Archive for 'Pets'


Hey there everyone,

There’s been heaps going on around Houlden Studios lately and I have many blog posts waiting in the wings to be written and published.  Stay tuned around here over the next couple of weeks as I fill you all in on all the goodness of the past couple of months.

I wanted to very quickly share with you the results and photographs from our most recent charitable event.

Back in late winter we met with the Orillia SPCA to find out how we might work with them to help with their fundraising.  They told us about their Friends for Life walk-a-thon, one of two of their major, annual fund raisers.  After learning a bit more about the walk-a-thon, we put plans in motion to set up our charitable photo booth and create Facebook Profile photos of the participants’ dogs.

I’ve gotta say, we had an absolute blast creating these pet portraits.  It was definitely hard work though, lemme tell you!  Some of the fabulous furry buddies were very well behaved and posed magnificently.  Others, though, well, required a bit of patience, a whole lot of time and a sprinkling of luck.  You know, I wasn’t 100% convinced that we nailed it for every dog when we were packing up, but by the time I had the images downloaded and started looking at them on the big screen… wow!  Once again, we created some terrific pet portraits.

While I loved shooting these dogs, I loved even more getting out and around meeting all the dogs and owners that had come out to help support the SPCA with the walk-a-thon.  I met some pretty cool people and some really awesome dogs, even if I didn’t get to photograph them all.

As for the set up for these, I decided to try something a bit different from our previous photo booth set ups.  Instead of setting up a backdrop or using a wall as a background I decided to shoot into the light with Orillia’s Lake Couchiching as the background.  With the sun coming in from rear camera left, I set up a strobe rear camera right and a key light at camera left.  This created a lot more definition in my photo booth lighting than previous set ups.  I am really thrilled with how this turned out.  Yay!

Okay, without further ado, here’s a very short, very fun video slideshow of the pets and some of the people, too, who we photographed during the walk-a-thon.  I hope you enjoy and feel free to leave us a note in the comments below.

(Hit the jump to get to the comments if you are reading this from the home page of the blog)

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Seize the day.  Life is a fast paced affair and it has never been faster than it is now.  Social commitments, kid’s soccer and hockey games, gymnastics, Scouts, Cadets, your own physical fitness, yard work, keeping up with Facebook goings-on, getting the cottage ready for the season, going to the cottage as much as possible even….

Sounds pretty busy, doesn’t it?  And I haven’t even mentioned getting the kids out of the house for school, going to work and helping with homework, school fundraising activities and parent-teacher night.  Oh wait, I guess I just did.  I’m already exhausted just thinking about getting all of this done!

It’s no wonder then that when family members are no longer present whether it be by natural happenstance, relocation or sudden tragedy that we are suddenly left wondering where all the time has gone.  When we start looking through our belongings trying to find a picture of our loved one, we discover that the last portrait is a decade or more old and the last full family portrait was 20 years ago at the last wedding.

As I was just mentioning, life’s busy.  Way busy.  Now multiply that over a couple of different families and generations and it’s no wonder we struggle to put a multi generational portrait together.  How on earth do you get all the stars aligned so that everyone is in one place at the same time, looking great AND you have a skilled portrait photographer around?

At our portrait studio we employ a number of techniques to help our clients create great looking family portraits.  We can work around all sorts of scheduling challenges to put together a beautiful multi-generational family portrait.  Even if it means creating portraits of various family groupings on different days, even months apart, or photographing a couple of university students on their school break and adding them to the portrait later, we can do this with ease.

In fact, this portrait which we created and reviewed here on the blog around Christmas was created from several separate groupings to illustrate just this capability.  Comes together pretty awesome doesn’t it?

For this next family, Bruce and Ginny pull their family together for a portrait about once every 5 years.  When we went to their beautiful home on the shore of Lake Simcoe to discuss their portrait needs with them, they quickly walked us through their family history by discussing what was going on in each photograph over the last 25 years.  Pretty cool.  As I discussed in this post back in October, we really had a fabulous day creating their family portraits.

Just before we left Australia, a good friend of mine asked us to create their family portrait for them as they were about to leave the community they had been living in for years and years and they had their mother visiting at the time.  The outback is a place of very special meaning for these folks so we went out into the bush and found this beautiful setting for their family portrait.

I just want to leave you with these last couple of words.  There’s an old proverb that says the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago and the second best time to plant a tree is today.  Don’t let time pass you by.  Give us a call and let’s talk about creating a beautiful family portrait, whether it is just your immediate family or your entire extended family.