Plans for 2018

Good morning!

I think 2018 will be a fantastic year. I have online-courses, workshops, photo-sessions, fine art projects, and a book coming up!

This blog, however, will not be updated as often as before. Almost all of 2017 I had the ambition to post about two times a week, and never lived up to it. This year I want to set a goal that motivates me, and doesn’t feel like “work” – this blog is just for fun after all. That means that I will post when I have something on my mind that I want to share. It can be photos that I love, a new fun tip I think you will like, information about workshops and online-classes, or just something I’ve been thinking about.

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Make sure you follow me on Facebook, that’s where I’ll keep in touch on a daily (well, not daily but a bit more often than here) basis.

Today the sun is out, the birds are singing, and I’m hoping that the winter will end soon. I have a vacation coming up in 28 days (yey!), Fuerteventura here I come! And I got the first layout on my coming book about dog photography in my inbox this morning, and it’s bea-ti-ful.

Maybe I’ll skip working today, and just grab my camera and go for a walk with my dogs. Who knows what we’ll find?

Long time no see – here’s the reason(s)!

My blogging has been pushed to the bottom of my to-do-list for some weeks now. But it’s for a fun reason!

I’m finishing my new book!

Yep. I spend my days reading my texts over and over again, choosing the right photos, and I’m in close contact with my friend and publisher about all the tiny details.

The book is called “Klick – hundfotografering med glädje”, which means “Click – dog photography with joy!” (we’ll have to come up with a better title for the english version…)

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I’m as happy as Midori on her way to a tennis ball!

I have also started my last online-course for this year (obviously), and it’s so much fun! We concentrate on creating images that tell stories and show emotions, and my students are the BEST! I hope to have the time to create english online-courses for 2018!

And as my third thing I have released my creative side and made som printable dog training templates! You can find them in my brand new Etsy shop. I have big plans for this shop…wait and see!

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These cuties appear on the templates, and their friends 🙂

If you prefer the swedish version, you find them HERE!

And none of this would ever have been possible without these three. They support me when I work, laying at my feet. They comfort me when it’s hard and I’m stressed. They make me take them on walks, train them, and that makes my life better.

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Frost

It’s getting cold in Sweden, and during the morning walk with the dogs, the ground was covered in frost.

Frost is beautiful! It really brings out shapes and adds texture, and the world looks different. I like to look for shapes and composition, and frost makes it easier to see as it defines edges and exaggerates lines.

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I look for some things in particular:

Contrast.

 

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The ice breaks in interesting shapes, this one looks like the letter “K”.

Edges.

 

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Frost gathers around the edges, and make beautiful sprinkly shapes.

Lines.

 

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I also love the colours on this one!

Curves.

 

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Again, the colours really add to the photo. I love this one.

Repetition.

 

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And a short DOF to add a bit of composition.

Maybe I will manage through this winter after all!

 

 

 

 

 

Feed your creativity

You need fuel.

I mean, your BODY needs fuel, obviously, but so does your creativity. So does your mind.

I find that it’s easy to get lazy. It’s easy to do what you know will work, use the settings you are familiar with, use the poses you know will look good. Let’s face it: it’s easy to get stuck…(There is, of course, a possibility that this only applies to me – but I don’t think so.)

What you feed your body is easy, but what do you feed your mind? Let me share some of my best tips!

  • Join a photo community. An FB-group is one possibility if you find a good one. A site like Youpic, Gurushots, 500px, or Swedish Fotosidan is another good option. Engage. Comment.
  • Learn more. In Sweden we have Moderskeppet, internationally I like CreativLive and Skillshare. (Oh, by the way, I can get you two months free on Skillshare! Follow THIS LINK! I love Skillshare…)
  • Get inspired by social media. Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook…Follow people whose work you admire.
  • Try a new field of creativity! I have recently started drawing and painting, something I looooved doing as a child but haven’t done in…20 years…
  • Get inspired by other great artists. Go to an exhibition. I love Louisiana in Denmark, but I also visit my local galleries and museums. Even the camera store shows photos by local artists from time to time!
  • Join a challenge. From time to time, there are challenges to participate in that gives you a task or subject, you create your image, and upload it with other participants.
  • Compete. Not to win. Just to produce a certain kind of photo, that you think will fit the contest. It’s all about participating!

There is one more thing I think you already do, but maybe you don’t think of it as feeding your creativity: watch moving pictures. Films, series, shows. The basics of how to create a mood, with light and composition and colours, are the same in moving pictures as in photos. Film-makers are often very, VERY good at this!

I started watching Stranger Things this Monday, and apart from being an awesome series, it is beautiful to watch! They use just about every trick in the book – and it works. I freeze my screen multiple times each episode and just look at the details in light and composition that creates the mood in the scene.

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Both photos from google

Next time you look at a film – watch for the small details that build the scene. Get inspired. Feed your creativity.

The art of flat lay photos

Yesterday I gave my students an assignment: take a photo of your school bag and its content, flat lay style.

They did a much better job than I did, to be honest…This is my own image:

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I wanted to show off my notebook, I love this notebook!

I can’t show theirs, but the exercise itself was a lot of fun! Tip: use your phone, and have it showing a nice photo that matches the background. Very cool looking.

I do flat lays for Instagram for my other project, The Creative Kelpie, and I am getting better, but compared to the best I have a LOT to learn. But then again: compared to the best I ALWAYS have a lot to learn…That’s part of the fun!

Let me share a few tips I’ve picked up this far:

  • I almost exclusively use my phone for Instagram flat lays. I edit in Snapseed and A Color Story. As I only show on Instagram or my blog, I really don’t need my big camera.
  • Start with finding the light. Near a window or outside on a cloudy day is perfect. I think even light looks the best, with few shadows.
  • Now for the background. It should be simple, and contrast against the items to really put the items in focus. I like geometrical patterns or a nice texture, but it can’t be too much. I use tables, floors, grass, asphalt, blankets, fabric.
  • Place the items thoughtfully. I like it messy, but messy with afterthought if you get what I mean..Look up classic rules of composition, like the rule of thirds, leading lines, framing, etc. They all work well. And play with negative space!
  • Keep to one colour scheme, that makes it easier to avoid it looking messy even if there are multiple items.

I like this one, with its mix of geometrical patterns and muted colours.

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As I prepared for my students, I even made a film. It’s very amateur (I’m NOT a filmmaker!), and in Swedish, but maybe you can get a few tips!

If you are interested…Search for “flat lay photography” on Youtube. There are TONS of creative people out there! I will keep learning and keep working on my flat lays – and hopefully get better and better!

(And if you have any feedback for me, don’t hesitate to share! A have no problem with critique!)

Behind the scenes

Often when I do a session I get ideas as I see something – I can see the finished photo in my head! Often when I di this, I work with a dog that is not my own. That means that I have absolutely no idea if it will work or not, but most of the time we give it a try!

If the dog is hungry and the owner patient most of the time I get my shot. Sometimes it takes a little time and effort, and a lot of creativity, but as long as the dog thinks it’s a fun game we keep trying and see what we get!

This time I saw a tree.

“Do you think we can get Ciri to stand on her hind legs and rest her head between the branches?”

“No idea! Let’s try!”

And the finished result:smakprov-3761-2

I think Ciri had the most fun!

The perfect model

Some dogs, you just know are going to look fantastic in a photo. They have…that. My Midori does (at least in my eyes). My Valle even more, but it’s harder to capture. And as soon as I saw Fargo, I just knew…This is a dog supermodel!

Let’s start with “Don’t touch my Mom”-Fargo. I loooove how they match!

And then there is beautiful Fargo.

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Fargo on an adventure.

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Fargo at full speed.

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Goofy Fargo.

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Fargo on the lookout.

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This dog has like a million expressions!

And he’s well trained, (how else do you get a dog to put his head through a hole in a fallen tree…?) and a joy to work with. All of a sudden I feel a craving for a Cane Corse of my own…

Working together

I feel a bit guilty, normally I post twice a week but these past two weeks have been kind of busy…I have had some absolutely amazing photo sessions, and I will show as soon I get the editing done the way I want it. I have got two from today, so let’s start there!

Autumn is the best of seasons when it comes to photographing, and today was no exception. Overcast but bright, the colours are fantastic, and it’s still warm enough to let the dogs be in the water.

Ulrika wanted photos that reflect their relation and how they love to work together. With a dog this well trained, and a relation filled with mutual love and respect, that was an easy task!

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Seeing two individuals working together like this, and to get the privilege to capture it with my camera, that makes me all warm and happy. Thank you!

A photo that tells a story

The more I look at photos and create my own, the more I appreciate photos that tell a story. Sometimes they are a little bit harder to “get” at first, it’s easier to appreciate a beautifully lit portrait, but to me, they are the photos that I return to and look at time and time again.

It’s hard to know what makes that kind of photo. It’s hard because it’s all about how I associate, what memories and feeling I get, and that depends on my past experiences and what I personally like and dislike. I can get totally stuck on a photo that no one else likes. And I can find photos that get a million likes totally uninteresting to look at. Photos, images, are a personal experience.

Yesterday I met a friend and her dog for a session. They always make me smile because they really and truly enjoy being together. They have a strong friendship, and it always shows. They have fun together.

When everything was done and we headed for the cars, she looked at her trousers that were muddy and her shoes that were wet and asked me for one more photo. One that shows what it’s all about when you are out having fun with your best friend. So I took this, and I absolutely love it:

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This makes me think of their joy together, and how they never care about dirt or water – they are all about the great outdoor adventure. A tracking line and a toy tell what they have been doing together. A whole story in one photo.

It also brings me back to my own walks in the woods with my friends, working together, training, och just hanging out. What it feels like when we are…you know…connected with nature? I can see that it may sound a little weird, but that’s how it feels! Me and my dog, in the forest, doing fun stuff.

I think this photo requires that you have those experiences (or similar). Otherwise, it’s just dirty feet and paws, and a toy. Or maybe I’m wrong?

As you can tell, I’m a bit fascinated with how images speak to people in different ways. I’m curious – does this one speak to you?