Pet Photographer’s Meetup in the Poconos, Pennsylvania
As I walked into the bar in the hotel, second to last to arrive, I must admit I was a little nervous. After months of planning and years of online friendship, it was finally time to meet in person my fellow pet photographers – gathered from across the USA and Canada for this much anticipated pet photographer’s get-together.
Though I think the Australian accent might have been a bit of a novelty to start with, we soon hit it off and got stuck into familiar pet photography industry chat. Our meeting location was the beautiful Poconos Mountains in Pennsylvania and we’d organised a couple of days of shooting with some gorgeous models, delicious dinners and drinks and fun activities. So much to look forward to!
We started off with some shooting. Illona’s superstar scruffy model Merrick had been her travel buddy on the long drive from Canada and was soon pressed into modelling duties. We stayed at the Inn at Pocono Manor which was surrounded by country lanes, forest and stone walls, so we only needed to wander down the road to find some great spots to shoot. Merrick quickly proved his supermodel status with his amazing acts of balance and staying power!
He even ran happily along a low stone wall for us, on command. Now that’s dedication!
We also put Merrick to work while testing out some action-capturing techniques and swapping cameras, lenses and settings amongst the group. It was a great learning experience and I learned a new focusing technique from the amazing Sarah McGraw that I’ve now implemented into my everyday shooting style.
We also spent some time shooting a couple of models that Illona had kindly lined up for us. This is the lovely Roxie who was such a good girl for us, posing it up around the pretty grounds of the Manor.
I got to try out some different lenses and this was shot with the Canon 16-35mm f2.8L – very wide!
We found some ferns in the forest and Roxie posed it up like a pro.
We did quite a bit of action shooting and out came the long lenses in force!
Kaylee demonstrated her ball levitation technique while Roxie gazed on in rapt attention.
Pet photography involves around 98% lying on the ground, something we all have a lot of practice in!
Our next model was the stunning Finnegan.
Though Merrick still stole the show at times, demonstrating that small dogs have the advantage where getting up and posing on rock walls is concerned.
Merrick was pretty excited about running into a fellow scruffy.
We found a nice big area, actually the edge of a golf course, where we could collaborate on some more action shots and Illona shared a few training techniques.
With Merrick helping out of course!
Finn was a fantastic action model – running, leaping, bounding and jumping for the ball with endless energy while we fiddled around with settings and gear.
This shot of Merrick supervising our action shooting and providing moral support cracks me up every time.
As the sun went down we played around with silhouettes and backlighting while Sarah worked with Finnegan to get some of those big jumps happening for us to shoot.
I love this silhouette shot that Sarah M. captured of me!
Meeting up with this super talented crew of pet photographers was an amazing experience and I hope we get to do it again sometime soon. I’m still working on trying to get them all over to Australia some day! A get together wouldn’t be completed without a group photo, so here we all are:
Above from left to right is:
Sara Riddle – Photography by Sara Riddle – Washington, D.C.
Sarah Ernhart – Sarah Beth Photography – Minneapolis, MN
Illona Haus – Scruffy Dog Photography – Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada
Charlotte Reeves – Charlotte Reeves Photography – Brisbane, Australia
Sarah McGraw – McGraw Photography – Charlotte, NC
Kaylee Greer – Dog Breath Photography – Boston, Massachusetts
Holly Montgomery – Brindleberry Custom Pet Photography – Alberta, Canada