I've had this in my head for a while and was waiting for the right moment to take this portrait of Colby. I've seen this idea done at Valentine's Day with heart-shaped bokeh (bokeh is the blur in the background in photographs when the subject is sharp and the blur makes the subject really stand out) and even St. Patrick's Day with shamrocks. While we set up our Christmas tree I couldn't wait to try a special bokeh for Colby's holiday portrait - paw prints!
It's not the easiest technique and required a lot of preparation. The challenge was getting Colby in focus but getting the tree nicely blurred and adding my paw print filter over the lens. I had to shoot in manual focus (where I was physically turning the lens) instead of auto because auto focus doesn't work in the dark! It was very very dark in the room until the flash fired, so I had to get it in focus manually. Also I had to worry about lighting just my pup and not having any spillover lighting on the tree. Finally, the hardest part is getting Colby Bear to sit still for more than one second so I could do all of the above at the same time! Yikes!
This took two nights to pull off just the one photograph. It's cute and a unique look but so challenging and time-consuming that I don't anticipate doing this often!
This is my first week participating in a dog photography blog circle. It ran all of 2016 and was appropriately called the 52 Weeks Project. Leave it to me to start the last week of the year - I'll be sure to do more weekly themed challenges in 2017! At the end of each blog entry in our blog circle the author links to the next person in line, so eventually one of the entries will circle back to my blog. The theme for week 52 was simply 'Holiday' so there will probably be lots of different approaches to pet portraits this week.
You can see more holiday photos with dogs around the country by clicking through this link - I Got the Shot photography - which will take you to an awesome dog photographer, Elaine Mueller Tweedy, in northeast Pennsylvania. It's always fun to see the imaginative ideas that other creative professionals come up with!