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Project 52 Week 5: “Before & After”

This week’s topic for our 52 Week Pet Photography Project Blog Circle is:  “Before & After”

Perfect timing as we had a Valentine’s photo session scheduled for the adoptable pups at the MSPCA Nevin’s Farm!

Once a week I try to get out to the shelter to photograph the adoptable pups at the MSPCA for Pet Finder, and also for a Facebook Page that I co-run called “Who’s a Good Dog at Nevin’s Farm”.  I usually take photos outside, but when I can,  I like to bring “the gear” and give the pups their moment to shine!  If Friday afternoons are available for me there is a great group of volunteer “wranglers” that are awesome with reading dog body language and super helpful to get things done!  🙂

I have a variety of different colored backdrops from Savage Universal and sometimes we use props and sometimes we add some fun overlays to the pics.  For our Valentine’s theme I brought both Coral and Teal papers.  Teal is my favorite as I find it works well with every dog’s coloring!  I brought along my Alienbee 800 and medium soft box and set up in the dog training room.  It’s a great space to work!  I don’t have wireless triggers so I set up near the outlets.  The following are pics of my set-up.  I find most of the dog’s are not comfortable on the paper so I usually have a bath mat or something for them to sit on.


Backdrop set up


Before and After Blog 2 1 of 1


For studio-type photo shoots I use my 24-70 mm lens.  I turn the lights off (they are horrible!) and use just the strobe lighting.  We photographed 14 dogs this day.  The following is the pup I fell head over heels for, Shyla.  She had the cutest little wiggle butt and loved to run right over to me and lick my face 🙂  Poor little girl is just 4 and has a lot of health concerns.


Before After Blog Shyla 1 1 of 1
Out of camera

Final image of Shyla.  My Edits:  In Lightroom:  Cropped.  Brought shadows slightly up (slider to the right).  Highlights to the left (I had slightly over exposed her whites on her face).  Added a little clarity and vibrance (sliders to the right)  In Photoshop: Removed the leash.  Added a Valentine Overlay, Heartsspeak Adopt Overlay and “Shyla”.


Shyla Valentine MSPCA HS 1 of 1
Beautiful adoptable, “Shyla”


And here is one more final, on the “coral” backdrop.  Nahla went home just 2 days after and we changed up her photo to “adopted” 🙂  YAY!!!  She was one of our long term pooches, too, so this was awesome news!

MSPCA Adoptable Dogs
Woohoo! Adopted!!!


Thanks for stopping by and if you know of anyone looking to adopt, please share this beautiful pup!

Next up on our blog circle is Cahlean with About A Dog Photography | St. Cloud & Central MN dog photography.  Click on the link at the end of each post to see each pet photographer’s take on the weekly topic!  This week we have a large group of participants!  ENJOY!!!

31 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 5: “Before & After””

    1. Thanks, Kim! I love seeing the SOOC – it’s amazing what people can do for edits! (I keep it simple and have a LOT to learn still!)

  1. I love seeing the behind the scenes, it really helps to get a feel for how an image was achieved! And I LOVE the colours of your backdrops, well done!

  2. Linda at DogShotzPhotography

    I am going to give indoor set up a try next week. One of our very generous volunteers has purchased a back drop and support and I have 2 speed lights with shoot through umbrellas. I am so nervous I will mess it up so I love seeing your whole set up! Beautiful dogs and I love the valentine overlays!

    1. That’s awesome, Linda! Don’t be nervous – it will go great! I hope you have some good “wranglers” 🙂 Have fun with it! Thanks so much!

  3. Very nice. And thanks for showing your set-up. Isn’t it wonderful when, after you go to the shelter to take photos, they get adopted. 95% of the time it’s usually because of the photos. These pics certainly make these beauties shine!

  4. Hi, Nevins Farm… I’m not too far from there. Let me know if you ever need assistance with a doggy shoot. Nice work.

  5. Great job and nice background. Did you try blue paper? I love how the pups pop on nice blue too. I like to see the set up, so thank you for the pull up. I absolutely love volunteering and thank you for volunteering! You help tremendously and those cute backgrounds help so much. Wonderful work!

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate it! I have a dark blue called “blue jean” – that’s the only other blue i have tried. I’m always taking recommendations!

  6. Hooray for Nahla! So glad she found a home. I hope that Shyla finds one soon too!
    The colors are perfect together and you did a great job, the catch lights are nicely done and the dogs look really cute. Thanks for showing the behind the scenes I love seeing how people set everything up.

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