Writing with Light

Pets in Studios

I shot in a studio set for the first time at the Paw Print Divas workshop that I attended last week. I’ve always been a natural light shooter both in my travel and landscape and pet photography. I was looking forward to learning about lighting set-ups and shooting in a studio but I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy it as much as I did. The control you have is unbelievable (I’m sure that’s nothing new to those of you that have been studio shooting for some time). I’m hooked and I’m now looking into purchasing some lights and setting up an in-home studio.

This is Gilley, a very handsome and smart border collie.  Let me know what you think.

Toronto Pet Photographer, Paw Print Divas, Houston, photo shoot, lifestyle pet photography, Border Collie, studio


46 responses

  1. Oh, that face!! It just makes me melt, and I want to hug him :). Great shot Edith – sounds like you are having a great time and learning more every day.


    March 19, 2014 at 7:38 am

  2. amberafrica

    Sooooooooo very cute. Beautiful portrait !


    March 19, 2014 at 7:52 am

  3. awww… what a cuty! Love the pose, and the warm background!


    March 19, 2014 at 8:06 am

  4. I think he looks great! Congrats on learning some new skills.


    March 19, 2014 at 8:20 am

  5. You must be having so much fun, and what a challenge to get animals to cooperate. How do you get them to pose? Tricks galore must be part of your toolkit for working with pet “models.” It’s so different than in their natural environment.


    March 19, 2014 at 9:07 am

    • Thanks Sally. Lots of tricks and silly noises to get their attention although sometimes, as with Gilley, you get a dog that is so well trained that they just listen.


      March 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

  6. Sweet and fantastic shot.


    March 19, 2014 at 9:45 am

  7. What a gorgeous photo. I’ve always been intimidated by indoor lighting. Maybe I need to learn a bit more about it. Your photo gives me inspiration.


    March 19, 2014 at 10:25 am

    • Thanks Maralee. I was very initimidated by an indoor lighting set up and it really surprised me how much I liked it. Taking a workshop and learning in that type of environment is the perfect way to learn.


      March 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

  8. I love it! I’ve never shot with light either, but seems like you got the hang of it quickly. This shot is adorable and shows such personality! Love love!


    March 19, 2014 at 10:32 am

  9. I understand how addictive it is…I caught the lighting bug a wee while ago and love experimenting with speedlights. Would love to get into a studio and play round with some studio strobes. Enjoy this new-found facet of photography – it really does open up a whole new world of possibilities.


    March 19, 2014 at 12:22 pm

  10. Smashing picture Edith. I love border collies! There are border collie pups at the next farm along and I would love to give one of them a home but walking a dog is problematic. That said, with a border collie I could send him/her into the field next door to chase a ball and not worry about the dog coming back once trained, unlike a terrier for example.. 🙂


    March 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    • Thanks so much Adrian. I love Border Collies ans well and after working with Gilley I love them even more. Gilley listened and did what was asked of him more then some people I know 🙂


      March 19, 2014 at 2:03 pm

  11. wonderful portrait


    March 19, 2014 at 1:32 pm

  12. Edith, this is hands down your best portrait yet. Maybe I haven’t seen them all, but this is the most perfect shot I’ve seen from you… congratulations!!

    I would assume that you used constant lighting for this? It’s probably the best way to go with animals so they don’t get freaked out by a flash.

    I LOVE using off-camera flashes and have been practicing with them since the fall. Henry’s has a couple of good economical 2-light constant light systems that are probably $150-200 that would probably be just fine.

    I’ve never shot in a real studio, but I’ve started doing some on-location portraits and I love it.

    Can’t wait to see more of your stuff.


    March 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    • Hi Shane. Thanks so much for your kind comments. It was actually a flash unit with an octobox on it and the dogs were ok with it. I’m lucky because I have a photographer friend who has a couple of lights that he’s not using right now so I’m going to borrow them from him for the short term. I hope to get the lights next week.


      March 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      • Oh wow, I’ve always assumed that the constant flashing would bother the dogs… or any animals. That’s interesting. I have a couple of Yongnuo 560II flashes. They’re not TTL, but they work really well and only cost about $60-80 online vs comparable Canon/Nikon flashes. Glad you’re able to borrow some from a friend though.

        Keep at it!


        March 19, 2014 at 3:06 pm

  13. good lighting… but what matters most is the expression on his face. beautiful portrait.


    March 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm

  14. Fantastic portrait and lighting, Edith. I need to work on my off-camera flash techniques and with this post you’ve given me encouragement. I agree with the above- it’s not only the great lighting, your timing with this little guy is wonderful.


    March 19, 2014 at 4:07 pm

  15. It is so moving!


    March 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

  16. Oh, that face!!!


    March 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm

  17. That is a great portrait!!!!! Love it!
    I always take pics of my two Border Collies out in the nature…I think it is very difficult to take care of the correct light and of the dog, everything at the same time!!!!
    You have a gift!!!
    Hope to see more! 🙂 🙂


    March 20, 2014 at 5:36 am

  18. Very nice Edith, lighting is fun for sure when you get the bug, have fun, look forward to seeing more


    March 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

  19. LB

    oh my gosh you are so good at this!


    March 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  20. rigmover

    A very cool looking dog, great capture Edith.


    March 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  21. I love this shot! Beautiful!


    April 1, 2014 at 9:12 am

  22. Pingback: 2014 A Year in Review | Edith Levy Photography

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