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Natural Light Rescue Photography

Welcome to Week 39 of our 52 Week Pet Photography Blog Circle.  This week’s topic is “natural light” ~ the light that nature provides.

The majority of my photography is outdoors, natural light.  I do work a bit with studio lighting – mostly for shelter photography and special events.

I admit to being super picky about the time of day I use the outdoor, natural light.  “Golden Hour” is my priority – that beautiful golden light that shines an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise.  When doing custom client outdoor sessions, this is the time of day I highly recommend.  When working with photographing adoptable shelter dogs and cats, I can’t be as picky.  It’s usually the time of day I can find an assistant, and also when it fits into my schedule.

This past week I photographed some adoptable dogs for the MSPCA at Nevin’s Farm and also some adoptable cats at Cat Tales Rescue in Seabrook, NH.

I’m usually at the MSPCA smack in the middle of the day.   The odds are against me for some reason for having an overcast day.  I ALWAYS seem to be there in bright sunlight!  Up until last week we had a perfect hill with trees providing some nice, open shade.  When I saw the workmen tearing down my lovely area with chainsaws,  I was  a bit discouraged.  The shelter has  a lot of land, but most of it is open in the sun.

Thanks to my wonderful assistant, she noticed a little area off near the parking lot.  There were some trees and shrubs ….. this might just work!  Here are some images taken mid day in natural light.  The pooches are backlit through the trees.  I’m sitting in the parking lot facing the dogs.  We made it work!


Adoptable Cairn Terrier


Adoptable Dogs MSPCA

On a great note, we had quite a few adoptions this week!  This little guy, Skipper, went home!  Yay!


Adoptable Yorkie MSPCA

Next up is adoptable cats and kittens at Cat Tales Rescue!  They have a wonderful set up of rooms where the cats can be out and about exploring. It’s a great facility and the colors of the walls are painted in fun brights!  There are 2 rooms in the front that have window that bring in some nice natural light from the outdoors.  The shelter is located on a busy street, so i normally shoot at f/2.0- f/2.2 with my 85 mm to blur the speeding cars in the background!  I sit the cats right in the windows and I also try to place them where the overhead light will provide the needed catchlights.

Cat Tales took in 13 cats and kittens that were in need during the recent hurricane down south. Here are 3 of them that are looking for forever homes.


Cat Tales Rescue


Cat Tales Rescue


Cat Tales Rescue


Thank your for stopping by and checking out how I use natural light in the shelters that I volunteer with!  Next up in our blog circle is Lynda Mowat from Heartstrings Photography, based in Hamilton, New Zealand.  Click on link at the end of each post to see some beautiful natural light images from pet photographers around the world!  Have a great weekend!


13 thoughts on “Natural Light Rescue Photography”

  1. I know you are super picky about the time of day you like to shoot. Your natural light photos of the dogs & cats are nicely done. Glad you are helping the rescue animals.
    Keep up the great work.

  2. Looks like you found a wonderful spot for the dogs – the photographs are very nice – love the greens in the background. The kitties are so cute! I know they are more challenging, you did a great job with each of them. Thanks for helping the rescues!

  3. Great bokeh and just proves you only need a little pocket of pretty to make a great image. You’re at the shelters as much as me! I do two municipals every single week and 4 rescues as they need me. It’s a labor of love.

  4. Lovely to hear there’s been some adoptions. Your images of the shelter pets are absolutely stunning. I particularly enjoyed the cats this week, but they are all always enjoyable.

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