Thursday, September 19, 2013

Behind the scenes at a pet portrait shoot

Jenny Parker points her lens in Phil's direction. Note he is pointing his nose in my direction. But she studied his moves and they fell into a rhythm. That, folks, is what makes a pet photographer as opposed to a happy snapper.
Those who know the SAT team (ie me) well know that I am pretty keen with a camera. Those who know the team really well know that I might have several thousand photos of a certain white fluffy someone. But sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can produce a photo that is a bit different.

Anyway, in the interests of quality time we decided we'd book a session with Shoot-Ya-Pooch photographer Jenny Parker. Pet-portraits are the modern family portrait. 

Taking photos of cute animals might seem like the ideal job, but watching Jenny in action made me realise how patient you have to be. Phil really put her through her paces - forcing her to get down on a yoga mat to shoot him from the right angle, walking out of shot just as she pressed the shutter button, and pretending not to hear her say his name. Beyonce wouldn't be a bigger diva.

I was the typically stage mum, saying "ummm, he won't do that because..." or "he can't stand in that position because..."

That was the first twenty minutes. Then he started to really relax...(that may have coincided just slightly with the introduction of some chicken cubes) and made a total liar of me. When I said "oh, there's no way he will sit still there..." he sat still, looked down the barrel of the lens and tilted his head like Taylor Swift.

Malibu watches Jenny work.
During the shoot we met Jenny's dog Malibu, who made off with some of the props and undertook some earnest quality control on the chicken cubes. If you want to see some of the shots, there's a preview on Jenny's Facebook page (click here).

Malibu: "I think this plush pink giraffe is safer over here where I can mouth him protectively."