Macy

I was recently contacted by a fellow photography student about photographing her roommate’s dog. I agreed, as I am always looking for new models. I had no idea what kind of dog I would be shooting this week, so I wasn’t sure what all to bring and how to prepare. Luckily, Macy, the dog in question, was a natural.

Macy is a (shepherd?) mix adopted from Wayside Waifs. She is 16 months old and loves people. Macy has a lot of energy and was easy to photograph. Dogs with a lot of personality usually yield better results than ones who tend to just lay still and fall asleep. I’ve seen all types of dogs in the studio and one question I always get from owners is, “was my dog bad?” I  find it funny when puppy parents think their dog was bad, when in reality, they are just being a dog, and I got awesome shots. Sometimes it takes a rowdy dog to get a dynamic image. I work with all types and know the tricks to getting them comfortable around the camera. I’ve photographed 8 week old puppies to 15 year old senior dogs, so there really are no surprises left. Macy had typical adolescent/puppy behavior, but she was very sweet and was eager to please, so of course she wasn’t “bad”!

Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot. Like always, check my flickr for the full set: HERE

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

Macy © Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | http://www.hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Fatz Meow

Going through my portfolio photography class this semester, I have come to the conclusion that I need to expand my shooting away from just dogs. I decided to ask a photo friend to help me out. Tara was a graduate student at UCM in the photography department. She graduated this December, but is still in Warrensburg, so I asked her to bring in her cat, Bonnie. Bonnie (aka “Fatz Meow,) is a 16-year old Maine Coon/calico mix.

I grew up with cats my whole life, so I was nervous about bringing one into the studio. Whenever we’d take our cats anywhere, they’d run away and hide. Not Bonnie. Tara walked into the studio carrying her, and she seemed chilled and relaxed like it was no big deal. I set up a table top with black plexiglass, and Bonnie immediately flopped down and made herself at home on it.

I soon learned that photographing cats is much harder than dogs. Dogs are constantly on the go, bursting with energy, which makes it easy to capture dynamic and humorous images. Cats, however, do what they want, when they want. Bonnie was displeased whenever we made her be upright for more than 30 seconds. She just wanted to laze around on the table. I think it’s much easier to create serious, dramatic portraits with cats, but it’s not so easy to get images that make the viewer laugh.

I also had to revamp my approach to photographing cats. With dogs, if you make an odd, high-pitched noise, they instantly grant you their attention. Cats, however, could care less that you’re making a fool of yourself by squealing at them. Also, dogs will do ANYTHING for peanut butter. Tara brought in tuna for Bonnie, which she liked, but she still wouldn’t really do anything other than sit still, looking pretty for it. It’s a different world with cats, but I still really enjoyed the photo shoot. I always like to challenge myself by trying new things. You never know what you could end up with.

The whole set can be viewed on my Flickr page: HERE

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Little Nickey

Last week a fellow photo student, Laura Phillips, approached me and asked if I’d like to photograph a shih tzu. Of course I said, “yes”! Her family had just adopted Nickey from a local animal shelter. Laura is the owner of Buzz and Pickles, the St. Bernard + chihuahua pair that I photographed last year. (HERE’S a refresher) Laura went on to explain that Nickey was in desperate need of a haircut, but she wanted to wait until after the shoot to give him one. As soon as she showed me pictures of him, I knew he was going to be a fun subject. Laura wanted to shoot Nickey on the gold background I photographed Buzz and Pickles on. She had made some large prints to hang in her girls’ rooms and wanted something matching for Nickey. Photographing on yellow/orange/red is always difficult with light colored dogs. The background  color will inevitably reflect into the dogs fur, making them match (which is a headache in Photoshop to correct.) We did some shots on the gold paper and then switched out for a more neutral pastel blue for the remainder of the shoot.

Being back in the studio with new dogs is always exciting. You never know the dog’s personality until you’re laying on the floor, with one hand on the camera and the hand other waving treats around.  I was used to Stoli’s relaxed demeanor–he is getting bored with the studio. Nickey was very excited about this new experience, and he still had his puppy energy (the vet guessed him to be about a year old). Keeping up with what seemed to be a bouncing mop was  challenging, yet fun. Maybe in the future I will do a shoot with him with his haircut. He won’t even look like the same dog!

As always, the whole set of photos can be viewed on my FLICKR

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

 

Stoli’s January Debut, Part II

Every Thursday this semester is a free day for me. It’s the one day a week where I don’t have any classes, and so far, I have made it one of the most productive days of the week. Today I decided to have Stoli in the studio again. I am trying to beef up my portfolio and make more potential winning Hallmark card images.
Last week during his shoot, I discovered Stoli will not move if there’s something secured to his head. I used this newly found wisdom to my advantage.

I came away with a LOT of cute and funny images, but I am only going to post a few here. In order to see them all (which I highly recommend,) you’ll have to visit my flickr page HERE.

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Stoli January Debut

The semester started back up on 1/9/12, and as a result, the photo lab and studios finally opened up this week. Since it’s only the 2nd week of classes, not many people are signed up to use the studios. I don’t have any classes on Thursdays, so I took advantage of the situation and decided to go into the studio for a fun shoot with Stoli. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I went in. Mostly, I just wanted to get back into the swing of things and get myself used to shooting in the studio again.
During the shoot, I felt like nothing was going right. I tried a new lighting setup and used higher powered strobes, and Stoli was not having it. I’m not sure if he was scared of the new lights or if they were too bright for him, but he would not cooperate. I was pleasantly surprised, however, when I came home and started reviewing images to find that there were a lot of ones that turned out rather well. I have around 50 good proofs of him from this shoot, and it’s incredibly hard for me to narrow it down to just a few to post to my blog, so if you get a chance, visit the whole set on my flickr page  HERE.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

He does NOT look happy!

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Stoli is the World's most interesting corgi

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Quick November Update

It doesn’t seem possible, but there’s only a month left to this semester. As every college kid knows, the last week before Thanksgiving break is one of the most stressful. Every teacher has an extremely “important” group project, paper, or hefty assignment that they have due before you leave.

For my nature and scenic class, our professor is having us turn in a portfolio of mounted prints. He offered us 12 categories and we are to fulfill at least eight different ones. Since many students aren’t able to meet those requirements yet, today’s class involved us going to Knob Noster and hiking in the state park in attempts to beef up our portfolios. The biggest issue with this is that everything is dead and brown at the moment. I didn’t get anything too spectacular as a result.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

After class, I was out and about with my camera and decided that it was about time for another Stoli mini-shoot. We played in the yard and he hammed it up for me.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli decided to dig a hole

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2011

Buddy and Maddie

Today, one of my photo friends,Anneka Clock, brought me her grandma’s Sheltie dogs to photograph. Buddy, the male, was very excited and happy to be in the studio. Maddie, the blue merle female, was a retired show-dog. She was very skittish and frightened of the studio. This made photographing a bit challenging, as most of the dogs that come in are bouncing off the walls and love to be fawned over and given treats. Luckily, another friend, Charlene Champion, joined us for the shoot and helped wrangle the dogs.

I was excited to photograph the Shelties. I had never shot a similar dog breed, and I figured it would bear some unique photos to beef up my portfolio.

(PS: If you are in the Kansas City area and have a dog or know someone who does, get in contact with me and we’ll try and set up a shoot. I am always looking for new models!)

Here are  few images from today’s session. You can check out all the proofs: HERE.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Buddy

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Maddie

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2011

Back by Popular Demand

I was sitting in my advanced studio class today when my professor asked me if I was going to be photographing Stoli soon. I hadn’t planned on it, since we did a shoot back in August and I hadn’t come up with any new ideas for him. I thought about it for a little bit and then decided to sign up for a studio time after the class. A couple of friends, family members, and classmates had been asking to see more of Stoli as well. I didn’t have any other earth-shattering plans for the evening besides doing laundry, so I figured a little session wouldn’t hurt.

I didn’t have a solid idea of what I wanted with this photo shoot going into it. I knew I wanted to try out a couple of different lighting set-ups, because I normally stick to the same thing for all my shoots. I chose the black background for Stoli, since UCM has only 5 color choices to pick from: black, white, blue, yellow, and orange. I photograph most of my dogs on blue because the orange and yellow are so neon that they reflect that color back into the fur of the dogs. I’m getting sick of shooting on blue, so PLEASE UCM, I implore you, buy different colors!! ( A little red, green, purple, brown never hurt anybody!)

This was my first time photographing Stoli without Curry there to help me wrangle him. It was much more difficult than I figured it would be, partially because there were other people in the studio coming and going, and Stoli felt like it was his duty to say “hi” to every one of them.

I ended up using a LOT of peanut butter, so his tongue is out of control in many of the photos. I think they’re kind of quirky and funny. It’s almost as if you could put a caption for many of them. I don’t think any of the images are mind-blowing, but it was a nice way to kill a little time tonight.

As always, the full set of proofs can be seen on my Flickr by clicking: HERE!

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Repeat Offender

Hallmark has officially announced the winners of their “Mother’s Day Unleashed” contest. I have been selected as a winner for the 2nd time! I have known for a month and a half, and it’s been tough keeping it semi-under wraps, but I can actually publicly announce it now! The card is currently for sale online. You can check it out by visiting their store: HERE. Also, I now have a “Repeat Card Star” page about me on the Hallmark home page, which you can check out: Here. (It’s not much, but it’s kind of cool having a link to all your cards on their page.)

Stella, The Italian Greyhound

I have been trying to work on my dog series when I have a bit of free time, (which isn’t often,) but I was lucky to have a friend from the photo program bring her Italian Greyhound puppy into the studio this afternoon for me to photograph. Stella is a 4-month old show dog puppy from Nebraska.

Normally with my dog work I use bright backgrounds and the same basic lighting setup. Stella seemed so much more elegant and graceful than all the other dogs that I had in the studio, so it seemed like a bright background would not be as effective as a dramatic one would be. I decided to go a different direction and instead of highlighting the funny moments like I normally do, I tried to go more fine art with this shoot. I have always been inspired by Tim Flach’s work, so I tried my hand at his type of styling. ( Tim Flach’s Website)

It’s a bit different from what I normally do, but of course I still have the fun photos in there.

This is a small sampling of the shoot, check out all the proofs by visiting my Flickr page: HERE

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Trying out my new watermark/Logo in the corner on this one

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

 All Images are copyrighted material | © Holly Hildreth 2011