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Category Archives: Portraits

Portrait Session for 2 Sisters: Penny and Lucy

Not too long ago, these two pretty girls came for a portrait session. They aren’t really sisters since they are totally unrelated. But they love each others like sisters! Lucy, on the left, had the best smile during the entire session. She really enjoyed showing off her pearly whites! Penny, the Golden Retriever on the right, was a bit more serious for some of her shots.

Golden Retriever

Penny’s smile just makes me smile.

Happy Golden Girl

The American Kennel Club describes the Golden Retriever as outgoing, trustworthy and eager-to-please family dogs“. Penny definitely fit the description. She was so friendly and outgoing, that she kept wanting to visit with David and me rather than to sit still. She was a pretty rambunctious pup when she wanted attention, but she really had a way of working the camera when she did sit still. During those split seconds, she was very photogenic.

All American dog

Look at that grin on Lucy’s face!

Photogenic All-American Girl

When Carol called to book a pet portrait session for her girls, she told me that Lucy was getting a little older (8 years old) and she had no good photos of her pretty black girl. Black dogs are definitely a challenge for most folks to photograph because that black fur just soaks up the light. Inside snapshots turn out looking like faceless black blobs. Outside, they pick up the green color cast from the grass and they STILL sometimes look like black blobs. As a professional, I love being able to immortalize dogs of all kinds, even the difficult ones like over zealous puppies and dark black dogs.

Golden Retriever
Black dog

Both girls even settled a bit by the end of their session. And who wouldn’t want to see those happy faces smiling at them every day?

If you would like to schedule a session for your own heart dog, drop us a line.

And with that, I leave you with this parting thought…..

A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won’t be too bad. – Robert Wagner

A Family Affair – Pet Photography Style

Way back in February, Katie S. came for a pet photography session for her family of 4 well-mannered pups. Okay, only one was actually still a puppy, but they were all really fun to work with.

First up – Denny!

Red Beagle Play Bowing on Small Footstool for a pet photography session - Images By Janice Lukenbill

Everyone’s favorite Beagle boy, Denny. Denny’s tail never stopped wagging. Of course, that is what we all love about him. His smile is contagious too.

Next up – Whiskey!

Or, as David like to call him, Bourbon. Whiskey is such a handsome fellow. He looks like a Border Collie but he is actually a Border Collie – Australian Shepherd cross. You can barely tell in this photo, but his well-plumed tail is one of his claims to fame. When he is running agility, it looks like a flag blowing in the wind behind him.

Third – Izzie!

Pembroke Welsh Corgi sitting on orange settee during a pet photography session - Images By Janice Lukenbill

Izzie the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was just adorable. Her mom was worried that she wouldn’t sit still for her session, but she was perfect! Plus, she offered some great head tilts. Don’t you just love her ears?

And now – the pup!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever posing on a Footstool during his pet photography session - Images By Janice Lukenbill

Puppy Vino is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. (How’s that for a mouthful?) Vino thought this entire pet photography session was just for him. Looking at that face, I think he might have a bit of a ‘tude. I love him and threatened to steal him from Katie at the end of the session.

Family portrait time…..

After we got everyone’s individual portraits made, it was time for the family portrait. Oh my! That was really fun. I put the orange settee back out and put some posing blocks behind for Whiskey to stand on. Then Katie and David (my husband/dog whisper) got everyone into position. Surprisingly it only took a couple of clicks to get the final family portrait.

Four Dogs posing on an orange settee - Pet family portrait - Images By Janice Lukenbill

I think it is going to look great over Katie’s sofa!

Pet family portrait hanging over bench - Images By Janice Lukenbill

For information on a session of your own, contact us.

Two adorable Pomeranians: a pet photography session recap

OMG! These two adorable little Pomeranians came to visit for a pet photography session late last Fall. Things have been hectic around here since the first of the year and I just realized that I never got around to sharing Simmer and Temper. Chris E. owns both girls and they love running agility with their mom.

Pomeranian whispers

Temper whispers to Simmer, “I have a secret.”

Chris and I have known each other a long time. We showed our first obedience dogs at the same time. And, no. I will not tell you exactly how long ago that was. Suffice it to say that it was sometime in the last Century <insert smile here>.

Chris won a gift certificate for this pet photography session through the Derby City Agility Association. We finally got a chance to schedule the girls’ portrait session and a later we sat together for her to order her favorite portraits. The week after I delivered her framed prints to her, COVID-19 pandemic shut down pretty much everything here in Kentucky. I am so glad that we were able to get together before then.

Simmer the Pomeranian shows off her pretty face during her pet photography session at Images By Janice
Above: Simmer the Pomeranian shows off her pretty face.
Temper the Pomeranian poses graciously for her pet portrait session
Above: Temper the Pomeranian poses for the camera
Two Pomeranians share the spotlight during their portrait session with Images By Janice
Above: One more of Simmer and Temper sharing the spotlight!

I had such a fun time photographing these two Pomeranian girls for their mom. This was such an easy session. The reason? Both girls are so well trained.

Remember that I mentioned that they both run agility with Chris? Well, we captured this great shot of Temper at the American Pomeranian Club National Agility trial right before pandemic shutdown. Temper and I will leave you with these final parting words!

"It's always too early to quit." - Norman Vincent Peale
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Rhys and Pascal – English Setter Pet Portrait Session

Disclaimer: This is a repost of a previously published blog post. The previous post was lost during a site migration.

I recently had the pleasure of hosting 2 gorgeous English Setters, Rhys and Pascal for a pet portrait session in my studio. I wanted to share a little about them along with some portraits from their studio session. Their owner, Erin, was kind enough to share all about her 2 special boys. So, in her own words….

First up: Ravenwood One More Time with Enthusiasm CD BN RE AX AXJ OAP OJP XF OFP CGCA CGCU TKA, aka “Rhys”

Adult English Setter

Rhys, 9 years old in his portrait, is from Jane R. (Ravenwood) here in Louisville, Kentucky. He is our first English Setter. We bought him simply intending to have a pet. I’ve always loved training, though, and he was a busy puppy, so we took him to any class we could find just to give us both something to do. One of our obedience trainers later offered a tracking class, so we gave it a try. Then came agility. Then rally. We had fun doing all of it. I loved watching him learn new skills, but because of his early diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, I never thought he would be healthy and stable enough to do anything more than play in training classes.

By the time he was three, Rhys’ IBD was controlled enough that I decided maybe we could actually show. From there, things took off. We have since completed over two dozen titles together (and counting!). We have traveled to ten different states and made more new friends than I could begin to count. I never imagined the journey that this sweet, silly, speckled beastie would take me on!

English Setter on a settee

Next up: Esthete Under Pressure, aka “Pascal”

English Setter Puppy Portrait

Pascal, 12 weeks in his portraits, is from Jill W. (Esthete) in New Mexico. We searched for nearly five years for just the right puppy to be my next companion and partner. I knew I wanted another English Setter. (You can’t beat them on sweetness and expressiveness. Plus, they are drop-dead gorgeous.) I needed it to be a bench-bred dog rather than a field-bred dog to get the structure to physically stand up to years of competition in obedience and agility. Bench dogs are what we call “soft”, though, meaning they often don’t stand up well under pressure or in stressful situations (something Rhys and I still struggle with). For those reasons, I really wanted both parents to be proven performance dogs – something that is fairly uncommon (but growing) in our breed.

I have known Jill – another lover of versatile English Setters – for several years. A year ago at our National Specialty agility trial. she mentioned potentially breeding, one last time, her “Allegra” (GCH CH Esquire ‘N’ Esthete’s Rock You! CD BN RA JH OAP OJP OFP CGC TKN) to “Shakespeare” (GCHG CH Esthete’s The Bard Of Avon BN RE SH NA NAJ NF CGC TKA). I was immediately interested. In addition to both parents being Grand Champions, they were also successful in a number of other sports, from agility to obedience and rally to hunting. When the litter was born, they were exposed to a number of different experiences with the Puppy Culture system. This helped build their confidence, intelligence, and ability to work through stress. These were going to be rock star puppies!

Success!

We can definitely see the impact Paz’s breeding and rearing has had! He is bold, outgoing, confident, and resilient – just like I wanted. At the English Setter National Specialty last fall, our first foray into the conformation world, he marched right into the building like he owned the place. The noise of the dryers, the barking, and all the dogs and people running around didn’t bother him at all. His confidence helped us to take Best of Opposite Sex in the 4-6 Month Beginner Puppy class. I am so excited about our future together and all the new experience we will have!

Tired English Setter Puppy
Tired puppy….
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Photographs and memories…..

I love old dogs so much.  I currently have 2 senior citizens living here (along with the 2 younger guys).  My oldsters are Ian the English Cocker, who will be 13 at the end of the month, and Wolfie the Miniature Poodle, who will be 15 a day later.  

Today, my computer developed some sort of glitch while I was at lunch.  I came back upstairs to find my usual scenic wallpaper on my monitor replaced with a generic MS Windows wallpaper.  Yuck!  Even after rebooting the system, my normal wallpaper was missing in action.  Rather than trying to find that same landscape that I’ve been looking at for years, I just started going through what Windows found in some old photo folders.

Here’s what I found …

English Cocker puppy

… Ian as a puppy!  It was in a folder full of cute puppy pictures taken right after we brought him home.  The one above is now my wallpaper on both monitors.

Like I said above, Ian is almost 13 now.  He’s a lot grayer.  He has huge cataracts that obstruct most of his vision.  He has been hard of hearing for the last few years.  Still, he is so special to me.  He was my first spaniel.  He was the most awesome partner in the Rally Obedience ring earning many titles and setting a few breed records along the way. He still makes me laugh with his silly antics and I hug him every day.

Here’s my best boy now…

Actually, the portrait above was taken a couple of years ago. (It hangs over my living room sofa.) He’s a LOT grayer now. Which reminds me.  I need to make some more portraits of both him and Wolfie.

Anyway, running across that puppy picture made me nostalgic.  It also reminded me of so many clients who brought their older, veteran best friends for portraits so they would have those lasting memories forever.  The nostalgia led to me turning some of those portraits into a short video.  That video was shared on Facebook and might be what led you to this post.  Here’s a link to the video on Youtube, if you missed it.  

Photographs and memories …

Make some while you can.  Have a great weekend!   

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Painted Pet Portraits Score Well in Competition

My Painted Pet Portraits Were a Success!

Wow! The past few days have been a whirlwind. The largest photographic competition for professional photographers (IPC) hosted by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) just concluded yesterday. Judging started at 4 PM on Sunday evening and ran 3 hours on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday were full days (8:30 to 6 and 8 to 6, respectively). The final day was yesterday and judging ran until early afternoon. Atlanta, where PPA is headquartered, played host to the event. Fortunately, judging was live-streamed via the internet. I was glued to my computer or iPad screen for most of that time. With 5 rooms going at once, I was constantly jumping from room to room to try to catch my own painted pet portrait entries, any animal image being judged, and also entries submitted by friends and colleagues. My neck is still stiff from spending way too long leaning into the computer monitor for 3+ days.

My Painted Pet Portrait Entries

Four of my images were entered in the Photographic Open category of the competition. All 4 were client’s dogs that were photographed in studio and then painted in Photoshop. I am proud to say that all 4 earned merit scores toward my Master of Photography degree with PPA. The first image is called “Mom’s Pride and Joy”. This little guy is the smallest little Yorkshire Terrier. His name is Dash. He came to a portrait session back in February – all the way from Nashville, Tennessee!

Painted Pet Portrait - Yorkshire Terrier

 

The next competition image is entitled “Oscar Mayer”. I just couldn’t help but think of the little ditty from the ages old commercial when I named this one. You remember it, don’t you? “My baloney has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R. My baloney has a second name, it’s M-A-Y-E-R”. Okay, I know this is a Dachshund, but Oscar Mayer sold hot dogs too!

Painted Pet Portrait - Dachshund

 

Third was “Mop Top Diva”. This little Yorkshire Terrier girl’s real name is Roxie and her mom brought her for a session last summer. She was a delight and I can’t wait until she comes back. Her mom is already planning her next portrait session.

Painted Pet Portrait - Yorkshire Terrier

 

Finally, my last merited image in this year’s competition was entitled “Velveteen Vixen”. Pila is a Mudi, a Hungarian herding breed. She was imported from Hungary and came in for puppy photos not long after arriving in Kentucky. Her session was a blast! Puppies are so entertaining. She did hold still (with some help) long enough for some great photos. This particular portrait was painted in Photoshop (like all those above).

Painted Pet Portrait - Mudi puppy

 

Is Painting Easy?

Is painting easy? Yes and no. It is time-consuming and requires a great deal of mental focus. I enjoy doing it. Doing anything you enjoy makes it seem easier.

Are you curious about how much work goes into a painted portrait? The final image above was painted version #30. Below is the straight out of camera shot.

Mudi puppy portrait session

 

And here is the first painted version:

Mudi puppy version one

 

You can see it was a pretty large transformation to get from the original image to finished product.

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Dog Photos – Made into Artwork

David and I photograph several dog agility trials throughout the year. We also photograph some dog obedience and rally trials. My favorite thing to do with the action dog photos that we capture is to turn them into unique pieces of art. The process is slow but it is so rewarding! I love the creation process and the dog owner loves their new artwork.

The process starts with the best possible action photos. At Images By Janice, we use camera gear that is optimized for the low-light conditions of most indoor dog event facilities. That insures that we have high-quality, clear dog photos to start with. We then help the owner pick out the best photo from among their favorites at an event. Some action dog photos work better than others for the artwork that I create. A nice intense, focused look on the dog’s face is priceless! Also, jumping dog photos work very well. Believe it or not, even photos of the dog landing from a jump can create a really awesome piece of artwork. For example, the three photos below:

Agility dog photo from Queen City Dog Training Club - Keeshond - ©Images By Janice, LLC - Louisville, KY

Agility dog photo - Keeshond - ©Images By Janice, LLC - Louisville, Kentucky

Happy dog photo - ©Images By Janice, LLC - Louisville, KY

…..were all merged into this single piece of artwork (see below).

Keeshond dog photos composite - ©Images By Janice, LLC - Louisville, KY

I love how the dog in the lower right corner is starting to land and it adds so much motion and energy to the final illustration.

Usually, the illustrations are made from a single dog photo. Once that action photo is chosen, I discuss with the owner what sort of style and colors they prefer. Once I have that information, the fun begins! As you can see from the dog photos above (taken at Queen City Dog Training Club in Cincinnati, Ohio), there are usually a lot of distracting things in the photos with the dog. I use photo-editing tools to help me “cut” the dog out of the original photograph. Sometimes I will leave a portion of the agility equipment, but other times I end up with nothing but the dog.

Once the dog is separated from the distractions, I move the cut-out dog to a clean white background and start painting. The painting is all done digitally and I enjoy playing with various color combinations. Sometimes, the colors are inspired by the dog’s coat color. Other times, the owner has a favorite color scheme and I will work with that. If the owner doesn’t have a preference, I am free to create whatever pops into my head. Those are usually my favorite finished pieces because my creativity is allowed free-run of the canvas. Below is one of my all-time favorites. I actually have a sample of it that I carry with me to agility trials. I enjoy the subtle lightning bolts, the hint of a rain shower, and the little splashes under the dog’s feet.

Jumping dog photos artwork - ©Images By Janice, LLC - Janice Lukenbill - Louisville, KY

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Louisville Pet Photographer’s Work Goes To International Exhibition

For immediate release — Louisville pet photographer, Janice Lukenbill, CPP of Images By Janice, LLC is honored by peers and jurors for high-quality photography.

Louisville, Kentucky – August 9, 2016— Several photographs created by Louisville pet photographer Janice Lukenbill, Certified Professional Photographer of Images By Janice, LLC  have recently been accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America’s 2016 International Photographic Competition. Janice’s work will be on display at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, Jan. 8-10, 2017. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers.

A panel of 46 eminent jurors from across the United States selected the top photographs from nearly 5,700 total submitted entries at Gwinnett Technical College in Georgia. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 2,428 images were selected for the General Collection and 1,007 were selected for the esteemed Loan Collection—the best of the best. The Loan Collection images will all be published in the much-anticipated “Loan Collection” book and over 200 selected General Collection images will be published in the “Showcase” book by Marathon Press.

Janice’s three dog portraits, titled What Duck?”, “She Said What?”, and “Little Prince Charming”,  will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world’s largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.

About PPA:
Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is the largest international non-profit association created by professional photographers, for professional photographers. Almost as long-lived as photography itself, PPA has roots that date back to 1869. It assists nearly 30,000 members through protection, education and resources for their continued success. See how PPA helps photographers be more at ppa.com.

 

To schedule an appointment to have your pet photographed by an award-winning photographer who specializes in animals, contact: Janice Lukenbill at
(502) 592-7071  or Janice@ImagesByJanice.com

 

Poodle Puppy portrait - Images By Janice - Louisville pet photographer

Little Prince Charming

Sheprador puppy portrait - Images By Janice - Louisville pet photographer

She Said What?

Golden Retriever portrait - Images By Janice - Louisville pet photographer

What Duck?

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I am Certified!

No, I didn’t say “certifiable”, though I’m sure that there are those who think I probably *am* certifiable.

Nope, I am now a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) through the Professional Photographers of America (PPA).  In order to become certified, one first must be a member of PPA.  Then, you must declare your candidacy, pass a written exam and then pass an image submission exam.  I declared my candidacy last May and took the written exam last June at Photo Pro Network’s Summer School in Owensboro.  The exam is 100 questions in length and you must score at least a 70 in order to pass.  The questions cover everything photographic and I studied for probably a year before declaring.  I was really pleased to pass the score with only 7 incorrect answers!

I took a while to prepare my images for image submission.  Submission entails 6 compulsory images, plus 9 client images.  I had to demonstrate that I understand how to properly light a subject (both broad light and short light) and how to use selective focus to highlight the main subject of a photograph.

broad light

Broad Light

selective focus

Selective Focus

short light

Short light

My other compulsories were chosen from 6 options.  I chose to demonstrate Rule of Thirds (a compositional technique), texture, and color harmony.

color harmony

Color harmony

rule of thirds

Rule of Thirds

shape form texture

Texture, Shape, form

Image submission periods are only open every two months.  There is a window for submissions that lasts for two weeks.  I actually submitted midway through the April 2015 period.  Once submissions close, candidates have to wait three weeks to find out whether or not they pass.  If your compulsory images don’t pass, the judges don’t even look at your client images.  Since I submitted a week before deadline, I’ve been waiting for 4 weeks to see whether or not I passed.  Fortunately, I’ve been busy with agility trial photography, so I didn’t really have time to stress out until this week.  This week, I confess, I’ve been pretty distracted.  I should have been editing images from the last agility trial, but my mind has been on CPP.

Today, before heading to Nosework class with Ian, the English Cocker, I checked email.  There is was……an email with the subject heading “CPP Results”.  I sat there and was afraid to open the email.  I finally got up the nerve to open it.  It started out with a platitude thanking me for taking part in the CPP image submission process.  I thought to myself…..”Oh no! I didn’t pass!”  Then my eyes skimmed a little further to find the word “CONGRATULATIONS” in all caps.  I had to read the email three times before it really sank in.  I am now a CPP, a Certified Professional Photographer.  I am beyond pleased to say that all of the images that I used were dog portraits (except the Selective Focus image, which was dog-related).

There are only a handful of CPPs who specialize in pet photography.  I am proud to say that I am now among their ranks.  If you’ve been wanting to have a beautiful photographic portrait taken of your favorite four-legged friend, give me a call at (502) 592-7071 or email me at Janice@ImagesByJanice.com to schedule a consultation.

 

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Photographing Senior Pets

Back around the first of the year, I did a portrait session for a canine senior citizen named Buzz. I’ve adored Buzz since he was a pup, so I was very honored that his owner asked me to photograph him now that he is getting on in years. While photographing senior pets can be a challenge, I am always up for a challenge.

Louisville Pet Photographer, Louisville Pet Photography, Louisville Dog Photographer, Louisville Dog Photography

The smiling face above is how I always think of Buzz. The difficulty was to capture that look in a classic portrait. You see, Buzz is hard of hearing, as are many senior pets. We couldn’t use squeaky toys or funny noises to get his attention. That left us with treats. Buzz is an English Springer Spaniel. If you know anything at all about spaniels, you know they are true chow hounds. Buzz is no exception. The owner would use treats to get him into position and then back away. Of course, Buzz decided to follow the treats rather than stay where he was left. Age does have its privileges, and Buzz is like most retired obedience-trained dogs who waste NO time in figuring out when the rules no longer apply to them. The three of us humans in the studio were laughing out loud at Buzz’s antics by the end of the portrait session. With a lot of treats, a lot of patience, and a quick shutter finger, I was able to capture Buzz’s personality for posterity.

Louisville Pet Photographer, Louisville Pet Photography, Louisville Dog Photographer, Louisville Dog Photography

Buzz’s Classic Portrait

I love spaniels for many reasons. They have beautiful coats that are so silky to the touch. They are wonderful companions. What I love the most, though, are those soulful eyes as seen in the classic portrait above. The eyes on a spaniel can melt your heart, and Buzz’s were no exception. Many thanks to his owner, Alex, for allowing me the opportunity to capture that timeless expression.

 

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