Animal Farm: working with animals

Today we decided to try something new. Now working with multiple models can get tricky. I find that whenever one in totally on point the other is looking off into space or doing something that is not quite on par. Now these trouble multiple exponentially the more models you add into a set.

What happens when one of your models is an African gray parrot?

We have a friend (and hair stylist) that has a few exotic birds as pets. The are always at the studio, hanging out on everyone’s shoulder, saying inappropriate comments. Then we had an idea, what sort of fab prop would one of those make in a shoot?!?!

Directing people is trouble enough, but think of doing it with a bird, untrained, does not speak English, and we definitely do not speak parrot.

In the end, all you can really hope for when working with animals is the one perfect shot where everyone is doing something magic. Though I do have to say that I does make the editing process MUCH easier since there are so many no’s.

Working with animals there are a lot of “bloopers” (as much as I really despise that word). Merlin, parrot, was eating the models hair, jewelry, lips, got covered in makeup, and started to fly away. Some of these outtakes turned out to be images that we both really liked. So you never really know what to expect from animals and that is part of the fun. They definitely do bring their own personality to the shoot. I think in the future we I would like to work with a very larger dog, a pig, a chicken and whatever else I have on offer.

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