Spotlight on Stoli

I promised in my previous post that I’d create an entry just about Stoli’s photo shoots in the last 6 months. Well, there are too many photos to post so I’m going to just add a few of my favorites.

Stoli continues to be my photographic go-to. Previous to moving into this new condo, I almost exclusively photographed him in the studio. I’ve been trying to push myself to do more mixed lighting of flash and sunlight as well as on-location lighting around the house. I also use him to test out new techniques, like high-speed photography.

I’ve got him so conditioned to recognize that photos mean treats that as soon as I snap the clasps to open up my camera bag, he literally comes running. It’s almost hard to photograph other things while he’s around as he thinks it’s his time to shine. I actually had a set-up of roses I was doing macro shots on, and he kept putting his head between me and the subjects as if to say, “hello, I’m here. Why are you photographing that? I’m the real star here!”

Anyway, here’s your serving Stoli.

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Catching a treat

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Stoli loves mistletoe

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Losing a snowball fight…

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Catching a treat

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Modeling our rings

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

Columbus, Ohio pet photography by Holly Hildreth

There will be more Stoli shots, but if need another strong fix between now and then, you can always stop by my flickr for more photos: hhildrethphoto flickr

All photos are © Holly Hildreth | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

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Cars, Condos, Corgis and other Canines

I’m finally all settled in to my new condo. After weeks of individually moving box by box up three flights of stairs on my own, my parents came out to help me move the big things. Although I love my new place, I HATE the steps! My parents got here around midnight on Thursday, and we moved my things all day Friday. I think it took us all a week to recover, but on the bright side, we’re all stair masters with buns-o-steel.

After moving on Friday, we spent Saturday car shopping. I had only ever had 2nd hand cars my whole life. My first car was a 1989 Oldsmobile Aurora that my sisters previously drove. It was louder than a jackhammer and about as pretty as one too. Then we got my 97′ Oldsmobile Aurora. (At the time it was only 10 years old and had lots of goodies). I loved that car. It had more steel in it than a tank and was pretty loaded for a car from the 90’s.

Anyway, in the last year it was burning through engine coolant at a concerning rate. Since December it was running through a full tank of coolant about ever 2-3 weeks. We took it to a mechanic and they suspected the head gasket was going to go. It would cost double what the car was worth to fix it. We decided to be proactive rather than reactive and get a new car before it became a serious issue.

So, we headed to the dealerships. The two most important life lessons I learned that day were: I am too nice to be aggressive with a sales person, and I think buying a car involves more paperwork that executing your Will. Anyway, long story short: I ended up buying a new 2013 Hyundai Elantra LTD, fully loaded. It wasn’t what I thought I’d get, but the dealership was able to get me a great deal on the car and gave me double what the Aurora was worth in trade-in. I was sad to see the Aurora (fondly dubbed the HMS Hildreth, as it was longer than a yacht and got worse gas mileage than one) go, but I am absolutely loving the new car!

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Goodnight Sweet Prince

 

Hello 38 mpg!

Hello 38 mpg!

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On that Sunday we went to the Ohio State Fair. State Fairs are my parents’ jam, and they are forever in search of a State Fair great enough to rival the Iowa State Fair (Spoiler alert: It’s impossible. There are none.) The Ohio State fair was pretty good, and we could not have asked for better weather. It was sunny and 75 with a light breeze. This is unheard of for the Iowa Sate Far, where if you don’t at least toe the line of heat exhaustion and cardiac arrest, then you’re clearly not doing it right.

We always have to get some fair food, because it is the highlight of any state fair. This year I got the “Roast beef Sundae” because it would be straight-up un-american not to.  I was not disappointed.

fairfood

 

My parents had to leave early on Monday morning, so we didn’t have any time to do much else. It was great to see them again and I was so thankful for their help.

For the last month I have been working to organize a corgi meet-up. I still don’t really know anyone outside of work and thought “what better way to meet awesome people than by hosting a corgi gathering?” I made a couple flyers and posted them to facebook, imgur, tumblr, and a handful of corgi blogs and websites. The night before the event I had 12 people who has RSVP’d that they’d come. It rained all morning the day of, so I figured not many would come. I showed up 30 minutes early incase we had anyone roll in before the event started. I was the only one there. 15 minutes after the event started, I was still the only one there. At this point I chalked it up to no one was coming, and I was just going to spend the day at the beach with Stoli.

The minute that first corgi entered the park, I got so excited. I was totally not prepared for how good of a turn-out we ended up having! We had between 50 and 60 corgis at the park at one time during the peak of the day. Everyone was so excited for the event, and I have been getting tons of emails requesting more gatherings. I was tickled that it was such a success. There are very few things in life I’d rather do than sit on the beach surrounded by corgis.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

 

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My little chunk

Beautiful Cardigan Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

Beautiful Cardigan Welsh Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

 

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Even got Stoli, the dog who’s so scared of water he won’t walk through a puddle, to “swim”. He wouldn’t go any deeper than his chest, but still that’s impressive.

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Another cute Cardigan Welsh Corgi

 

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Cuteness mixed with chaos

Cuteness mixed with chaos

 

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Stoli leading the pack

Stoli leading the pack

 

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Last week I was contacted by one of the volunteer coordinators for the humane society I take photos for. She wanted photos of Jace, her blind lab/beagle mix. We had to reschedule the first time because the weather hasn’t been too cooperative this week, but we were able to get some photos in on Tuesday night. Jace is such a happy-go-lucky little guy who’s just full of love. He plays fetch like a champ and doesn’t let his lack of vision slow him down.

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Perhaps the best news is that my fiance will be moving out here in EIGHT days! I’m so thoroughly excited. We’ve been living in different time zones for over a year and a half, so It will be amazing to have him here with me again. I can not wait! He’ll get here on Friday and start college at OSU on Monday. He’s very nervous with OSU being an absolute behemoth of a college, but I know he’ll be fine. It’ll be quite exciting to start the next chapter together!

 

All photos and content are ©Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

 

 

It’s December?

I’ll be honest. It’s been two months since my last post, and I have no great excuse as to why I’ve been off the radar. I have been dreading writing this update as so much and yet so little has happened in the last two months that I’m not sure what to say. I know 99% of the people who come here do so only for Stoli photos, so I didn’t want to bore everyone with a long and drawn-out rehashing of my existence for the last six weeks. So, I’ll be brief.

In early October, my work sent me on a business trip to do some shooting around the state of Texas. I can’t post the photos, which is killing me. I also can’t say too terribly much, but it was an amazing experience. Here are some low-quality pictures I snapped on my cell phone:

I got to spend a day on the beach in Galveston

I got to spend a day on the beach in Galveston

I held and fed this little guy, which pretty much completed my whole life.

I held and fed this little guy, which pretty much completed my whole life.

Oh, and I got to drive NASA's brand new, $4 million Lunar Rover. All in a day's work...

Oh, and I got to drive NASA’s brand new, $4 million Lunar Rover. All in a day’s work…

All-in-all the trip was a blast and I’d do it again in a heart beat. Besides getting paid to have what seemed like a vacation filled with shooting, I learned a valuable life lesson: flying makes me hurl. This was only my 2nd time ever flying (yes, I know: Gasp! Shock! Remember people, I lived under a giant rock named, “Iowa,” for 18 years and then was too broke to travel once I got out). Anyway, I discovered the wonders of Dramamine but was still quite an unhappy camper whenever I neared an airport. (I am dreading flying home for Christmas. If anyone has any good nausea-reduction flying tips, let me know!)

Since getting back from Texas, I have been trying to keep busy shooting for myself outside of work. I still have no models and don’t know anyone who doesn’t work in the same building as me, so mostly my shots are of Stoli. Which, I suppose that’s ok–it keeps his “fan club” happy. He’s becoming more of a celebrity. I made an international sale of one of my dog photos to a firm in the UK a few weeks back and then was contacted by an advertising agency wanting to use Stoli’s photo for an advertising campaign for Mentos. Additionally I just had a woman in Germany contact me about turning Stoli’s photos into puzzles for a Christmas present. This kind of stuff isn’t “the big leagues” per say, but I still think that it is really cool to see where Stoli is ending up.

Over Thanksgiving my parents drove out here to spend some time with me. It was great to see them again, and amazing to have people I actually know here. I was actually able to go out and do normal social activities! (It’s far less awkward going out to eat or to the movies when you’re not alone.) For Thanksgiving, my mom prepared an awesome meal. I was so psyched to have home-cooked food again. My dad carved the turkey, and of course Stoli “helped”.

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My parents stayed for a week, and then my boyfriend flew out for two days. It was so good to see him again, even if it was just for a short while. We did some shopping, went on an adventure to Cincinnati/Kentucky, and took in a movie. I also got him hooked on the show Breaking Bad, which is perhaps the single most addicting show of all time.

Cincinnati Skyline as seen from the Kentucky side

Cincinnati Skyline as seen from the Kentucky side. © Holly Hildreth 2012

We visited the Newport (KY) Aquarium. I was entirely too excited to see a real octopus. It was very dark, so this is the only photo I got of him

We visited the Newport (KY) Aquarium. I was entirely too excited to see a real octopus. It was very dark, so this is the only photo I got of him. © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andy and I with the Christmas decorations on the riverwalk in Newport, KY

Andy and I with the Christmas decorations on the riverwalk in Newport, KY

That pretty much brings us up to date. December will be a super busy month. It’s my 23rd birthday on Friday (which I am dreading. Birthday’s aren’t fun when you have no family or friends around to help you celebrate). Then I will be flying home to Iowa for about a week to spend Christmas with my family. I’ll try to be better at blog-keeping and plan on having a post later in December.

And now the part you’ve really come here to see: STOLI PICTURES!

Ok, this isn't a Stoli picture, but I just wanted to share the view from my apartment parking lot in October.

Ok, this isn’t a Stoli picture, but I just wanted to share the view from my apartment parking lot in October.
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The shooting of the previous shot. I got a background stand and seamless paper for my b-day/Xmas. I don’t have enough room in my apartment so I had to use my kitchen countertop as a table.

…And now to get you into the Christmas spirit…

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012. DO NOT USE WITHOUT DIRECT WRITTEN CONSENT

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Photos are © Holly Hildreth 2012. Do NOT use for any reason without direct written consent | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

Autumn’s Arrival

It’s been about a month since my last post, so I thought it was time to bring you some brand-new eye-candy. I have kept very busy with my job, and I now live in a new area of Columbus, so I haven’t done a lot of exploring/photo adventures lately. I do, however live about a mile from one of Columbus’s Metro Parks, and I have stopped by a few times on nice nights with Stoli in tow for a couple quick on-the-go photo shoots. I haven’t been able to shoot as much at work, so I need to do some shooting on my own to satisfy my inner photographer. The leaves are just changing now, so I hope to get out and take many more Fall pictures before the beautiful color is all gone.

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

High Banks Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Sharon Woods Metro Park
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens

Inniswood Metro Gardens
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Fall foliage can make for some interesting black and whites
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio © Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio

Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Sunset at Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio

Sunset at Inniswood Metro Gardens, Westerville, Ohio
© Holly Hildreth 2012

…And what blog post would be complete without a few Stoi pictures. Since moving into my own place in Columbus, Stoli hasn’t had another dog to keep him company. He’s not a fan of having no partner in crime while I am gone during the day, but he finds ways to entertain himself, like sitting on top of the laundry basket, looking out the window, and half-barking at the people (and other dogs) who walk by.

And other times he just gets lazy

And other times he just gets lazy
© Holly Hildreth 2012

Since I really don’t know anyone yet, I don’t think I’ll really be celebrating Halloween like I did in Missouri, but while at the pet store, I saw a costume that I just had to get Stoli. Charlene Champion, who is one of my good friends from college, is obsessed with gnomes, so I couldn’t pass up this gnome costume, complete with an attached beard.

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

gnome corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

But of course if the gnome idea doesn’t work out, there’s always the classic ghost costume…

ghost costume, corgi

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2012. Do NOT use without direct written consent | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

Movin’ on Up

Well, lots of things have happened since my last post, and instead writing of some nice introduction, I’m going to just jump right in.

My internship with McGraw-Hill Companies School Education Group ended August 10th. BUT, I signed a contract as an image specialist with them, so I am full-time now! During my internship I was subleasing a place in the Short North area of Columbus. My sublease ended September 1st, so I needed to find a new place. As just a heads-up, if you ever plan to move to the Columbus area, DO NOT do so when Ohio State is moving back. I checked out over 30 apartments, and all but 2 had waiting lists to get in backed up until the end of October. As a result I didn’t have a lot of choices for apartments. I ended up finding one–it’s more than I wanted to pay, but like I said, it was slim picking! I am now 10 miles closer to work which is nice, but it takes me twice as long to get to the office, which is not so nice.

Since I was subleasing, when I came out to Ohio in May, everything I brought fit in the trunk of my car. I only brought Stoli (plus his things,) my clothes, and a rubbermaid drawer for toilertries. This meant that moving into a new place, I needed to get all of my belongings out here to Ohio. The problem was that 1/2 of my stuff went home with my parents to Iowa when I graduated, and the other half stayed spread out between my boyfriend’s house and my friend’s garage. So, in order to recover my things, I took my very first plane ride (shocking, I know. I lived under a rock for 20-some years though,) back to Kansas City.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The view on my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Kansas City. We wre flying above a rain storm.
© Holly Hildreth 2012

My first time flying was only mildly traumatic, but that’s another story. It was great to be back in Kansas City. Even though I had only been gone for four months, I missed it (well, mostly I missed the people.) My boyfriend worked every day save for two and was on the opposite sleep schedule from me, but it was so good to see him again! We were able to go to our favorite restaurant, Fogo de Chão on the Plaza in Kansas City. While we were there, I took a few pictures to remember KC by.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station, Kansas City, MO
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station at sunset
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Liberty (WWI) Memorial
© Holly Hildreth 2012

The rest of the week was spent packing boxes and trying to see friends while I could, as I have no idea when I’ll be able to make it back to the area. One of my good friends adopted an English Mastiff named Baby-Girl. Although she’s gigantic, she’s a giant teddy bear, so of course I had to take a few photos.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Baby-Girl
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

At the end of the week, my dad and uncle came down to Kansas City from Iowa with a trailer and we loaded up most of my stuff. The drive from Kansas City to Columbus is about 12 hours. With help, I was unable to move and unpack almost everything.

180 degree view of the kitchen and living room at my new place

The bathroom.

My new bedroom

I got crafty. I know it’s hard to see, but on the left I cut out the shape of the state of Ohio from a Columbus map. On the right we have the state of Missouri I cut out of a Warrensburg map, and the middle it says, “Home is where the heart is”.

Living room

Kitchen and breakfast bar

My door is on the left-hand side. I live under the stairs like a troll

My building. The bottom right is my little patio

One of the entrances to my apartment complex and the tennis courts

No Apartment is complete without a pool

Things are still a whirlwind. I have been super busy at work–I photographed Mitt Romney and President Obama before going to Missouri. I am trying to shoot outside of work so I have new photos to post. I’ll keep you updated.

All Photos and Content are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.com

Democrats, Dogs, and 9 more Days

I’ve got nine days remaining on my internship, and it has been 2 weeks since my last post, so I thought I was due for another installment. Time has been blurring by–I have no idea where the month of July has gone. It seems like just a couple weeks ago I was saying a tearful goodbye to everyone in Missouri, and now I’m getting ready to say goodbye to Ohio. I’m bummed to have to leave as I have loved my experience, but it will be nice to see some familiar faces again.

I’ve covered a variety of subjects in the last two weeks–some of them you may just recognize!

Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

First Lady Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama

Atticus the cat

A Pulley and weight on a grandfather clock

Oscar the Poodle

A man shears a sheep at the Ohio State Fair

some things are just better in black and white

A double-dapple dachshund

A Doberman does the weave poles during an agility competition

Bokeh the Frisbee Dog

A mother sheep and her newborn lamb

I’m headed out almost every day this week with a lot of new shoots lined up. Stay tuned for new photos.

Photos © Holly Hildreth/McGraw-Hill Companies 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship with Photoshop

Photoshop is probably the greatest asset and one of the biggest downfalls of photography. On the positive side, it allows you to fix anything and everything that might be wrong with a photo. Dust on your sensor, no problem–Spot Healing Brush to the rescue! Unwanted items in your shot? Never fear, that’s what the clone stamp was made for! But on the flip side, any amateur can take a mediocre photo and jazz it up in photoshop. The only thing that deters some amateurs from using Photoshop is its mass complexity. They’re much more comfortable messing around on sites like Piknik.com, where you don’t need any photography training to edit your photo. Photoshops absurd price is another deterrent, but only to those who either don’t know how to or are too honest to pirate.

As a photographer, you’re taught to get everything right in-camera. The phrase that gets slung at you in the photo department is, “You’re only making money when you’re behind the camera. When you’re wasting time editing in Photoshop, you’re losing money”. It makes sense, as when you charge a client to do a shoot for them, you charge for the images, not the countless hours you spend in a darkened room, hunched over a computer screen.

So why all this rambling about wonderful, horrible Photoshop? Well, because I’m an addict. My favorite thing to do is take pictures, but my 2nd favorite is to spend hours editing them. Sometimes I get more excited for the editing than I did for the shoot. As a result, I signed up for advanced digital imaging at UCM this semester. Mostly we’ve been focusing on the artistic side of Photoshop. At first I was upset, as I thought it’d be more important to learn the intricacies of photo editing not covered in any of my other Photoshop courses, but now toward the end of the semester, I am beginning to have fun with the assignments.

Today we were assigned to do a “Levitation Portrait”. I have had some people ask me how I pulled these photos off, so here’s the short explanation. We had to take a photo of someone in an odd position, balancing on a chair. After we took that shot, where we were to remove the person and chair and take a photo of the scene empty. Through the magic of photoshop and a lot of squinting at the screen while masking the two photos together, we were able to make images look like someone was levitating in a scene. Normally you’re supposed to use a small stool, but I didn’t have one, so I had to use a folding chair, which proved to be much more work for me to do in Photoshop. I actually really enjoyed putting these together, and  I think this may be an idea that I continue to explore. Here are a couple of my self-portraits.  (If you’re interested in the more technical version of how to create these images, let me know.)

Levitation © Holly Hildreth 2012

Levitation © Holly Hildreth 2012

Another Photoshop Leviathan I tackled today was my ad campaign series for my advertising class. An ad campaign is a series of similar-looking images that are all trying to pitch the same thing. Each ad is different, but as a whole, they are cohesive and resemble one another. For my ad campaign, I did a series for Petfinder.com. For those of you not familiar with the site, Petfinder is a website animal shelters and rescue groups use to post pets looking for homes. I tried to make my series lighthearted and fun and went with the idea of “personal ads”. Here are my 3 ads.

Campaign series © Holly Hildreth 2012

TEXT READS:
Name: Macy
Likes: Long walks on the beach, cuddling on the couch, rolling in roadkill.
Dislikes: Thunder, the mailman, cats.
Could YOU be my soulmate?

TEXT READS:
Name: Stoli
Likes: Table food, commandeering dirty socks, and the poodle down the street
Dislikes: Being called fat, the strange man who brings the pizza, and the vacuum
Could YOU be my soulmate?

Campaign series © Holly Hildreth 2012

TEXT READS:
Name: Harley
Likes: Car rides with the windows down, peanut butter, and playing catch
Dislikes: Squirrels, high-pitched noises, and bath time.
Could YOU be my Soulmate?

If you couldn’t tell, I spent all night on Photoshop, but I consider it time well spent! It’s not work if you enjoy doing it.

Oh, and if you didn’t notice, my URL has changed! I bought a domain, so there is no more .wordpress! It’s just plain old http://www.hhildrethphoto.com . (If you type the old URL : http://www.hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com, it’ll still route you here, don’t worry!)

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.com

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

All Creatures Great and Small

I had another chance to do some studio animal portraits yesterday, and I was really excited as these were the first dogs that were older than eight months and weren’t bouncing off the walls with an insane amount of puppy energy. However, this shoot was much different than the other for more than one reason. I had only photographed one animal at a time at all shoots previous to this one, so doing two at once, seemed a bit more challenging. To make the photo shoot more interesting, the two dogs I was shooting at the same time happened to be a Chihuahua and a St. Bernard. I couldn’t think of two more opposite breeds! The photo shoot went well though.

I had a few technical problems in the beginning. For those readers who aren’t as photographically savvy, I’ll try to simplify the best I can. For most of the shoots I use a roll of seamless paper hung about 7 feet high of a bar. The seamless paper is just as it sounds. A giant roll of paper, probably 12 foot (or so,) wide and you unroll what you need to go across the floor and cover the background. (Think giant, colorful roll of expensive toilet paper, haha). After consulting with some professors, we decided that to get the effect I want with these images, it was best to choose bright, vibrant colors to bring out the humor in the photographs. I had done my last two shoots on dark blue paper, so I thought that a bright red would be best for the St. Bernard and Chihuahua. I drug out the paper and started hanging it (which is a laborious, time consuming ordeal when done without help, at least for me it is.) I got it up only to discover that whoever last used it had totally trashed it. It was absolutely not usable. They had cut about 20 feet off the roll so all that was left was about 8 foot of tattered, torn, dirty paper. I then decided go for a gold paper. I put it on the metal bar that suspends it overhead. Once it was hung up, however, the whole thing unraveled into a mess on the ground. Whoever used it last had removed the cardboard tube that each roll is attached to that secures it in place, which makes hanging it up possible to start with. I tried to get the roll back in order and hung up, but soon discovered that it was very tattered too, and someone had patched up some of the holes using band-aids. (Classy AND stylish.) There were no other colors available, so I figured that I’d go with the gold. Overall, after looking at the photos from the shoot, I realized that I’m not the biggest fan of the color.

Laura Phillips, a classmate of mine, brought in her two dogs, and we got to shooting. The Chihuahua, named Pickles, was such a cuddly dog. He didn’t want to be more than a few inches away from anyone. He kept crawling into my lap as I was trying to shoot him. He looks a little scared in the photos, but he was just as happy as could be.

Then there was Buzz, the Saint Bernard. I totally underestimated how big he was! It’s not easy maneuvering a dog much bigger than me in such a small space. When he laid down he took up more space than the paper was wide, so I was only able to get close ups of him by himself.

Together the dogs seemed to play off each other. I was surprised two such different dogs got along so well. I love the humor in the photos. I feel like some of them could be used for caption contests, because the expressions are so priceless. Anyway, I’d love to post a few of the proofs like a normally do, but WordPress (the website that hosts my blog,) is saying “no”. I’ve uploaded a limit for my account apparently. They want me to pay extra money to get more photos…being that I’m poor, I’m not sure that’s going to happen, so you’ll have to visit my flickr page to get the images.

Flickr Slideshow of This Shoot

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011