wouldn't be interested, and then, wow, it was fabulous. So fabulous I'm holding an event in two weeks time to launch my own pet photography and raise food for local homeless animals. Thanks so much CL team!

Carolyn Himes

Vicki Taufer is Brilliant as a person and artist. What an honor to experience her for the last 3 days. Thank you to Jed for your expertise and reminder that technology can help us all have time to play more and enjoy life more! Thank you creativeLIVE notch!

Student Work