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Photo by Sam Haddix

Editor’s Note: Can you believe there was once a time we may not have known who this rockstar was? In honor of her latest KelbyOne class, Best Kept Secrets to Amazing Dog Photography, being released, I thought we would revisit the guest blog that started it all!


Hi! I’m Kaylee. And I’m going to tell you something that will knock your socks right off. Ready?

I love dogs.

And oh my gosh, I wish I could say this in a sort of casual, non-chalant, “Yeah I think dogs are pretty cool, no big deal,” sort of way. But you guys… I mean it. I mean like, in a totally and completely bonafide ‘crazy dog lady’ kind of way.

So, it’s kind of embarrassing when I walk down the street and audibly and uncontrollably squeal with delight over every little wiggling, passing pup I see. My friends actually try and deter me from the path of an oncoming dog as we walk down the sidewalk – for fear that we’ll get stuck in a 25 minute interaction that includes me excessively ogling, squishing and kissing a strange dog with a sometimes slightly terrified owner looking on.

The truth is, I find more beauty, purity and joy inside the iris of a happy dog than I do anywhere else in the world. When all else seems to fail me – I find solace in the smile of a dog. Dogs have this perfect ability to live simply – to live in the moment. And that just fascinates me.

Luckily for me, I was blessed enough to be able to turn my copious amounts of “dog crazy” into passion – and that passion into a profession.

Yup, you heard it here folks – I am a professional dog photographer.

I know, I know. WHAT? (accompanied by a cocked head, big eyes and sometimes a giggle at my expense; this is the typical response I get when people first discover my job title.) A professional dog photographer. I’m wildly humbled and grateful to say that I’ve turned that passion into a very busy reality that has me booked almost one full year ahead with both private and commercial jobs. Who would’ve thought that could even be within the scope of reality for someone who only photographs dogs?! Good gravy! Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I wake up every day and smile. I smile because life is so silly and full of wonder. I smile because Im living my real live dream. And that dream is called Dog Breath Photography.

If you told my five-year-old self what my profession would one day turn out to be – I think her head would have actually popped off with joy. If you hang on just a sec, I think I can hear her squeals of delight from all the way back in 1990. Holy banana sandwiches.

So, after being invited to write this guest post on Scott’s blog (but not before I finished the elaborate robot dance of joy that I executed quite fabulously all alone in my studio with my dog looking on judging me harshly), I thought how wonderful it would be to share some of my best tips and tricks. The little golden nuggets of wisdom that I’ve felt blessed to have learned over the past 5 years of my dog photography adventures. While getting great photos of your client’s or your own pets sometimes feels impossible, I can assure you with the utmost conviction – it’s not.

I’ve got some stuff up my sleeve that you just might find helpful – especially when you’ve got Rufus set up for the most perfect frame, arranged meticulously in the gorgeous, golden afternoon light, and he suddenly runs off in the direction of that squirrel for the 45th time. (Let me tell you now, as much as you try to reason with them, dogs just don’t appreciate the nuances of really good light.)

So, let’s dive into some content that will help you get amazing photos of your pets, that will create the illusion that you’re working with a perfectly trained dog every time.

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It’s #TravelTuesday and I, Dave Williams, am back once again with a little insight into the world of photography, this week from Valhalla. Well, The Netherlands, but close enough!

Coming up soon is Photoshop World Conference and the opening Keynote features Adobe’s very own Russell Preston Brown alongside Scott Kelby. I’ve been fortunate enough to be with Dr Brown here in Valhalla for a few days shooting Vikings for his upcoming Adobe MAX Pre-Con and I’d like to use the opportunity to explain the importance of Behind The Scenes (BTS) insights.

Here’s the entire studio team on day one of shooting. As you can see, the Vikings are genuinely straight outta Valhalla, and the space we had to work with was excellent (Studio34X, Almere, Netherlands)

The shooting involved rotating the Vikings through several different sets and lighting setups so they wouldn’t get bored and start smashing the place up. Each station had different attributes and local photographers Michiel Fischer, Edwin van der Lee and Thijmen Hendriks were kept busy. My task was basically to just be present, stir things up a little, provoke ideas, and I got to work showing the BTS action.

BTS shots, particularly in social media and blogs, are a fantastic engagement and insight tool to help promote ourselves as photographers, as well as to demonstrate our abilities and showcase our characters. If we’re thinking from the perspective of other photographers looking at the BTS we’re reaching out to with ideas and creativity, showing lighting setups and the larger scene, or if we’re thinking in terms of clients we’re doing a great job in revealing our excellent personality and why a client would want to work with us. The chances are strong that BTS images will cause a little stir and be viewed for a moment longer while the viewer explores the scene and it will help to boost our engagement, training that algorithm to see we’re worthy of exposure.

BTS images can also help us to show a new perspective, revealing the gear we’re using and the way everything is setup. This, if we’re looking for affiliate marketing opportunities or perhaps even sponsorship, is a tool we can use to show the before and after, as well as the bigger picture, often with unique results like this collection of hands surrounding the subject of the photo here, The Warrior King.

Social media isn’t going the way we all want it to and the results of our posts can be hidden in the crowd but if we use BTS photos and videos to give a unique look at what we’re up to, we can beat the algorithm and win at Instagram.

Much love
Dave

PS, the Worldwide Photowalk is just a few days away! If you aren’t already booked, go find a walk to join or lead, and if you’re walking in Edinburgh I’ll see you there!

Only 5 days until my Worldwide Photo Walk, and today I’m off to London (heading there first before I take the train up to Edinburgh on Friday to lead a local Photo Walk there on Saturday the 13th. I’m there with my brother Jeff (he hasn’t been to London in like 40 years, so we’re stopping there for a couple of days before we head up to Scotland).

It’s not too late to sign up for a photo walk in a city near you – head to worldwidephotowalk.com and sign up (it’s free), take lots of photos, meet some new people, and have some fun. That’s what photo walks are all about. :) 

Cheers,

-Scott

P.S. If you sign up for a walk near you, I hope you’ll consider donating just $1 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya. It’s the social mission of the walk each year, and 100% of the donations go straight to the small orphanage for caring, feeding, clothing, medical care, and education for these wonderful kids. It’s a buck. One buck. I hope you’ll consider donating. It makes a difference.

…and cities all over the world are still adding local photo walks, so if you checked a week or so ago and didn’t see a walk near you, there might be one now, so go check, and you can join us a week from tomorrow (Saturday, August 13, 2022). Here’s the link to the official site (remember, the walk is free, free, free – all you have to do is sign-up, show up, take pictures and make some new friends. Check out the video above for more details. :)

You Can Do Something Awesome Today. You Can Help An Orphan

The social mission of our photo walk each year is to help raise money for the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, and they count on us to come through for them, and last year, we sure did, raising over $20,000, which makes a huge difference for a small orphanage. The photo walk is free, but lots of folks either $1 (one dollar), or buy an official Photo Walk T-shirt, custom designed each year for the event by our own Margie Rosenstein, and 100% of the profits from that shirt go to the orphanage (and do 100% of any $1 donations). So far, several photographers have donated $10, 50, and some have even donated $250, but all you need to do to help is just give $1. Just a buck. It adds up like you cannot believe, and it helps like you cannot imagine.

Here’s the link to donate (and thank you for thinking about helping out these kids).

I’m Heading To Tuscany in October. Wanna Come?

I’ve got a few spots left for my travel photography workshop in Italy’s beautiful Tuscany region this fall, and it will be an epic experience of learning, laughing, and making new friends in one of the most beautiful places on this planet. If you’d like to come along, the details and how to get one of the remaining tickets are at this link.

An Incredible Opportunity: A Joe McNally Workshop on Ellis Island

This is one of those “once in a lifetime” opportunities, and it’s coming up this September as living legend Joe McNally is holding a very special workshop on Ellis Island with special access to areas that are usually off limits. There are just a few spots left, so don’t miss out. Head to https://joemcnally.com/2022/07/26/ellis-island-workshops/ for tickets and more details.

The Photoshop World Conference Is This Month

Well, it’s at the very end of this month, but it will be worth the wait. I am super psyched about the classes I’m teaching, but I’m just one of the team of great instructors (the whole conference is online and archived for a full year after the event, so you can stream it all again, catch any classes you missed, etc.).

I couldn’t embed this video I made for you because it’s a YouTube short, but if you click the link below, you can watch it. The message is pretty important, and I’d be grateful if you’d give it a quick watch, if you’re into learning about Photoshop, Lightroom, Photography, or Lighting. It’ starts September 30th. You should be there.

https://youtube.com/shorts/F2dkcJ5cJSE?feature=share

Lots of really great stuff going on – it’s so great to be back out there, teaching, traveling, and having fun. Hope I’ll see you along the way. Have a great weekend. :)

-Scott

New KelbyOne Course: Best Kept Secrets to Amazing Dog Photography with Kaylee Greer

Go in-depth into the world of dog photography with Kaylee Greer, a private and commercial pet photographer. Learn to create photos of your dog that are worthy of a cover shot by learning the tips and tricks Kaylee uses to bring out the best in each subject.

In Case You Missed It: Adventures of Becoming a Dog Photographer with Kaylee Greer

Join Kaylee Greer for an around-the-world adventure in dog photography! In each lesson Kaylee peels back the curtain and takes you behind the scenes to show you what it took to get the shot. Consider this class a backstage pass to some of her most fun and unforgettable photo shoots. It’s never a perfect process, and you’ll quickly find that behind every amazing photo there’s a certain amount of love, madness, whimsy, hard work, trust, patience, and determination needed to bring her vision to the world.

Titans fans receive ear warmers from Ticketmaster and CMT before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

If you’ve been around Scott’s blog long, you know that football is kind of a thing around here. With the NFL preseason beginning soon, I thought I would take a slightly different approach to covering a game.

When it comes to covering a game, it takes a team of photographers to get all the coverage that’s needed. Most people who want to cover an NFL game are trying to get as close to the action as possible, but I barely know who the top players are on any team.

Titans fans receive ear warmers from Ticketmaster and CMT, handed out by the Boy Scouts of America, before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

However, I do have some experience covering events, so I’m happy to wonder around the venue and see what else is going on around the game! And that’s why Donald Page, team photographer for the Tennessee Titans, invited me to help cover some of the event marketing photos for the team and their sponsors a couple of seasons ago.

A band performs on the Pinnacle Tailgate Party stage before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

While these photos aren’t showing the peak moment of a wide receiver catching the game winning touchdown, they do give color and texture to what’s happening on game day. Plus, I’m guessing that sponsors enjoy seeing photos of fans enjoying and interacting with their brands.

Fans grab drinks from Yee-Haw Brewing Co. during the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

If you’ve ever been to an NFL game, you know that the event doesn’t begin when you get to your seat, but as soon as you arrive outside the stadium. On this game day, there were plenty of activities to participate in as soon as you got inside the outer gates of the stadium.

Fans toss a football at the Bridgestone Quarterback Challenge before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

From a concert stage, to a football toss, to cookies and free swag, there were plenty of things to check out on your way inside the stadium.

Fans receive Tiff’s Treats cookies before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.
Titans fans receive shirts from Comcast Xfinity before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN.

Then there are the personalities on hand who go all out for their favorite team. They wouldn’t dress this way if they didn’t want to be photographed!

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