Before and After Shelter photography – and my new lens!

Oct 16, 2012

Check out these adorable adoptable dogs in Raleigh! I had a great time as usual as the SPCA of  Wake County last Friday.  Even if I were able to make it there once a week, there would still be dogs I wouldn’t have a chance to photograph.  Which, is actually a GREAT thing! That’s mean adoptions are happening quickly!  The puppies are always scooped up pretty quickly so I focus my photography efforts on the older dogs, pit bulls and ones that have been there the longest.  Here are some of my latest photos of the pups and a look at their “before” shots.  The first photos of the dogs are usually taken right when they come in to the shelter. They are usually unsure of where they are and not yet in a routine so it’s tough for the staff to always have a happy and relaxed dog ready to “smile” for the camera.  The dogs don’t know they are about to be placed online for potential adopters far and wide to see…they just want to know what this new place is, what’s that smell and who their roommates are (oh yea, and when’s dinner!).  I LOVE bright photos and love to catch the dogs on the green turf, but depending on the time of day, shadows and the dog’s personality, that’s not always possible. There’s also a nice little platform/deck that provides for a nice neutral background to showcase the dog.

Sometimes even I have my own “before and after” shots.  The first photo below of Alexis was her first photo at the shelter.  I took the second and third. The first photo was taken about a week before the second.  She’s happy and I love the light in her eyes, but the shadows were harsh that afternoon and I could not for the life of me get her to perk her ears!  When I went back the next week, the ear were up and SNAP! Got her.  The second photo isn’t awful (in my humble opinion), but I just like the third better.

Now check out Barney!  This first photo reminds me of my Baxter.  Baxter is pretty adorable, but you wouldn’t always know it by his photos.  He concentrates so hard on nailing his trick/command and the treat that sometimes he looks like Barney does below in his first photo.  Or like THIS dog (the ultimate dog tease youtube sensation!).  One week later, Barney was doing nothing but smiling for me! MUCH BETTER!!!!

Last week’s adoptable photo shoot was particularly awesome because I was able to use my BRAND NEW  Canon 24-70mm lens! I’ve been drooling over this lens for quite some time.  I worked so hard this year to save up to buy it…and when I finally had the money…Canon discontinued it! What!?!? So they were only going to sell the newer version  that was about $800 and yes, improved, but not worth jumping up that much in price in my opinion and in other professionals that I consulted. I’ll spare you some of the photography nerd talk, but I would have rather purchased the original 24-70mm and have money left over for another lens.  So I had to wait…and wait…and wait…and wait for a used lens to come in to a local camera shop.  It was like Christmas day! I knew late Friday it was mine, but had to wait until Monday morning to actually get it in my hands. Holy moley it’s BEAUTIFUL!  It’s so crisp and sharp and is JUST the exact look that I wanted for my style of modern pet photography.  I could go on and on about it, but I will leave you with the two photos below as more examples of this amazing lens.  It’s from Canon’s L series and it’s one nice piece of glass!  I want to invest in only the best for my clients and am so happy to have this lens and now start shopping for my next! I may still do a later post just about this lens, but figured I better blog now before I forget and buried under more photos!