Thursday, November 17, 2011

Top 5 pet photography tricks I plan to use on my nephews instead (and post pics of on Saturday) because I have cute pet envy

List by Tosca

"The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude."
- Robert Brault

This isn't a serious-ish post. You can probably tell that by the long winded post title, and yet I still feel compelled to warn you in advance. So, here goes. Yesterday afternoon I felt guilty about the fact that The Art of Fielding : A Novel by Chad Harbach is overdue on my card (I can't get into it and I keep trying because online critics talk about how good it really is, one of them said it reminded them of John Iriving, whose books I adored in my late teens/early 20s so I tried for that reason only I now want to hunt them down and frown at them because I didn't feel that) and went downstairs to return it, only to get down there and realise it was upstairs on my desk. Dumb. Not wanting to make it a wasted trip, I raided their new/recently returned display shelf and found - TA DA - Pet photography 101 : tips for taking better photos of your dog or cat by Andrew Darlow. I don't own a pet. The cat I had preferred my father. She also thought she was a dog and would only come if you whistled. The dog I had was as neurotic as I was and had this odd habit of crying loudly if it rained while we were out walking, and would then run home without me to hide behind the sofa. I figure it's me, not them, and so I don't have pets anymore. Which means I can't take photos of them, and I'm disappointed because they make such cute subjects! I'm going to do the next best thing - I'm going to take 5 of Monsieur Darlow's tips and have my nephews pose in place of cute fluffy puppies/kittens instead. I foresee tears, drama, tragedy and possible laughs all around (for them? for me? for the neighbours?) *hopeful look* This book really does have fantastic ideas for photographing pets and I highly recommend it - I'm just envious of all of the people who can actually put these into practice and brag about them. If you like this post, or if it made you laugh, then please pretty please post a pic of your own cute dog/cat/llama/chinchilla/axolotyl :-) (Don't dismiss axolotyls - they were my favourite pets of all the ones we ever had, and smarter than you'd think).

On to the tips I've chosen, which are just numbers and words at the moment. Saturday I will upload the pics! (Assuming I, or my nephews, have managed to come out of the experience unscathed and somewhat willing to talk about it all).

Related (if only in a roundabout way): This photography book put me in mind of a Scott Schuman clip I saw a couple of days ago that made think about the way in which we/I try to reach customers. YOU. Scott, known as The Sartorialist, has a site that is, really, an ongoing worldwide conversation about fashion. It wasn't that the clip was about Intel (because it was, only not in an obvious kinda way). For me, it was more about the fact that he was out there in the world, and showing us, through the use of his camera, how he was thinking and reacting to what he was seeing. He was telling us, without saying outright, how well Intel enabled him to add value to his life. It got me thinking that I'd love to know how much value Auckland Libraries adds to your lives. And in what ways, and how that informs what decisions you go on to make. If libraries are about stories and storytelling, then maybe we/I need to tell these stories. I know that I want to see them. I know I'd love to be able to tell them. I *want* to see your story. And that's what I'm thinking about at the moment. Approaching you, wherever you are, and asking you how we change your life. (Do we change your life?) And wondering if you'll let me film it, record it, or even write it up. Will you?

Create outstanding black-and-white retro-looking images from your digital files
I like black and white images. Something about them makes the subject look a little more serious and reflective. They also make me look a teensy bit more photogenic and, considering I hate photos of myself, that's saying something. Goal: provide a black-and-white retro-looking photo of nephew/s. Will pass on the 'outstanding' and just aim for 'black-and-white.'

Photograph someone happily holding multiple nephews
Considering that my nephews are aged 14, 13, 7, 1 and 1...this is going to be tricky. But I shall not let that deter me. Besides, it's not me that'll be holding them...

Might as well...JUMP! Capture airborne action outdoors
I'm a tad bit afraid of what that will look like, exactly, and which one of us will get hurt by flying feet (probably me) but game to try. I think.

Photograph your nephew chewing on something
On 'something.' That could be half the fun right there.

Stack 'em up! Photograph a nephew sitting or standing on another nephew
No. Really? Ok. If you insist...

Pics/poses/tips I shall not be trying:
  • including nephews in my wedding - yeah, nah, I'm not about to hurriedly create a wedding to tick that off the list
  • taking Valentine's Day photos of nephews and creating cards to send out
  • capturing nephews in and around water - am convinced this would not end well for nephews/me/you
  • co-ordinating my nephew/s to the background - could only end in tears (theirs) and swears (mine) if I tried to match them to our garden, or fence or, egad no way, the curtains
  • photographing some nephew parts - parts? What dost thou mean by 'parts'? A foot to the face while I'm trying to take a close-up snap of it does not appeal
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