Saturday, June 27, 2009

Classic Portrait

I met Mitch on a sunny winter day in a charming little park in upper Manhattan near the Hudson river.

I was impressed by the good looking threesome & did what I am usually compelled to do in these cases - I asked if I could take their picture :)

A few weeks later a Pet mobile dropped them of at my studio & the fun began.

I wanted to capture the kind of an old master classic portrait you see hanging in fancy mansions so I chose a dark colored background & a few props.

The main light is coming from camera left & a reflector & accent/back light were placed on camera right.

(I use Dynalite 1000w pack with 2040 heads & Pocket wizards to remotely trigger the lights)

After having Mitch & the dogs take their place center stage, I then moved the lights around until I liked the way the light fell on the scene.

I used my trusty Canon 1DS II & one of my favorite lenses, the Canon 24-105 IS, to capture the portraits.

I set the camera to 1/125 sec & an F stop of 7.1

We tried different poses & had to take frequent breaks as you do when shooting children & animals.

Mitch is a dog trainer & is proof that proper training will transform your dog into whatever you want - the two massive Pit bulls that could easily tear someone apart were of such good nature, happy, friendly & playful that I soon forgot all the bad rep the breed had gotten due to bad ownership & abuse.

Mitch will be happy to answer questions & help you get the best out of your pet with simple corrective behavior, check out his very cool blog - or visit his website:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. *ahem* Let me try posting my comment again. Having blogspot issues. :P

    This portrait is *amazing,* Vered. Jon and I have been ooh'ing and aah'ing it all morning. :D GREAT job, and as always, stellar lighting.

  3. Wow! Excellent lighting. I just shot an untrained kitten and found it to be a tough challenge. I bet the dogs were extremely well-trained based on these perfect poses. The dark background and lighting really capture the mood of a traditional portrait painting. Well-done!

  4. The dogs were trained but not to the point where their spirit was broken (I hate when they do that)- they were playful & like shooting kids/babies you had to capture that one moment when they were still,it looks much more civilized then it actually was, lol, we had a lot of fun!

  5. Excellent portraits! Can you share the behind-the-scenes stuff on how you made these shots?

  6. I would love to tell you anything you want to know - ask me specific things & I will do my best to answer :)