Pet and Animal Portraits at the Societies Convention

The Societies Convention is widely considered to be one of the most notable dates in the photographic calendar. It’s held in central London every January. This really is a momentous week, packed full of seminars, location shoots, masterclasses, superclasses and of course the tradeshow where we can all keep abreast of the latest products offered by our framing and album suppliers, lighting, and many other services which help us to run our businesses effectively.

The speaker lineup is always epic, including such names as Jerry Ghionis, the Yerburys, Kevin Kubota, John Denton, Lori Norstrom, Stuart Wood, Becker, Brett Florens, Melissa Love, CM Leung ….. and many more photographers from around the globe who will teach and inspire. It can be said that a few days at the convention will give you no better training in technicality, creativity, and of course business management. It’s also a time where distinctions are judged and normally there will be a couple of brave individuals putting forward their panels for Associate or even one or two long established photographers submitting for Fellowship. The failure rate is high and the stress levels palpable. The judging is open to public view – and what an experience that can be.

I am also one of the speakers this year, my talk on portraiture is a little different because I’ll be talking about how I go about creating fine art portraits of pets and animals. I’ll also be discussing competition submissions and panel structure for distinctions and qualifications.

As part of my role as a Fellow of the Societies I was recently interviewed by Professional Imagemaker magazine, more on the article can be seen over at our dedicated animal photography area: Professional Imagemaker Feature June 2014.

I know that some of you reading this will be heading to London in January and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and familiar faces.

The photograph below is one of my favourite furry models – she’s also incredibly boisterous and playful. She loves the landing, especially if she can stare at me through the railings. The light isn’t great at the top of the stairs so I needed to bounce some light into the white wall behind me which lifted the ambient light by a couple of stops – perfect for a bright high key study. Using small and obtrusive cameras can be really helpful with pets and animals – downscaling my equipment enables me to move around quietly without the animal becoming too interested in a large camera and lens. For this session I was using an EM5 and PL25 f1.4.

Fine Art Pet and Animal Portraits West Sussex and Surrey

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