Photographer gives advice for Sarge's Pet Photo Contest

By Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation | Jan 27, 2014
Photo by: Elizabeth Mills Watchful Waiting by Elizabeth Mills won 2nd place in Cat category in 2014

Want to submit a photo of your favorite pet to Sarge's Pet Photo contest, but don't know how to start? A local photographer has some advice.

"By now, we hope people are either looking for their favorite pet photos or are planning to take one soon," said Brenn Rohman, one of the contest coordinators for Sarge’s Pet Photo Contest. "In case people need a little guidance, we’ve enlisted the help of Beth Brown of Beth Brown Photography, one of the contest judges. We hope that this information will be helpful when entrants are choosing their photo(s)."

"I ask photographers to ask themselves, ‘What will stop and make someone look at my image above anyone else’s?'" said Beth Brown.

One very important aspect of a photograph is lighting, said Brown. The lighting will make the difference between a beautiful photograph and an average one. Being aware of how the light falls onto the subject is a very critical part of being a good photographer.  It also makes the image more interesting; shadows can add a very interesting quality to your portrait.

There are three basic forms of lighting: available/natural light, diffused light and flash, said Brown.  Available/natural light is much harder to control and sometimes a little "fill flash" will help this.  The rule of thumb for natural lighting is to photograph the subject in the early morning hours, about one or two hours after sunrise or right around sunset.

Diffused light is the light that appears in shaded areas or on days with overcast skies.  The sky acts like a huge soft box by softening the shadows and giving the subject more even tones.

A flash can be very beneficial when photographing the subject inside or outside, depending on the lighting situation.  Just watch for "red-eye" and washed-out details.

The deadline for all entries is Friday, Feb. 28.  Categories for this year’s judging are Best in Show, Dog, Cat, Puppy, Kitten, Photographers under the age of 12, Sarge Rescue, Other (animal other than a dog or cat), and Super Shooters (people who have previously won first place).

Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer. Size should range from 4x6 to 8x10 inches.  Please do not frame or mat the photos. Electronic submissions or photos altered electronically cannot be accepted. Photos, entry forms and a $10 fee should be mailed to Sarge’s Adoption Headquarters at P.O Box 854; Waynesville, NC, 28786, or delivered to 256 Industrial Park Drive in Waynesville Monday through Thursdays. For directions, please call 828-246-9050.  More than one photo can be submitted but a completed entry form and $10 fee must accompany each photo.

The Best In Show winner will receive a free photo sitting at Brown’s studio in Maggie Valley.  First place winners will receive a hand-decorated tote bag  with appropriate dog or cat goodies.  Second place winners will receive an award certificate, and all winners will receive a gift certificate from Ellen Schattie to Bocelli’s Italian Eatery in Waynesville.