Saturday, June 21, 2014

Working with Animals

So...the idea of working with animals (and small children) may strike fear into the hearts of photographers everywhere...and rightly so.  They are not easy to photograph.  They don't keep still, they are unpredictable, the pull weird faces, they start sniffing their butts....(the dogs, not the kids)...and generally just be as un-photographable as they possibly can.  Just to annoy you.  I'm sure of it.

Of course there are the times that you have success!  Those times that you capture the perfect pose, the one where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera, no one has their nose screwed up and the dog has their nose out of their nether regions.  I find that often it is just a matter of luck but there are some things you can do to help keep your subjects happy AND get the shot you want.

This photo was more of a lucky shot...the dog was happy (she had just finished chasing a chook), and something caught her attention over in the next paddock, so she was looking over to her left in a majestic kind of way.  The chooks were just ignoring me and doing their own thing.

I think this chook was kind of growling at me actually, and for this shot I did a little in cropped out the chook next to her who was flashing her feathery backside at me.  Funny, but not appropriate for the magazine!

So how can you help?  My experience is to work fast.  Get in then get out before they notice what has happened.  Perhaps wearing camouflage gear might help.  The other thing, and thanks to the wonders of digital cameras, take a lot of photos.  Odds are somewhere in there you will get a good shot.  Also if you can find an assistant who doesn't mind clapping, whooping and making strange noises to get their attention, this doesn't go astray either.

These photos were taken yesterday on my photo shoot in the hills of Korumburra where I am doing a story on Emma Brown who runs a business called 'Glorious Googies'.  She sells her free range eggs at markets and directly to cafes and restaurants. 
I love my job!  A gorgeous morning, fresh air, taking photos, meeting a lovely woman running a fantastic small business and then taking follow up shots of her at the Warragul Farmers Market this morning where I received a complimentary packet (the sweetest packaging you've ever seen for eggs), of a dozen of her beautiful eggs.

Taking photos of children, I believe, can often be harder than taking photos of animals.  Or maybe that is just taking photos of my kids.  That could be because I have four and getting all of them looking perfect at once is like trying to stuff an octopus in a string bag.  Impossible.
Despite many efforts I think this was about as good as it was going to get.  This was actually the first photo I have ever taken of all four of my children together.  That's really bad considering I take photos for a living.  I will have to do proper photos of them where they are all colour coordinated and clean (note the dirt on the face of my son on the right and my baby has cold and is covered in boogers.)  Of course I will do this when I find the time.....

Gippsland The Lifestyle Magazine, Winter Edition

I was pleased to see the Winter edition of the magazine come out, which I write and take photos for.  There are three articles that I wrote; one on The Butter Factory in Drouin, one covering the Warragul Harness Racing Cup and a feature on the Gippsland Harness Racing Training Centre.  I also did a photo shoot of wedding dresses for the special wedding section of the magazine and did the photos for an advertisement for a café in Trafalgar called 'Eat Live Fresh'.  Overall a very rewarding edition for me.

For many writers (and photographers) it can be a common thing to not get paid for what you love doing, so it has been a big step up to be appreciated and financially rewarded for my efforts. 

I am looking forward already to the Spring edition where I am in control of the special section of the magazine that will be featuring agricultural stories.  For this I will be writing and taking photos for around ten articles, some of which I have already completed.  Busy busy!

For more information about the magazine, and a list of where you can purchase your copy, go to

Friday, June 13, 2014

Shooting in all Weather

This week I met Archie the black Alpaca for another feature article, which is to appear in the Spring edition of the magazine.  This is Archie.
Well, I'm pretty sure this was Archie.  They were all black, and even though the owner could tell them all apart, I could see no difference between them whatsoever.  I felt very inadequate.

However, they were adorable.  Like this little fellow.
It was early morning when I went out to visit Clifden Alpacas in Yarragon and it was extremely foggy.  The farm is located up in the hills and made for great photos.

It was, however, difficult to take shots of the farm as the property extended below the house and down the hill quite a long way and this was entirely shrouded in fog.  This is where persistence, patience and scones, jam and cream come in handy.  Well sort of. 

I arrived and was greeted by the foggy fog so decided to hold the interview first, enjoying a cup of tea out of the type of china that I only use for display purposes, and a homemade scone with jam and cream.  After completing the interview the fog had only got thicker so, after getting some shots of the alpacas as they frolicked around the paddock and were hand fed grain, I decided to come back later in the afternoon.

I'm glad I persisted.
They have an awesome view from their veranda.  And the sweetest English Setters.
If I'd had the chance I would have smuggled them home with me despite the wrath of my husband!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Commercial Photography

As well as taking photos to accompany magazine articles I have also done a little work recently taking shots for advertisements.  These photos were taken for a local café for an advertisement they are going to run in the magazine.  I particularly like this shot of the maple syrup.  The late afternoon sun had just dropped in low enough through the window and made these bottles glow beautifully. 
I didn't use a flash for these photos as I dislike the unnatural harsh light but the warm glow at this time of day was lovely.

I liked the green wall and the clock in the background here.  The biscuits look delicious too!
It makes me want to go buy tasty food condiments from a speciality store.....
I'm certainly available to take photographs for advertisements, this was a very enjoyable photo shoot as nothing was moving or wriggling and all the products were very well behaved!
I am located in West Gippsland, but will travel.