Spotlight Pics: “All in the Family”


“All In The Family” was made by Margaret Bryant of Carrollton, Texas.

The most important thing to do when photographing animals is to give them the time to settle in and to get comfortable. I like to create an environment where the animals are comfortable and wonderful things can happen. Sometimes the animal comes up with a better pose than anything I could have dreamed of. I am regularly surprised by the poses that dogs come up with when they are comfortable. Patience and lots of it, is the key.

These dogs are Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. Not surprisingly, they are very smart dogs. Many of them are titled herding dogs. They come to me every year to have their photograph done. I rented a wonderful old golden colored couch and selected the blue seamless background paper to go with the couch. I then walked over to the couch and said, “Load up.” The dogs in turn jumped up on the couch and figured out themselves who would
be comfortable where. I stood back, looked at how they arranged themselves, and coaxed the dogs blocking others to move over a little. I then took the shot. That’s it.

It’s all about the prep work in making the dogs comfortable. Even if they weren’t trained herding dogs, the principle of creating the comfortable environment would have made things easier no matter the animal being photographed,” explains Margaret.

To learn more about photographing pets, check out her class at this year’s Texas School of Professional Photography. In fact, she will actually be using some of these dogs as models! Learn more at