Monday, February 6, 2012

A Bucketful of Cute

I have a feeling Jonas will not be on the adoptable list for long. 
He was extremely darling and fun to photograph.  This lucky puppy is being fostered so he is not in the shelter and exposed to disease, and he is being socialized and trained by a family with children.  He is all ready for a forever home.  Call Friendswood Animal Control 281-996-3391

Friday, February 3, 2012

Difficult Shoots

We have had a rash of the most darling puppies lately at Friendswood Animal Control.  
It has really tried my resolve to not take one home.  I must keep repeating to myself:
"No more puppies, no more puppies, no more puppies..."

This little one was named Snowball temporarily, and she was adopted immediately.

I was very upset when I happened to look at my camera and see that it was set for the lowest quality jpg images...and no RAW at all.  Someone who shall remain nameless had used that camera the day before and I never thought to check that setting.  The small files were fine for the intended use of posting to Petfinder and Facebook and emailing (other than the fact I could not recover some blown highlights), but none are printable at anything larger than  4 x 6 inches, which pretty much breaks my heart.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lovable Laurel

Laurel is one of the sweetest cats I have ever photographed at a shelter.  She was so calm and content to stay in her cat condo, yet enjoyed being petted and playing with the feather toy too. Her round face and yellow eyes are adorable and I love those little black ear tips!  She is available for adoption at Friendswood Animal Control 281-996-3391


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ready for Liftoff

Those ears!  
Sweet Ramona is still a puppy so maybe she will grown into them...if not she can always play the canine version of Sally Field's character in The Flying Nun.
Ramona is available for adoption at Friendswood Animal Control 281-996-3391.

Friday, January 27, 2012


During my recent Basenji session, I also photographed each dog individually for head/shoulder portraits.  I shot them against a white background and added the pattern later in Photoshop.  These were made into Photographic Gallery Wraps like the couch composite and are all hanging in a wall grouping.



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another Composite

Again, Photoshop allowed me to create a composite from three separate images of these Basenjis on their couch.  And again, I learned some things that I need to think about the next time I shoot something similar --- first of all, don't have the dog with the darkest fur the farthest from the main light source!  Second, shoot from the same position for the most accurate result --- I moved directly across from each section of the couch for each dog and that made each image have a slightly different angle...not horrible but it would have been better to stay in the middle and shoot left, center and right from that position.  Third, bring a lint roller --- I spent a lot of time in post processing cloning away dog hair.  Neither of the composites I did for this family were planned before the photo session, they were the result of not being able to get all the dogs together in the same shot.
The end product of this image was a 14 x 42 inch canvas gallery wrap (that is why the composite above has the colored frame, it was wrapped back around the sides) and it turned out great:

 I do think the canvas would look even better larger.  It will hang with several other canvas portraits of the individual dogs and other items in a collection on the wall.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Stella and Stetson Are Movie Stars


These two dogs were found running down a street near the now-completed Friendswood Animal Control facility back in November 2011.  They may be brother and sister, and they are both striking looking dogs and very well behaved and friendly.  They know some commands, Stetson is neutered, they have managed to stay sweet after many weeks in a kennel.  Two months have gone by and no one has been interested in adopting them.  We have all been very worried about their chances of ever finding homes. 
But things are looking up ----  our shelter manager Lisa Bragg is married to Tom who is an Air Force pilot and also owns his own small plane which he uses as part of Pilots N Paws rescue to relay animals who need to get from a shelter to either a rescue or an adopter in another part of the US.  Tom answered a Facebook request for Subaru owners who were also involved in Pilots N Paws and he and Lisa were chosen to be in a Subaru commercial!  It was filmed last week in Friendswood and in Galveston with a complete New York production team (makeup artists, wardrobe people, director, grips, camera men, USA network executive, catering, an RV, the whole she-bang), and Stella and Stetson were the dogs who played the part of being rescued.  The commercial will air during the Westminster Dog Show in Feb on the USA network.  The dogs were filmed at the new facility one day, and then another day for 12 hours in Galveston and it will be very interesting to see how much air time they actually end up with.  The exposure on Facebook has brought more attention to them and now there are some potential families interested.  The dogs may not stay together, and the families still have to pass home visits and background checks, but it looks like Stella and Stetson have a good chance at last of having real homes.  I love happy endings!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank You Photoshop

Of course the photographer just about always prefers to "get it right in the camera", but when you are trying to shoot 3 untrained canines, I am so glad there is the option of compositing them.  This is one image where I shot each dog separately on the window sill, pretty much in the spot they are in the final image, and combined them in Photoshop.  I learned a lot with this shoot back on the fall...and only hope I will remember when/if I attempt something similar again.
 I used one of my Alien Bee 800 lights with the octabox. The light reflected in the window but we moved it as far left as we could to get the reflection out of the frame.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Precious Puppies

 This darling is Cassie, a Border Collie mix puppy. She is one of 37 animals waiting to be adopted from Friendswood Animal Control.  The new facility is beautiful and spacious, but not big enough for all of the animals that are coming in these days.  It is very hard to see such sweet young puppies like Cassie here in a shelter environment, waiting for a home.  Please spread the word if you know anyone who may be interested in adopting to check out Friendswood 281-996-3391.


Cassie came in with the other puppy pictured below with her, Tasha.  Tasha is pretty darn cute too, but a little too fast for my camera that day.  She was often blurry!
They are both available for adoption.  

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Best Name Ever

This is Sir Meows A Lot!  He is such a friendly, curious cat and he is very vocal --- he likes to tell you everything he is thinking...if only we could understand it.  He is a small cat with a body and face shape like a Siamese.  And he is waiting for a forever home at Friendswood Animal Control 281-996-3391.

 I really like how fun shots can be when using a wide-angle lens.  This was shot with a 17-35mm at 24mm.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Precious Puppiness

This is Ford and he was a lot of fun to photograph last week.  I am now shooting at the new animal shelter in Friendswood, and I really like being able to have the cats, kittens, puppies and small dogs off leash in a small "meet and greet" room.  Here I set up a table which helps keep them in one spot and I have a helper who stands just out of the frame to keep the animals from jumping off and getting hurt.  The walls are painted a taupe which I was happy to see at first because the wall color in a small room can really reflect on the animals, but now I am getting tired of it so brought a green microfiber throw and put it over my Scrim Jim reflector propped on some chairs behind the table.  Ford was adopted the next day!