Monday, March 16, 2020

Random Common Questions

Announcements at the end of the blog. We are getting ready for our busy season and will be seeing you at shows soon! Please feel free to give us questions for the blog at shows, but due to time constraints please write them down, we are literally answering everything asked in this format BECAUSE it gives us time to do so without being rude! Email and Facebook are always a great way to get in touch!

Favorite dog show moment?

Hmm 🤔 So many, watching my family do well, going Winners Dog at the national last year. PHOTOS?  Being asked to shoot shows and hired to come back, always nice!  Being hired for portrait sessions outside of a dog show weekend "back in the day" before candid photographers were a thing. The cover shots I have had, I have had over 30 cover shots in breed and all breed magazines, always nice.


Biggest misconception people outside of the business have about what you do?


That dog show photographers only work on the weekends! I cannot count how many times have I heard "I wish I only worked two days a week." Well, me too!!  I wish I only worked 2 days a week!  There is much more involved in this than just taking the pictures. Especially when we were still film and offline; but, even now there is more to the business than just taking the pictures. 

What is the number one thing new people should do in the sport that they don't?

Stay and watch the dog show!  instead of show and go,like so many people do, you would be surprised what you can learn. About showing, about dogs, about the judges and what they are looking for and how to show to them, grooming tips. It is amazing. Heck you might even make some friends you can travel with!

Growing up my family stayed on the show site most weekends in a trailer. We learned as much, if not more, because we were there all day as we did in kennel club meetings and classes. The nights around the camp fire (yes we still did fires on occasion) or just sitting around chatting were even more educational. 

How much do you travel per year?

As a photographer you can be traveling every week. Sometimes it is just smarter to stay on the road rather than going home, and that is definitely one thing digital has made easier. Currently I put about 60,000 miles per year on my car just for work. I have done more in the past, and hope to do more in the future!  I love the traveling, and driving.. thankfully!

What makes you turn down a show? 

Are you nuts!! 😲 Who does that? In all seriousness, I have turned shows down when:  a. I am already booked or b. the show giving club puts too many restrictions or requirements on the contract, their ideas vary too much from mine (I have had National clubs that wanted me to retouch every photo for free as a guarantee in the contract), they want to have more than one person/business working the show.  I will have enough people to cover any show I contract. To me having more than one business at a show is too confusing for exhibitors. 

Heart of America Cluster is online.  All events until Garden City, Kansas April 24-26th have been cancelled by the event sponsoring clubs. We will keep you informed as much as we can. Thank you!!

Have questions? Ask them! Follow us on Facebook for more information. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!  We have updated our website! See our calendar to know where we will be next!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Chh...chh...changes...and more!

Announcements at the end of the blog. We are getting ready for our busy season and will be seeing you at shows soon! Please feel free to give us questions for the blog at shows, but due to time constraints please write them down, we are literally answering everything asked in this format BECAUSE it gives us time to do so without being rude! Email and Facebook are always a great way to get in touch!

If you could change one thing about dog shows what would it be? What about just dog show photography?

If I could change one thing?  I would make it about the dogs again. It currently is not. It is about the ego, about the person and it is sad. If I could change one thing about dog show photography?  Harder, but probably again that it be about the dog. If I hear one more person say, gee that is the best I have ever seen on my dog, but I look like crap. Uhm...it truly is not about you!

If I could change two things? I would want the respect back. The lack of respect for each other, the judges, the dogs, and the photographers is sad. The people who think the judge should skip their lunch for a picture after working four hour and having another four or five scheduled saddens me.. The judge stopped regularly, you were not there, they went to lunch after they finished with those who were; they have a right to eat, use the bathroom, and sit for a minute they truly do.

How long should I wait after I order a picture before contacting the photographer if I don't get it?

That depends on the photographer, what you ordered, and probably the time of year. First, check their website it usually states what their time frame is. If you ordered a digital image most will be able to get it to you within 24-48 hours. I have had a lot of people enter incorrect emails for sending them to, so always double check that and contact the photographer immediately if you find an error. Some photographers enable the ability for "instant" downloads. This takes less time to receive on your end but more time to set up on the photographers end, I have found that getting the images up faster and doing, cropping/color correction/etc AFTER it has been ordered makes more sense in my business.

If you ordered pictures through the mail it really depends on mail service these days! At the outside two weeks is still the longest you should ever wait after an order (or after a show if the photographer doesn't have a website to order from).

When you do contact the photographer be polite, you would be surprised at the number of pictures that are lost in the mail. Just because you did not get it, does not mean it was not sent!!  Unless you contact us and let us know, we do not know you did not get it. The post office does not tell us when we mail our pictures out which ones will be lost! I so wish they would. 🤷

You said you don't retouch dogs. What can/will you do if someone buys your image and retouches it themselves?

If you buy the digital form in full resolution, you can pretty much do what you like with it. If you buy a print and try to scan and retouch it I doubt you will like the quality enough for me to even worry about it as you are now about four generations down the line and the quality of the end result will not be good.

I don't like my photos on the website and I don't want other people seeing them what can I do?

Call, text or email and ask that they be removed. Either give me the image numbers, or the breed and the win, day etc. As soon as I can that will be done for you as long as you are polite, and nice about it I have no reason not to remove it. Neither of us wants bad prints up there.

This seems to happen more with ringside candids. I put up ALL of the images I take due to a lot of reasons, not the least of which is it saves time on my end and gets them in front of you faster. As I said above I crop/color correct/etc. after an order takes place so if that is the issue know that it can/will change!

What is your biggest pet peeve about photos in advertisements?

The poor Photoshop!  OMG!! 🙄🤣 I saw a Pug with an eye on its ear. Hello?!? Someone paid for that? Why did they need to play with the eye in the first place. I have seen retouched top-lines that had to look worse than the original. The "fixed rear or fronts" that were the same come on people either pay someone to do it right or don't bother!!

When you get YOUR photo taken at a dog show what are the things you try to make sure you do?

I try to be polite, quick and on point. I let the photographer know if the dog is not trained (first point, first show, thank you) and I try to have the dog calm and ready to go. If one of my Mother's Foxhounds, I say no toys, if it is my whippets, I let them know if the ears matter to me on this dog. I know the photographer has a line, and other rings to get to, so I try and get it done, not wasting their time.  After the image is taken, I have begun to specifically ask for un-retouched. As I do not want my dog retouched and have gotten some seriously bad ones recently. I want to know if the dog is not set correctly, looks heavy, thin, if he is a young dog and is high in the rear, or needs more maturity, if he goes flat footed up there. All so I can work with my dog and correct it. Mainly this dog looked like this on this day. I need to know that for future litters, dogs and wins.

We are having a contest on Facebook! Once our page gets to 750 likes we will draw a winner for a $50 gift certificate!!!! You have to interact with this post to be entered! Good Luck!!!🤑🤑

Heart of America Cluster should be online or getting there by the end of the day today for your orders! Columbia, MO Kennel Club and the Clumber and Tibetan Spaniel Nationals at Purina Farms close this week, Onofrio is the Super. We are doing ringside candids! Contact us to reserve your time now! Reservation fee is non-refundable, but does apply to your purchase! 

We have this coming weekend off, but this is our year and month for trying new things!!! We will be at the ORCA FastCATS on March 21st and 22nd! Entries close on the 18th. Event discounts will apply! See us there!!!

Have questions? Ask them! Follow us on Facebook for more information. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!  We have updated our website! See our calendar to know where we will be next!

Monday, March 2, 2020

Rude Photographers, Rude Exhibitors and Theft

Announcements at the end of the blog. We are getting ready for our busy season and will be seeing you at shows soon! Please feel free to give us questions for the blog at shows, but due to time constraints please write them down, we are literally answering everything asked in this format BECAUSE it gives us time to do so without being rude! Email and Facebook are always a great way to get in touch!

If a photographer is rude or consistently not taking quality photos what can I, as an exhibitor, do?

Like so many things, there are many reasons for any situation. IF the photographer is consistently rude or just bad at their job then contact the show chair period!  We all have bad days, frustrating times, judges that make our life more difficult than it needs to be but, to continually be rude? It might be time to change it up! We have found that notifying the show chair on any given weekend, can be very informative. Some of us, use multiple year contracts, some pay (through trophy donations, or just flat pay the show or at least the show chairman) to be there. I have used multiple year contracts but I do not pay for a show as I was raised to believe you get what you pay for and if you are getting paid you are probably getting your money's worth.

The show chair has a lot on their plate, show photographers should be fairly far down the list, if there are too many complaints then that starts to bring them to the top and that is not good for a photographer and it is definitely not our goal. Most will tell you that there is no one else available or they do not know who else to contact. Thus, it is always good to have recommendations, or even better cards, of photographers you enjoy working with or prefer. Over the years, we have learned that a club usually starts to "move" or think of a new photographer about the fourth complaint and if they hear of someone liked by many, it takes that same four times to get the club moving in their direction.

Why do photographers get mad when I take a photo of my dog with my cell phone?

First, they paid for the backdrop, the signage, and the equipment. If you only want an image with your cell that is a much cheaper venture that what I have invested in, and is my livelihood. When you take a photo behind me with your cell phone or at my backdrop you are using my equipment and expertise without any outlay.

Second, am theoretically the one with the knowledge you are after. So if you take it, from the wrong angle, the wrong set up, etc; and my sign and name are in the pic, then it looks like WE took that poor angle on the dog and at a poor quality too as most cell phones don't have the dpi quality of our cameras. Then it is US who do not know what we are doing, when others see the photo. I have lost shows and sales for that very reason. "I saw that pic they posted on Facebook, who takes a Sheltie at that angle? With those ears? I cannot hire them for...."  This is very real as is the damage done. I will never know and cannot defend myself from it. You will never know and cannot say, "Oh i took that not them." Again our name is on the sign.

Third, and probably the largest? NO most people who take the cell shot behind us, really do NOT actually buy the official photo, so they are using my time, set up, and equipment, and not paying for any of it. Technically, it is stealing my time, my equipment, my knowledge and my reputation.

Explain copyright as it relates to dog show photography, especially in the age of digital.

Copyright has not changed. We still own the image you are only buying the print of that image. Unless you purchase the digital file and then you get more rights to use the image. If you take a cell phone pic behind my back or of our computer at our sales booth then you have stolen the image. If you take a screen shot/copy the image from a website, you are stealing the image. If you take the purchased print to Staples or Wal-Mart and try to have it copied you are stealing the image.

Once you enter the dog, call us to the ring, or come to our podium, you have agreed to us taking the picture we own it. If you purchase a print, you have purchased a print of the image nothing else. So, to post to your website, to put on Facebook, to send to a friend, or put in an ad, without our permission violates the copyright. HOWEVER, in this day and age, as dog show photographers, we do understand the industry has changed. Most of us have blanket releases at the magazines, and IF THE PICTURE IS PURCHASED we waive the copyright for you to advertise with. Many also allow for Facebook and website posting with a purchased print. This is, of course, up to the individual photographer, but I believe most of us do this now. Taking a picture of or copying a physical proof or while on the website (or like mine at the show on our computers) is still theft and, at the least, could result in a private message letting you know that. Again no, most who do this DO NOT BUY THE PHOTO LATER. Nice thought but nope that is a pretty little lie and we know it.

All of the above is why a full high resolution digital image of your photo will cost more, for some this is worth it as you are buying limited rights to the image. It is still my image and I can use it for promotion as well. Don't worry I don't use bad pictures!

Heart of America Cluster starts Wednesday! Looking forward to seeing everyone there! There will be limited ringside candid availability as well as our normal win photos!

I have next weekend off and then will be doing ringside candids at Columbia, Missouri Kennel Club dog show (and associated specialties!).

Ring side candid times can be reserved with a $25 non-refundable deposit that applies to purchase!

Have questions? Ask them! Follow us on Facebook for more information. Interested in having us photograph your show? Contact us at either location!  We have updated our website! See our calendar to know where we will be next!

Random Common Questions

Announcements at the end of the blog. We are getting ready for our busy season and will be seeing you at shows soon! Please feel free to gi...