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

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Harley

Harley

© Holly Hildreth 2012 Continue reading

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

Guinness

This week in my advertising class we were given a mock-up layout from a “client”. The layout was a drawn design depicting a scene with a product that the client wanted photographed for a full-page magazine ad. Our job was to interpret the layout and make decisions based on aesthetics and the client’s needs. The layout pictured a bottle next to a bowl containing some sort of food. I interpreted the layout as a beer bottle with “bar food” next to it.
I had the studio reserved this morning to knock out my assignment, so I headed to the grocery store before my shooting. I picked up 2 six-packs of Guinness. The cashier gave me a strange look. Apparently not many people buy alcohol at 9am on a Thursday, haha!

The shoot went fairly well. It was a nice change of pace to photograph something that stays still! After photographing the required assignment, I played around a little bit and took some more visually dynamic and (let’s face it,) more interesting shots

The only downside of the day is that I think my camera is in its death throws. The shutter would freeze and wouldn’t open back up unless I physically removed the battery and then reinserted it. I REALLY hope everything will be ok, but my camera is getting pretty old! Cross your fingers!

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

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© 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

Jill, Cory, and Peanut

During Thanksgiving break, a couple contacted me about getting family pictures taken. They had found me through a Google search and liked the work I did with dogs. They had a chihuahua, named Peanut, that they wanted to include in their family photos and thought they’d give me a try. It had been a while since I had done formal portraits outside of my part-time job, so I was excited to try some new things out. Jill, Cory, and Peanut were great to work with, so the session went fairly smoothly. It was nice to have creative freedom again. At work you have to follow a rigid set of rules and you don’t get much room to be creative or have fun with a shoot. So, this was a nice change of pace. Here are a few photos from the shoot. (To see all the proofs, visit my Flickr)

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

All Images are © Holly Hildreth 2011 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.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

 

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

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

Stoli’s Studio Shoot

Mid-Program is looming overhead like a big, black thundercloud. In order to try and prepare myself as best as I can before I get raked over the coals by my professors’ jury panel, I figured I would try to get a lot of diverse animal shooting in before the week of Mid-Program. I initially started my wildlife/animal portrait series by shooting exclusively at zoos, but after being inspired by amazing photographers like Tim Flach, William Wegman, Eliott Erwitt, and Nick Brandt, I decided that it was time to step into the studio and see what I could come up with. Since classes haven’t gotten hot and heavy yet, the studio was open and free for the taking. (I think I am the only one who rushes into the studio to work ahead when we have a winter storm warning dumping eight inches of snow on us!) Anyway, I tried to hash out a few different ideas that I had circulating in my head. The execution wasn’t all there, but some of the ideas were difficult technically and visually, (and it didn’t help that Stoli was more interested it playing fetch than he was in sitting still! Luckily my boyfriend, Andrew Curry, was a good sport and helped me wrangle the little guy).

Here are a few of the images from today’s shoot. As always, you can see all the proofs by visiting my flickr. Here’s the link to a slideshow of today’s collection: More Photos Here

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

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© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli and Studio

The semester is finally winding down, and although the sweet relief of Christmas break is in sight, it also means I am ridiculously overwhelmed with the amount of assignments the teachers all pilled on. I got into the studio today to try and cross off one of the millions of projects hovering over my head. Our “final” project for Intro to Studio was completely open. I have been really inspired recently by some dynamic studio portraits of dogs that I have stumbled upon, so I wanted to try my hand using Stoli. I mostly wanted to have fun with the assignment. I am so stressed out with everything else this semester that I didn’t want to kill myself off with this shoot. So, I grabbed Stoli and Andrew and headed to the studio. I tried two different concepts. I’m not sure which one I like better. One is definitely more abstract than the other, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

 

 

Of course no post would be complete without a photo of Stoli being a clown!