Monthly Archives: November 2011

I know I have not been posting in my blog, I am quite behind as a matter of fact really, really behind.. Since the Trapper session was so long ago I decided to use for this post not my best shots like I normally do, but the ones that my clients never see and went straight into the garbage bin.

Unfortunately Trapper’s big heart stopped beating shortly after I photographed him. He had a great life (16 years old) and a loving family that truly misses him every day. He was sick with rare form of cancer and even thou his mom tried everything to prolong his life, he crossed the Golden Bridge.

He was a beautiful and sweet Golden Retriever and I hope he is now somewhere where he is free of pain and happy. His family has never seen these particular photos as they ended up on the reject pile..

So lets get a bit technical today and see a bit of my behind the scenes work and why I reject some photos and leave the others. Lots of people ask me how I pick what goes into the album and what makes it into a trash bin. There a lot of elements. First and most obvious, sharpness and exposure, if these are not right the garbage bin is the place for these images. Then I look at composition, how does the photo work together, am I missing something? Or is the photo too busy? First and foremost,  the dog has to stand out. The dog should look happy, ears up etc. There is a reason I make people fill out a questionnaire before the session.. I need to know what is most important for my client and I look for it when I am editing, below are some examples of bad photos and my reasons to reject them.

Image one – rejected, reason= dog looks unhappy, head down, eyes look kind of dead.


Image two – rejected, reason = one leg out looks weird

Image three – rejected, reason= poor composition – I obviously had a better one in this series, but let’s see what I could have done to make it better.

On your left that is the RAW image from the camera and on the right – the cropped and re-touched version, the difference is obvious:


Image Four -rejected, reasons = grass sticking out of the head (it can be easily fixed :)), ears down (clients never like to look at photos of their pets looking sad), funny face, composition is not interesting.

Image five – rejected, reason = even though this image is sharp,  it is missing a story to it and it is kind of boring, had I taken it straight on, it would have made it, but with the dog looking out of the photo I did not like it.  It could make it into my funny faces pile, but no further.

Image 6 – rejected, reasons =so many! people in the background are distracting, the log goes right through the dog, no eye contact, no story, just a bad picture.

Image 7 – rejected, reasons =  cut off body. 🙂 Sometimes it breaks my heart when I have the photo I love and the focus point is in a wrong spot, or I cut off the part of the body in the wrong place, but that is life with dogs. If you want to photograph them as they are having fun and being silly you have to be prepared for everything.

I hope I helped someone today to take better photos. I know this is a bit of a different post, but we all get bored  doing the same thing over and over.

I always welcome comments from you and if you are shy and do not want to comment in public you can just email me at

And here my favorite image of this session that ended up on canvas.

M o r e   i n f o