Low Key Portraits

Low Key Rugger-0408

I have tended towards high key (brightly lit against a white background) portrait work but have had some requests for low key work.  This has a more traditional feel to it and it doesn’t always suit active and bouncy dogs.  It does, however, add some gravitas and would be very good for well posed shots of more staid characters and would definitely be good for our more mature, white faces.

So I am now offering it as an alternative to high key portraits and for those shoots where time isn’t too much of a problem we can shoot both and let you choose.


Ordering Prints

When ordering a print look for the BUY option in the bottom right hand corner!


SmugMug is a fairly new facility for me and if you are a first time buyer then it will be very new to you!  I thought a few hints on ordering prints might make the process a little easier.

I almost always stick to one of 3 different proportions of image.  The original size which is is 2×3 (2 units on one side and 3 on the other).  The 2×3 size is more commonly used at 8×12 or 10×15.

I may crop to another rectangle size of 4×5 (which is a very common ratio giving the popular 8″x10″ print.

Some images suit a square crop which is, of course, 1×1 (or any size of equal dimensions, 12×12, 20×20 etc).

These sizes look like this but these are just examples as there are a lot of size choices that have the same proportions.Untitled-1Cropping is done to improve the aesthetics of the image, perhaps to balance the subject in the surrounds properly or to cut out unwanted distractions.  That doesn’t mean to say that it is cut and dried… I can always attempt to recrop to a desired size if you let me know.

It isn’t easy for you to tell which rectangle I have chosen but there is a way to simply tell once you start to order a print.


You can see a list of sizes and print types and can scroll down to go through a great selection of options.  When you see the phrase, “Needs cropping in checkout” this indicates that this isn’t the original size and you will need to cut some of the image off.  You can do this yourself but if it looks like you are going to miss an important part of the image then let me know and I’ll try to recrop the image myself and repost it for you.


When you select the same print proportions as the image then the, “Needs cropping in checkout” phrase is absent.  You don’t have to scroll all the way through to find some sizes as there are some shortcut buttons there to help e.g. “Square sizes.”

Once you have clicked on a size then some information about the chosen print type appears on the left.   In cases where I have had to crop a large portion of the original image some of the largest sizes may not be available.  This is to prevent you ordering an image that might look pixilated.


Some print types have even more information and following the, “More info” link takes you to a full description and, in some cases, a video.


Once you have made your choice then head for the checkout to give your details for payment and delivery.

Of course there is an option to download an image as a file so that you can use a printer of your choice or post the photos on the internet.

For this, instead of selecting PRINTS at the top, you just select DOWNLOADS.  Again here there are a few choices of size that can be made but there is help at hand.  When you select a size the left side gives you more options but even better information is available if you click the, The use of this image is subject to a Personal License.  Read it here. link!


As well as the details of the licence you are purchasing there are more clues on which size of download to buy to suit your needs.

In a nutshell… the Web Size image is ok for phone or tablet image use, the 1Mpx is good for a computer screen size, the 4Mpx is great for a fairly large print and the Original image size is the largest you can get.  In cases where I have had to crop a large portion of the original image some of these sizes may not be available.

So, all in all, its a simple way to get your images either as prints or downloads.  Should you have any problems or feedback then I am always here to help if I can.

A Shoot for Charity

Auction photo

I am making another charity donation to Otty Barrett’s Mum, Lucy on behalf of the dog rescue charities she supports.   This will be another of my much loved Home Shoots for the London and Surrey VizWhizz Spring auction.

The shoot I am offering is one of my Premium Package shoots which would normally cost £250.

In a nutshell this is a 5 hour shoot both indoors and outdoors with full post processing and over 60 images to choose from.

Travel to your home is included so long as you are not more than around 50 miles from Liss in Hants (GU33 7DB), otherwise travel expenses may be added.

To get more information about a home shoot visit:

You can view other home shoots on my gallery page at:

You can take a look at a video and a location map at:

In previous years I have only offered picture files to download as part of the prize but my new website now allows you to purchase prints or downloads directly so that you can choose as many or as few photos as you want.  The cost of images or downloads are not part of the prize and must be purchased separately.

So if you are keen to support our canine charities and were thinking of getting a Home Shoot then this would be a great opportunity to combine both!

The London & Surrey VizWhizz group can be found here:

And the auction page is here:

The Very Handsome Otty
The Very Handsome Otty

Crufts here we come!


I am busy looking for my old Fedora with the press card sticking out of the hat band as I am off to Crufts with my credentials to see what I fun I can have.  This will be my first visit to the world’s best dog show so I am expecting something special.

Rather than getting a parade of nearly identical shots of dogs in the ring I am hoping to capture a complete story of behind the scenes primping and pampering, followed by the boredom of waiting for the time to come but topped with the excitement of strutting around in the full glare of the Crufts spotlights!  The complete picture!

I know plenty of people who will be there and will be making a special effort to get some great images of them but I am sure I will be making some new friends along the way.  With that in mind I have ordered some new business cards to hand out so that I can attract a bit of interest in the website and try to cover my costs.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 21.59.11So here is wishing everyone, especially if they are ginger, all the luck in the world when they get their go at prancing round the show rinks.  Don’t forget to wave and I’ll be sure to get the shots you want.


A busy bee!


That has been a busy few days… hardly time to keep my batteries charged!  First was a lovely whizz with Surrey Vizsla to Windsor Great Park which gave plenty of wide open space for the dogs to run in.  Since the Vizsla is one of the fastest breeds it is great to watch their athleticism, even if it is a difficult job photographing them!

SY Whizz-4161

The weather started well but things wouldn’t be right unless we had a bit of rain and by the end of the walk we were being blown home by a cold, wet wind that reminded us it was still winter!  Of course not everyone has Vizslas and we had a few guests along including a very fit German Shorthaired Pointer.

SY Whizz-

If you want to go through the whole gallery of shots for this whizz then please click here.


On Sunday it was the turn of the London and Surrey VizWhizz group to get together and it was to Banstead Woods that they turned.  That was quite a different environment through wooded paths which were very picturesque, if a bit muddy but the tight space made photography a bit difficult at times.


There were plenty of people there with around 40 dogs and it was priceless to see peoples faces as we passed them with our ginger pack of hooligans!  I was grateful for the fields we passed through as I was able to get some better running images.



I didn’t have much time to work on and post the images from these walks before I was due to do a home shoot for Kate and her delightful pack.

If you want to go through the whole gallery of shots for this whizz then please click here.   🙂

Janet and Tony’s Home Shoot

Janet Stanley-9617

Janet and Tony’s shoot was a little different from normal as I had four adults and three dogs to photograph.  This naturally compressed the time I could spend with each combination and reduced the choice of shots that could be attempted.  However, I was delighted with the results and they can be found in a gallery on my website.

Everyone was wonderfully good natured and the dogs did their best considering the excitement of a visit from Layla, the third dog belonging to Janet’s parents.  Muttley is a sizeable HW Vizsla and although he is still young and growing he is very laid back and a charming chap, full of character.  Janet’s other dog is a mature Cocker who is a rescue dog that has needed lots of love and patience to bring him to the happy state he now enjoys.  He has a super coat that mingles black and brown with white streaks and a pair of lovely eyebrows that gives his face such expression.

Janet Stanley-9314

Janet’s parents are the proud owner of a new and squiggly HW Vizsla puppy called Layla.  Yet to show much wire, she is sleek and energetic and thoroughly enjoyed games of rough and tumble with Muttley.

Janet Stanley--2

After the portrait work, our walk took us out into some woods where everyone got to play and produce some great photo opportunities.

Janet Stanley-0062

All told it was a fun shoot and great to be part of.  The post processing took a little more effort than normal but Janet was very patient and in only a few days the results were up on the website.

Should you want a Home Shoot then please feel free to look through my website and remember that for the month of February I am giving a 30% discount on firm bookings.

A Shoot Tomorrow

Kit cleaning-1141


Off to a shoot tomorrow so time to check and clean the gear to make sure everything is running well and sparkling.

My choice of cleaning gear has, for a long time now, been Visible Dust.  They have a great selection of sensor swabs and dust brushes which have a fascinating action.  The brushes whizz round in the handle to rid them of dust on the hairs and to charge them with static electricity.  That helps the dust particles to stick to the brushes as I gently pass them over the sensitive surfaces.

Static electricity is a bit of a nightmare for a photographer as the current passing through the sensor generates a charge which naturally attracts dust to the surface.  That is why we should always turn off our cameras when we change lenses as well as the usual precautions such as keeping out of the wind and making sure the rear of the lens is dust free before we attach it to the camera.

So tomorrow has me off to Janet’s place for a 3 dog shoot, Mutley a lovely HWV, Morgie a super spangle and Layla an HWV puppy who is driving down from Northampton to join us.  Should be a great day with some sunshine for our walk in the afternoon.  Can’t wait!