During my five-day stay in San Francisco, I had plenty of time to explore by myself, as my partner had taken off to Colorado earlier to get some much-anticipated dirt bike riding in. Once I'd worked out how the four-way stop sign intersections worked (first in, first served!) I was cruising around happily in my little hybrid car, just as long as I reminded myself constantly - "keep right, keep right!"
One of the spots I explored was the Presidio of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula, overlooking the Golden Gate. A fortified location since 1776, this area is dotted with historic buildings and disused batteries overlooking the entrance to the bay. I found this area the most intriguing and spent an afternoon exploring the ruins among the wildflowers and admiring the clear and crisp view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I had a mentoring session booked for the next day which was supposed to just cover business topics and editing, but I loved the area so much and saw so much potential for shooting there, I contacted Flo and asked if she wanted to do some shooting as well. She happily agreed and we met there the next morning with her beautiful Labrador, Hope.
Just our luck and in what I learned later was typical summer San Francisco weather fashion, the fog rolled in the next morning. Arriving at the location, I was initially disappointed. Those amazing views to the Golden Gate Bridge were obscured!
That is, until I began shooting. Having never shot in fog before, I was stunned at the quality of light it produced - like a big soft box in the sky - bright and super diffused. I had an absolute ball with Flo and her daughter exploring the ruins, posing Hope among the wildflowers and pushing the boundaries of what we could capture in the foggy conditions. The fog had a wonderful, almost fairytale-like effect on the landscape features; softening, saturating colours and defining, while rendering objects in the distance mysterious and indistinct.
Although Flo wasn't sure if Hope would behave, she proved to be a little superstar and happily obliged with most of our requests, with the help of some great handling by Flo's daughter Camille. I'll let the photos speak for themselves!
After finishing up at the Presidio, we headed over the Golden Gate for breakfast and coffee at the lovely little bayside village of Sausalito. There we spent another hour or so editing the photos we'd taken and talking business topics relevant to Flo's pet photography business Furever Pictures.
Flo was kind enough to write a wonderful testimonial about her experiences.
"I have been following Charlotte Reeves’ work for a couple of years, admiring her amazing talent in Pet Photography.
When Charlotte mentioned on Facebook she would be offering Mentoring Sessions in San Francisco, I did not think twice about signing up. And I am glad I did! Charlotte’s mentoring session is everything I expected it to be, and so much more! Charlotte was an open book all along during our session, generously sharing techniques, tips, anecdotes from personal experience. I loved how Charlotte explained every subject we tackled in a very clear fashion, going straight to the point, and always reinforcing her point with real life examples.
I am very visual, and having Charlotte show me real life situations, to answer any of my questions, was particularly helpful! Arriving at our meeting point, the climate was the opposite of what we were expecting, conditions were not ideal. Charlotte didn’t flicker and told me this was a great opportunity to make the best of what we had. And she did find outstanding spots to shoot in. Looking at the pictures we took that day, you would never imagine how foggy and damp it was that morning! We covered a wide array of subjects such as location scouting, gear, workflow, techniques on how to best handle dogs, communication with dog owners, processing techniques, websites, marketing, clients consultations… Charlotte was very generous with both her time and knowledge sharing.
Her experience is outstanding, and when you listen to her, you really feel how passionate she is about dogs and photography! I am eager to practice everything I have been learning with Charlotte and feel more confident trying new techniques! I would highly recommend Charlotte’s mentoring sessions to anyone interested in learning from an amazing professional with real passion! In addition, I strongly recommend Charlotte’s new eBook that illustrates perfectly many interesting subjects!"
Owner of www.fureverpictures.com, San Francisco
That's over 3 months worth of daily tips covering topics like working with light, obtaining expression, camera settings, shooting action, composition, using the location, dog handling tricks – and so much more. Delivered direct to your inbox so you can read and absorb straight away (no homework required).