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

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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

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 Dapper Side

School has been back in session for two weeks now, which means that the check-out lab and commercial studios are finally open and available for use again. I wanted to get back into the studio and do a practice shoot with Stoli before I started bringing real models in, so I could get back in the swing of things.

About 2 hours before my alloted studio time, my boyfriend’s roommate called me to let me know that Stoli ate an entire package of Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies while he was gone. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal since I hear my friends talking about their dogs eating whole bags of chocolate candy and being fine, but I figured I’d call the vet anyway.

Well, as it turns out, the vet told us we could either bring in Stoli ASAP for an emergency visit or we could give him 1/2 a cup of hydrogen peroxide every 5 minutes until he threw up everything in his stomach and had nothing left to vomit. We opted for option 2, as it was several hundred dollars cheaper.

It took a whole bottle of peroxide and about 45 minutes for Stoli to empty his stomach. He was not happy and refused to be near us. I tried giving him an ice cube for a treat, and he stuck his head out of his crate, grabbed the ice cube, and then went back into the crate and buried himself under the blankets.

The worst part was that he threw up all over himself and was drenched in perioxide. (The peroxide even bleached some of his fur and his collar.) We had to give him a bath, which he passionately hates.

After all that chaos, Stoli pretty much hated us. He was really excited, however, for a car ride. He was soon back to his normal self, and was overjoyed to be going to the studio. He loves all the attention he gets when we bring him in, and he knows that being in the studio means that he’s about to get A LOT of treats and attention paid to him.

(And to make up for his bad day we took him on a long walk and then today we took him to Knob Noster State Park on a long hike. He loves us again!)

The full set of proofs is on my flickr, which can been seen: HERE!

 

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli looks like a hamster or a bear.

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

What a little gentleman! © Holly Hildreth 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Kylie

A faculty member at UCM, Greg Sorell, approached me after mid-program asking if I would photograph his dog, Kylie. He and his wife had been following my work and loved what I had been doing. I was eager to get another opportunity in the studio, so we set up a meeting.

Kylie was a pretty laid-back dog. Greg told me that she is a lab/collie mix. She was 4-years old, so she was quite a bit more mellow than most of the other dogs that I have been shooting in the studio. It’s tough to get more dynamic action shots with older dogs as they are quite content to just sit and be adored. Kylie was very well-behaved and knew her basic commands, which makes it a lot easier to do the session. Greg and his wife were very helpful and willing to assist with the shoot.

Here are a few proofs. You can see the whole session on my flickr by clicking:HERE

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Curse of the Orange

After my last shoot’s disaster trying to find a bright background and coming up with only horribly disfigured reams of seamless paper, I did some searching to find a roll in good condition. I found a roll of red paper in the portrait studio, and after getting permission, I brought it up to the commercial studio to photograph Charlene Champions two miniature schnauzers. Well, once I got it into the light I learned that it was orange. Not just any orange, however. I NASTY fluorescent orange. I’m pretty sure you can see this ugly color from space. I went into the prop closet to try and find a better color, but my choices were black, white, grey, and the blue that I had already used for two other shoots. I was stuck with neon carrot for the day.

The shoot was tough. Apparently my work has been inspiring a couple of classmates to copy my ideas, and one of them came into the studio with a dog to try their had at what I do. They did not control their dog, so of course my models were all over the place, resulting in me not getting very many good images. All-in-all it’s a learning process to take one day at a time. Hopefully next time my immitators will be more courteous and respectful of the people who are already in the studio.

I am still having issues uploading photos here, so you’ll have to check out the work on my flickr.

Click HERE for flickr Slideshow of this shoot

The Hair of the Dog

I tried my hand at photographing a puppy solo today. Normally I have the owner or a friend assist me during the shoot. This is pretty essential as it’s EXTREMELY difficult to keep a puppy from running off set, move the lighting, take the photos, make strange noises to get the dog’s attention, etc, all at the same time. Today, however, I decided that 21 years-old is as good of age as any to have an aneurism.

I have been working with puppies recently, and I seem to keep forgetting the fundamental fact that their attention span can be measured in milliseconds. I spend so much time with Stoli that I make the rudimentary mistake of assuming all puppies younger than him automatically know all the basic commands and won’t be totally freaked out by coming to a new environment to photograph. It makes me realize how much I take Stoli’s obedience for granted. He knows come, sit, stay, lay down, up, jump, shake, outside, inside, car, fetch, etc. So when I am faced with an 18-week old puppy, I feel out of my element again as I am back to square one of pure, raw puppy energy. Surprisingly, I have much more patience for animals than I do with people, so I am able to keep a level head while problem-solving a way to get the shot. The puppy I worked with today is our friend’s 5 month tri-colored corgi puppy, Rajah. I’ve come to decide that all corgis seem to have that fun-loving, goofy, class clown personality.

Anyway, it was quite the experience. I think that I’ll stick with having an assistant from now on. I’m glad I tried to, so I can now fully justify needing someone around to help manage the chaos.

As always, you can see ALL of the proofs from this session by visiting my Flickr Page. It takes vastly longer to load each photo into the blog, that’s why I usually only put my personal favorites in my posts. (That’s not to say that only the good ones make it here.) There are many that don’t make it to the blog just because of time and space restrictions. That being said, mosey on over and check out the slideshow! Click Here for the link to Flickr

 

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011