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Self Portrait

Hellllooooooo 2024! It’s a new year so I thought I’d try something new-to-me: blogging! 🤗 For each session I photograph this year, I’d like to create a quick blog post about the experience to share online.

I’m undertaking a weekly photography challenge (this’ll be my EIGHTH year participating 🤯), so I should have 52 entries at the end of the year. I might throw some additional content up if the mood strikes – maybe about hiking with dogs, craft cocktails, or camping; it’s my space so we’ll just have to see where this goes!!

52Frames Week 01:

The challenge prompt: “Self-Portrait”, with an extra challenge of “Use A Light (Off Camera)”

Right outta the gate I ran into an issue, LOL. In addition to including a dog in every frame, I resolved to take all of my challenge images outside this year. I made that decision for two reasons: 1) I like being outside in natural spaces, and 2) I’m really tired of extreme editing to fix (battered, too-small) studio backdrops. 😂 However, taking a SELF portrait, WITH a dog, OUTSIDE in January (in Colorado) was more than I could handle. So I broke my self-imposed rule in the very first week, and went into my teensy basement studio. I purchased some props in 2023 that I love and wanted to reuse, and I happened to have some clothing in the same colors, so an idea formed. I set up the chair and ottoman in front of a gray backdrop, hoping it would look like a regular painted wall, and then Queso and I just kind of moved around between the two pieces, while hubby Ken shook a treat bag above the lens. (It’s difficult to get a dog to look at a camera lens without any interaction, thus the need for a helper.) After I had a handful of possibly acceptable images, I sat down to cull and choose which one(s) to edit. Looking at the images and the strong intentional orange and blue, the gray backdrop looked a bit out of place and blah. So in true Ginger fashion, I adjusted it*. Sure, it’s a bit out there, and unrealistic, but this challenge is my place to explore and try off the wall things. 😁

Here's the image I ended up submitting, “Complementary”:

Self-portrait of a photographer and her golden retriever in blue and orange

f/5.6, 1/200th, ISO 400, @ 35mm, AD600 @ 1/16th + .5, 01/07/2024

And here’s the behind the scenes (BTS) look of how I created it:

Behind the scenes (BTS) of a studio photography session with a photographer and her golden retriever.

Another one I edited:

Self-portrait of a photographer looking up at her golden retriever dog.

And some of the others I left on the cutting room floor:

Filmstrip of self-portrait with golden etriever dog images

*In 2023 I learned a nifty Photoshop trick that makes coloring gray backgrounds a pretty easy task – I use the built in Photo Filter option.

End of blog note: I experienced an unfortunate incident during this session as I was barefoot and accidentally tripped over a weighty light stand. The impact on my "ring toe" was substantial enough to result in a fracture. Without a doubt, I endured some challenges in the name of art this week. 🤪

Ginger Wick Photography is an award winning dog photographer specializing in creating beautiful custom artwork of dogs & their people. Based in Parker, CO serving the Denver area.

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