Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Westie on a Harley...putting it all together!

This is one of my favorite commissions because I actually combined 3 different images from 3 very different photographers to achieve this portrait!

First the Westie...and a story that his humans were Harley owners...could I somehow combine their two loves?

Hmmmmmm....I've been on a motorcycle ONCE in my whole life, on my honeymoon on the beach in Daytona...a LONG time ago! Soooo off to google Harley Davidson forum. Sure enough, there was one, and I joined just to ask...anyone have a photo I could use to put a dog onto for a portrait? I got a lot of nice responses and chose this particular one. In the stack of photos was a pooch wearing his leather. Okay, add that! Too cute!

So I had my dog, I had an outfit for him, I had my "setting" but what to put behind it. My husband came up with the idea of a winding road...maybe on a hilltop?

I searched through lots and lots and lots of photos online until I found the perfect one! Here's one I found in the wetcanvas copyright free reference library, it was soooo perfect, I didn't change a thing!

What I learned from this particular commission was to THINK...a lot. How could I put it together...what resources did I have...who could help me? My experience has been that photographers have been very generous with allowing me to use their images as a reference.

Again, I think the background...and the supporting "setting" of the motorcycle...makes this portrait. The motorcycle took a lot more time than the dog!

I believe that my customer would have been happy with the dog and a Harley collar. And I would have made the same exact amount of money...more per hour! But I think it's important to approach every single commission as though it's the most important one I'll ever do...to give it my all in every aspect. To me, that is important to keep from burning out.

I read about a famous child's portraitist grousing at a workshop that she was "stuck" doing portraits of rich kids. I hope I never get there. And the way to keep from seeing just another dog or just another kid with blue eyes, imo, is to try and stretch artistically and intellectually EVERY time I work.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions, questions and comments! If you haven't seen my pet portrait website yet, it's http://robinzebley.com . And if you'd like to read this whole blog, click on the banner at the top and don't forget to look at the older posts at the bottom! Want to keep up to date on my blog? Just go to the "follow this blog" section to your right and sign up. We'll see you around!

Next time, something really special...a cat, a train, a fence...you'll see!


Michelle said...

How fun! You did a great job!

Robin said...

Thanks Michelle! He was fun.

Gail H. Ragsdale said...

Wonderful piece!