Select Page

Magazine Cover Shoot with the Sony a7s

I’m shooting everything these days with a pair of Sony’s

My sister site blueydawg is where I showcase my ridiculously wonderful pet photography” since 2010. Recently a magazine owner contacted me to do a magazine cover shoot for her first edition of a pet magazine in Orange County. Its not an new endeavor. She’s been producing a pet magazine in Palm Desert since 2010 with great success. I photographed the entire session with my Sony a7s and FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS. I always take back up gear to my shoots and had my Sony a7II and a few lenses, FE 16-35 f4 ZA OSS, FE 24-70 f4 ZA OSS, and the amazing FE 55 1.8 ZA in my Think Tank Street Walker Pro. So you may be thinking why did I use the 12.2 megapixel Sony a7s when I had the 24 megapixel Sony a7II with me. Truth is I could have used either camera with the same results. I had the Sony VGC1EM, vertical grip on my a7s and didn’t need to worry about switching out the batteries during the shoot.
Production and Post Production: Abbey, a Shih Tzu, also known as a Lion dog was photographed outdoors, mid-day in natural light. A scenario that I’d typically not photograph a person in without auxiliary lighting. However, I’ve learned with pet photography hard light and day light is your friend. Your basically just using the sun as your key light. Because Abbey is a small dog and sits close to the ground, the white parts of her coat are easily color contaminated with the reflectance of the green grass and wild California yellow poppy flowers. In postproduction Nik filters White Neutralizer was used in mask mode to paint over the yellow and green coloration in her whit fur.
Pet Sitting, Boarding and Dog Walking: Abbey’s mom, Ruth Ann, runs a wonderful pet boarding, pet sitting and dog walking business OC Pet Companions, no relationship to the magazine. OC Pet Companions has been around for years and boost a client list of over one thousand happy clients.

” One thing I have learned in life, I always take time for animals. I have rescued 83 strays running loose on the streets to date and found all but three of them their owners. I believe in giving back to our community and work with the Pet Rescue Center and The Ark of San Juan rescues.” ~ Ruth Ann owner of OC Pet Companions

pet photographer_0070

When shooting for a cover make sure to leave room for text. The magazine art director will typically tell you where they need to layout the text. So you will need to shoot a bit more loose and leave negative space around the subject when framing in camera.

Sony a7s and FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS: I’m very pleased with the sharpness and responsiveness of the combination of the Sony a7s and FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS. Focus locked on quickly. I used a combination of Manual and AV exposures to capture images. The bokeh is excellent when shooting at ISO 400, 1/160 sec., f6.3, @ 192mm. I’m a RAW shooter and cull my images in PhotoMechanic, adjust the RAW’s in Adobe Lightroom, and retouch in Adobe Photoshop, Nik Filters and MacPhun Tonality for my black & white images.
pet photographer_0067Think Tank: I’ve recently partnered with Think Tank. IMO they makesome of the best camera bags and storage sollutions on the planet. I personally own at four Think Tank bags that I’ve personally paid for. And have been using their products for over 7 years now. Their gear is built tough and lasts, plus their customer service is outstanding. Bags I own Include: the Airport Security, Street Walker Pro, Retrospective 10, Retrospective 30. And was recently sent an early release of the new series for mirrorless systems, the Urban Approach 15 Back Pack which fits all my mirroless gear plus my iPad Mini and 13″ MacBook Pro. I’ll be doing a review on the Urban Approach 15 Back Pack {to be released in March} very soon. If you are a Think Tank fan or have been Jones’n for some Think Tank gear, I’ve got some great news for you… For free Gear go to: and enter code WS-754. You’ll get free shipping and a gift from Think Tank with you order of $50 or more.
pet photographer_0069
Disclosure: I only recommend what I use professionally and personally. No one pays me to review their products. I am part of the Sony’s Artisans of Imagery program, and purchased the cameras, lenses and accessories with my own money and use them professionally because I enjoy working with them and am very pleased with the results and the camera haptics. If I partner with a company and you use a link I provide to click through and purchase, I may receive a small commission from them.