Santa Fe Photographic Workshops "The Creative Pet Portrait"

At the end of July I had an amazing opportunity to teach a week-long photography class on pet portraiture at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The students traveled from all over the United States and Canada to learn about pet photography. I took the participants through a series of assignments in order to improve their skills. The first stop was a doggie daycare, Paws Plaza, where they were graciously assisted by the owner's and staff of the daycare. The daycare dogs were volunteered as models for the class. On the second day of of the workshop they were exposed to untrained animals and had the opportunity to photograph homeless dogs and cats at the Santa Fe Humane Society. The staff and volunteers were incredibly helpful and the many dogs and cats were happy to join in on the fun! After the shoot, the class provided the animal shelter with images for use in the shelter's fund-raising efforts. On the third day of the workshop the students photographed models and horses at a Rick Iannuci's ranch for an authentic "wild west" experience. A little lighting and thunder put a small pause on our fun but once the clouds parted , the evening sunlight was incredible! Thursday the class was given the assignment of photographing pets at a local Santa Fean's home and Friday the students were assigned to photograph for a mock magazine cover. Throughout the week we were also fortunate to have dog trainer Mary Leatherberry, fine art photographer and printer Gregg Albracht and photoshop expert Steve Yadzinski share their expertise as guest speakers. Workshops can be intense experiences as I think they should be! I didn't give my students much of a break all week as they had assignments each day of the workshop. I was glad to hear that they were exhausted by week's end. The participants all shared a love of pets and photography and truly supported one another in their learning process. I am thankful to the workshops for inviting me to teach, to the community of Santa Fe for supporting me in the process, the fantastic guest speakers and for the students' hard work, dedication and kind hearts.

Our class photo: