HomeFeaturesOn the Scene with Nadine › The Perfect Holiday Present for any Pooch-Lover

Television personality and AZfoothills.com columnist Nadine Toren is scouring the area, finding savvy Valley features, bringing readers “on the scene.” Every day she’ll introduce you to celebrities, athletes, and give you an inside look into local events and hot spots. She'll touch on topical issues, and keep AZ fans posted on all the big talkers around town.

320089 10150373485448720 538783719 8345764 11566682 n

Isn't he beautiful?  That's my baby, and yes, that's his head-shot.  Check out how you can score pet portraits on discount!

I admit, I always quietly poked fun at people obsessed over their pets.  Truly, I didn’t understand all the dog swag sold at almost every store, and why so many pet pictures are on Facebook walls—it’s only an animal, right?  However, I’ve had a change of heart.  A really big change of heart.  Ever since the fiancé got us our beloved Chow Chow named Blue, I have become all about the darn dog.

Truth be told, chew toys are scattered around the house, I buy him bones every time I go to the grocery store, and I even invest in the super expensive healthy treats, spending nearly more money than I would on myself.  In addition, I have become photograph-psycho—I want to document every single moment of Blue’s life.  Blue pictures are now framed on shelves, taped on the fridge, and yes, I have an entire album dedicated to my furry friend on Facebook. 

My fiancé thinks I’m crazy.  (Just wait ‘til we one day have kids with two feet!)

As soon as we brought home Blue, out came the camera, and while I did capture cute pictures, nothing came close to my high standards.  That’s why I did something I thought I’d never do—get my dog professional photos.

I turned to my dear friend, photographer extraordinaire Tracy Kreck.  The Valley woman runs Photographic Passion, one of our area’s fabulous artistic services.  Kreck has been in the photo biz nearly 20 years, specializing in portraits and weddings. 

“I love photography.  It’s capturing life in a form of art,” she said.

According to Kreck, it takes a lot of TLC to photograph people, but even more patience when it comes to pets.  Like photographing children, Kreck says you need to allow more time to take pictures of animals, as you can’t really make them sit still.

“More and more people are wanting nice pictures with their pet and of their pet alone.  It’s definitely a growing trend.”

Just take a look at my handsome son: Blue’s head-shot pictured at the top of this article.  Kreck was determined to get our guy the perfect picture, and she did.

“You want to concentrate on the eyes.  In most pictures, make sure the eyes are enduring, so you can see into the soul of the pet or person.”

In other words, avoid the blank stare.  Instead, snap a pic with your subject’s eyes lit up.

Next, for portraits of animals or people, it’s nice to have soft lighting.  And especially if you have a dark dog, Kreck suggests taking pictures outside, in the shade, with your camera flash on.  That will better capture Fido’s true colors. 

“Get comfortable with your subject.  Connect.  Talk.  Create a bond.  Pull out their personality.  Don’t be scared to make a fool of yourself barking or attracting your dog’s attention.”

And you can’t go wrong with having some treats in tow.

Also, you’ll want to get creative.  Don’t just take a full-body shot—get close-ups of Fido’s paw, nose, and tail.  In addition, switch up the background—get your pet doing something like walking on the leash or drinking water.

“As for post editing, you can always play around with sepia and black and white.  Adding different colorful touches offer different outcomes.”

And just by reading this, you can get a pet head-shot on discount.  Book with Kreck, mention Nadine, and you’ll receive $25 off any portrait package.  It will make for a perfect holiday present. 

For more information, visit www.photopassion.us.

rsz nadine