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Dogs are important members of families here in South Carolina. Taking a formal portrait of a pet is part of our business. We were very excited when we were asked to photograph “Harley” a Sheltie who lived nearby. Harley had just come from a grooming session and looked great. He also followed the directions of his owner … especially if there was a treat waiting for good behavior.

Many dogs will get the sniffles if they are nervous, but Harley was different: he started drooling in anticipation of the next treat. We didn’t spot that initially, but did a bit later on and that was easily taken care of with a paper towel. I placed him on a foot rest in front of the fireplace and used a Nikon D5 with a 70-200mm lens on a tripod. My settings were ISO-1600, f2.8 at 1/60th of a second with a little fill flash. The f2.8 aperture setting was designed to focus on Harley’s eyes and then allow the background to go soft. I used a tripod because I wanted to watch him carefully with both eyes instead of squinting through the viewfinder. I knew it would work, and it turned out just great. My initial white balance was set to tungsten because of the lighting in the house, but I switched over to daylight, because of the light coming in from a door window from behind me. The rest was up to Harley and his owner. The results were really great and will produce a beautiful portrait once printed.


Williams Photography of Fort Mill, LLC. specializes in engagement, bridal and wedding photography as well as individual and family portraiture. We also photograph pets!

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