Workshop Weekends

Do you love photography and dogs? Want to experience photographing dozens of dogs in studio with professional lighting. Do you want to understand retouching in Photoshop and Lightroom to make your pet portraits sparkle? This workshop will give you a hands on experience with dogs and other animals that you can't get anywhere else.

The workshop is led by Kathy Deets - owner of The Barker Shop. Kathy’s photo studio is located in the The Barker Shop where 50-60 dogs are groomed a day. You will have an incredible choice of dogs to photograph, all who have been freshly groomed. Kathy and The Barker Shop have 15 years of dog behavior experience, being involved in grooming, nutrition, training, doggie daycare, boarding and show competition. She also has 30 years experience on the computer side coming from the printing, graphic arts and advertising  industry. This combination of pets, business and photography knowledge will make this an experience for learning that you will never forget.

What do you need to really benefit from this workshop. A quality DSLR camera and at least a basic understanding of how to use the camera. A portable computer with Photoshop or Lightroom. This workshop best fits the intermediate level photographer to the very advanced level photographer. Also required is a passion for pets - we can cover topics for the beginning level handler to advanced behavior topics. You will receive both one on one time with Kathy and the dogs and group discussions, fantastic learning potential being hands on with a small group.

  • The workshop will be at The Barker Shop. You will have the choice of a variety of dogs; from small to big, hairy and hairless, a variety of colors,  young, old, energetic and lazy. Its an opportunity to photograph to photograph many breeds, and experiment with studio lighting. You will be able to talk to the groomers and get tips on how to make each breed look good ! You can bring your own dog to photograph as well!

  • The Photo studio includes various types of studio lighting, backgrounds and props. Kathy photographs with Canon Equipment and may have additional equipment available. Internet access and desk space will be available to work on your photos as we rotate photographing dogs in the studio. 

  • Various other pets may be available at the workshop, in studio or outdoors (weather permitting), Not only will you get the opportunity to photograph at least 12 different dogs over the weekend, depending on availability and weather we may photograph cats, birds/parrots, hamsters, rabbits, reptiles,  donkeys, mules, horses and groups of playing dogs in studio or outdoors.
  • Technical discussions – DSLR cameras, lenses, Lighting (studio, on camera, natural), computers, software such as Lightroom and Photoshop, Desktop Printing devices, professional printing on paper, canvas, metal, etc, studio backdrops & lighting, props, tools/treats to get a dogs attention, behavior control and whats needed for simple grooming. iPhone photography can be discussed. We will also have discussions on the end use of your images - low res to high res - social media, email, portfolios, albums, website, prints or artwork.
  • We will cover pet photography related to social media, marketing, portraits and art. We will also discuss good lighting, color and composition. Kathy is available to critique images, discuss ideas, and make suggestions not only over the weekend but up to 30 days after the workshop.

Workshop Details:

Workshop weekends to choose from:  Aug 16-18, Sept 20-22, Oct 18-20. Workshops are limited to 6-8 students.

Fee:  $800 Friday 6 pm - Sunday 4 pm  and Optional Friday afternoon 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm is $100

$200 non refundable deposit due to reserve a spot. Balance due prior to start of weekend.


Friday Afternoon (optional +$100)  12:00pm-5:00pm - Kathy will talk with students interested in early arrival and ask what you are interested in. From there we will decide what to photography, this may be weather dependent as well. Possible ideas: Brookfield Zoo to experience various animals in variable lighting conditions, Photographing at a Rescue/Shelter and how to use photography to help dogs get adopted, photographing  dog playgroups at a boarding or daycare facility.

Friday 6:00 PM   Casual welcome dinner at a local restaurant to get to know each other and share experiences. Photography is an ongoing learning experience with technology moving so quickly,  this is an important start so that we share as much knowledge as possible. Everyone will bring important experiences to our discussions - whether your a beginner or experienced photographer.


8:00am–4:00pm at The Barker Shop Photo Studio and Grooming Salon. Studio photo shoots will be rotated out all day. Demonstrations and discussions will also occur with grooming, bathing, dog behavior, photo equipment and technology. A working lunch will be provided.

6:00pm – 9:00pm Casual dinner where you can bring your computers and we will discuss, critique, share and continue to work on images so that we can improve our photo shoots on Sunday.


8:00am – 4:00pm At the Barker Shop, we will have two studio sets with varying lighting to photograph available dogs of your choice. You have the opportunity to work at your own pace; photographing and editing your images with the help of Kathy. Editing discussions can include: both DSLR techniques and i-phone techniques, Lightroom and Photoshop, Social Media and Printing techniques. (Working Lunch included)

Possible option on Sunday, depending on weather and interest, will be a half day of outdoor photography of dogs.

Note: As a thank you to the owners of the dogs we use, we will furnish them digital images from the photo shoots. All students will be required to furnish some images for them so we can thank all owners.


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