There’s a rule of thumb when it comes to viral dog photography: what’s cute with dogs is going to be twice as cute when you shrink your subjects down to puppies.
Photographer Seth Casteel did it with Underwater Dogs and the sequel Underwater Puppies, and we are very happy to inform you that animal photographer Carli Davidson recently decided to take her viral SHAKE photos of dogs and create the photo series and book SHAKE Puppies.
These younger portraits actually came about thanks to a suggestion by the best possible team of photo connoisseurs you could have critiquing your work: second graders. Davidson says she was showing off the series to her friend’s second-grade class and, when she asked for feedback, they had two words for her: puppies and colors.
She also writes that she was, “drawn to the idea of surrounding myself with puppies.” And while you might think she’s not being literal, think again:
We actually got a chance to catch up with Davidson and ask her to fill us in on the technical details of the shoot. She tells us,
I shot these photos using rapid recycle, super short flash duration strobes (Paul Buff Einstein’s) to freeze the motion.
I used a Nikon D4 shooting 10fps to capture as many shake photos as I could and edited down to my two favorite, which was not always easy… I shot most of these with a 105mm macro lens. I love that lens for portraits of little animals and I never have to stress about getting too close to the subject for focus ?
Other gear that helped me finalize these were a Wacom Intuos and Cintiq to get all the nitty gritty retouching done, the Adobe suite — I use LR for file organization, retouch in PS and lay out / design the books in ID before delivering them to HarperCollins.
Oh! And of course, the most important tools in my arsenal: a ton of paper towels and Nature’s Miracle!
Here’s a look at the results of all those ‘accidents’ and the few pictures Carli managed to capture in-between: