Saturday, November 2, 2013

Family Portraits

Over time, I have come to really value photographs. I think it is pretty obvious on the blog. Blogging has been a huge part of my motivation to document the ups and downs and the various parts of the lives of my dogs. Looking back over photos from previous years, I also go back over the memories from that time. Photos are memories, preserved for all time.

What I don't have, though, are photos of me with my dogs. Or at least, I don't have many of them. This is something I would like to remedy. I have been working on slowly getting into the pictures more often, through the use of creative angles and self timers.

I can get my feet into the photo pretty easily by using a wider lens (Canon 28mm 2.8 lens) and shooting straight down.
Harris Covered Bridge-4516
Looking up

The self timer lets me get more creative with it. I still like the shots that just include my feet:

Always At My Feet
At my feet

Avery Park-7494
Our feet together

But with the self timer, I can even get some shots of me and my dogs actually interacting, even if the results aren't always exactly what I was going for when I set out.

Getting kisses

All of those are photos I have shared before, and all of them are ones I cherish. But I simply couldn't figure out how to get a posed family portrait by myself. Luckily, I have some great friends. With an offer on Facebook of doing a photoshoot for a friend willing to help me out, one of my friends volunteered. She mostly takes pictures with her cell phone and has no experience with DSLR cameras. It really didn't end up mattering. We met out at the park. I set up the camera in Manual, choosing the right ISO, shutter speed, and aperture for the location, and I explained to her how to make sure the focus point was over my face. She was quick to get the hand of it and even had a natural eye for avoiding things like cars in the background. I am absolutely thrilled with the results.

Fall family portrait

All of this is to say, you don't need to hire an expensive professional to get pictures of your family. Sometimes, hiring a professional is absolutely the best option. You are pretty much guaranteed to end up with a product that you love. But we can't all haul professional photographers around with us all the time. You can capture so many moments so many ways. I get a lot of photos of my dogs alone, or just the two of them together, and there are many great memories with those photos. As I have been exploring ways to add myself into the photos I take, I manage to build more memories, and show the love and bond I have with my dogs.

While I value in the extreme the quality of the photos I take and have, I also value the moments. Sometimes, a quick cell phone picture is all you can manage to take- but for the right moment, it is way better to grab what you can than to have nothing at all.


  1. I taught Mike the in's and out's of photography because I can't be in the saddle and behind the camera at the same time! I set the settings and he shoots, then I pick my favorites.

    You got some GREAT results. Love the family portrait. You're all adorable.

  2. Photos of me with my dogs is one of my greatest wishes. LOL, I haven't perfected the art of the selfie and I've been reluctant to hire a photographer because, let's face it, I'm not too sure my dogs will co-operate and I'll be choked if I spend a pretty penny on photos of Kol acting like a jerk and Fe refusing to look at the camera.

  3. What a great picture of you three! Honestly, if you had said you had a professional photographer take that picture, I would have believed you. So special.

  4. Beautiful pictures! I am the same way, out of the thousands of pictures I have of my dogs, only a couple include myself.

  5. You can tell there's a touch of proffessionalism about these pics. The angles, the quality of the lens and the colours in the final pics. Beautiful shots. I think the main message to pass on though is to get creative and not be frightened to put the camera in a new spot or angle to get the're definitely creating inspiration with these photos