DogShotz Photography | Project52/week15/BREAKING THE RULES

Project52/week15/BREAKING THE RULES

April 14, 2017  •  6 Comments

Indianapolis, IN



Week 15

Pet Photography 52 Weeks Project

Theme: "Breaking the Rules"


Each week a group of professional pet photographers band together & challenge themselves to create new images based on a common theme. These images are then shared in each photographers blog (on Fridays). A "blog circle." is formed as each photographer links to another member's blog at the bottom of their post. If you love looking at beautiful pet photographs be sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post and click the link to take you to the next very talented photographer. Keep going until you land back here and you will have come full circle!


This weeks theme is "breaking the rules".  I once read somewhere that the only rule of photography is that there are no rules. However, that said there are definitely general principles that create great photos. Some of the most common are :

  • the rule of thirds
  • shoot with the sun behind you
  • avoid shooting portraits at midday
  • avoid wide angle distortion
  • hold your camera straight
  • don't put the horizon line in the center of your image
  • etc.

You get the picture! To break the rules you first have to learn the rules! Sometimes the composition may be improved upon when the rules are broken. I have always wanted to attempt the bobble head dog shot (distortion) with sunburst (shooting into sun) and lens flare (at high noon). Kaylee Greer of DogBreath is famous for this style. I don't know this for a fact but I think she purposely challenged the rules to create her signature style. Her images are extremely impactful and nothing short of spectacular! (Yes I'm a fan-girl!!) If you are not familiar with her work you should google her! 

I pulled out my widest wide angle lens (16-35mm, f4.0), set my focal length to 16mm and got super, super close to Teddy's face. The sun was sparkling through the tree at me & positioned high in the sky as it was just a few minutes past noon. I set my aperture to 22 to get the sun-star effect. I had almost everything I needed except a light source on the dog to ensure he wasn't in shadow & also to provide catch lights in his eyes.  Here I decided on a short cut (second actually if you count I only travelled as far as my back yard with distracting bkgd elements  - my bad!), I used a ring light on a gorilla pod because it was easier than hauling out flashes and stands and umbrella's and triggers and batteries..... (I do recognize that putting in some extra effort would have resulted in an even better result but I can live with my decision). Oh and I also threw the rule of thirds out the window and basically put the dog smack in the middle of my frame. While this is not my style I find the distortion whimsical (all credit to Ms Greer) and very appealing. What do you think of this style? It can be fun to be a rule breaker!


The next 2 images are for illustrative purposes & just for fun since Bruiser was licking his lips post-treat... Focus is off due to slower shutter speed used than what was needed! Look at his eyes and you can see how the ring light reflects in a very obvious and distracting way. It isn't great with Teddy either but not as pronounced with him b/c he has all that hair in the way! While I didn't take my time it is possible to minimize the ring light in PS as can be seen in the image of Bruiser on the right. But that is more work and probably something to get right SOOC as opposed to fixing with post processing. Regardless seeing my dogs as bobble heads makes me smile!
















Now lets see how many rules were broken by Kelly Baugh of Amyranth Pet Photography serving The North Carolina Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Cary and Surrounding Areas) 

Until next week,


DogShotz Photography


I can't pick a favorite of the first three, but I think it's between the first and second image. Loved your examples, and the wide angle!
I totally see a hint of Kaylee in your first shot! If I was scrolling and saw this, you would have fooled me!
Kelly Baugh(non-registered)
Super cute models!!! Great images :)
I love these and I can definitely see Kaylee in these. I think all of us are fans of hers. Great job on these!
I love these!!! So fun!! I'm also a huge fan of Kaylee and her work.
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