Dog Photography

Learn to capture the beauty of our canine companions in this full day, hands-on workshop. Dogs included!
Upcoming Classes
Feb 24

Only 4 seats available
May 18
EARLY BIRD PRICE (expires 05/10)
10-6pm at DCP - Early Registration: $240 - Late Registration: $260

Capturing the essence of our beloved furry companions goes beyond technique and gear. Truly meaningful pet photography conveys emotion, feeling and reveals the soul of your animal subjects. Connecting with your subject, your subject’s people and making them feel at ease with your gear and presence is key to getting an engaging photograph. This workshop is for those who have a deep love for animals and a desire to tell their stories through imagery.

In this full day, hands-on workshop we will cover various styles of pet photography, lighting situations and location suggestions. We’ll discuss posed and polished versus storytelling and photojournalistic styles. You’ll learn about the challenges of working with animals, including in a shelter environment, and advice for overcoming them. We’ll have visiting pups for inspiration so students can test their new skills in a nearby outdoor location. Tip: Don’t wear your nicest shoes and dress comfortably!

You should already have a strong grasp of shooting in Aperture Priority and Manual exposure modes and the basics of how aperture and shutter speed work together. If you’re a beginner (or have been shooting for a while but still aren’t comfortable with these concepts) you can take our DSLR-1&2 evening classes or the Beginner DSLR Full Day Workshop first or some other equivalent training.


  • The importance of taking time and getting to know your animal subjects. Patience is key!
  • How location/environment and time of day are important choices in creating beautiful, compelling images.
  • Posed and polished vs. storytelling and photojournalistic styles.
  • How to find flattering and interesting perspectives.
  • Working with young vs. senior pets.
  • Must-knows for getting started in shelter photography.
  • Preparing for your shoot – Sylvia’s “tool kit” for dog photography.
  • You’ll get a shooting location list with some of Sylvia’s top secret spots.
  • How to create a personalized experience for each of your pet photo shoots.
  • Interacting with the pet’s humans.
  • Assignment: we will shoot photos together of visiting dogs.
  • Image selection: you’ll get assistance from the instructor on selecting your best shots
    from the day.


  • A DSLR with a full battery and empty memory card and a basic understanding of how to use your camera and its settings.
  • The DSLR-1 and DSLR-2 evening classes, Full Day Beginner Workshop or equivalent level of experience is a suggested prerequisite.
  • A laptop to download and edit your images after our photo shoot.
  • Any lenses or accessories you want to use.
  • A handheld reflector if you have one.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a little slobbery.

The above three photos were taken by attendees at a previous workshop

  • Cost per person is $240 early registration, $260 late registration.
  • Doors open at 9:45am.
  • Class starts promptly at 10:00am and ends at 6:00pm.
  • We’ve varied from our typical workshop hours so that we will have better natural light for the outdoor photo shoot.
  • Classes may be held in the upstairs classroom, up one flight of stairs, no elevator access.
  • Workshop price includes lunch.
  • Advance registration and payment is required.
  • A laptop is required.
  • Maximum number of students is 15, minimum number to make a class is 8.
  • Parking is available on the street or in the adjacent lot at Electric Light & Power.


10am-12:30pm: Sylvia will begin with a classroom presentation of her work and a review of styles of pet photography. Then she’ll explain the techniques for creating those styles and for capturing beautiful and flattering images of your canine subjects.

12:30-1pm: We’ll break for lunch (included).

1-3pm: Our dog models will arrive! After we’ve gotten acquainted we’ll start shooting and applying your new skills. Sylvia or her assistant will be available to answer your questions and help you to get the images you want.

3-4:30pm: We’ll bid our furry companions goodbye and you’ll set up your laptop to download, select and edit your photos. Once you’ve selected your best 20-30 images, Sylvia will spend some time with you individually reviewing your images and helping you narrow down your 5-10 top shots from the day.

4:30-6pm: Sylvia will project selected images from each photographer and offer comments and feedback.

Q: Will there be dogs present in the workshop?
A: Yes! We will be bringing in trained (and possibly adoptable!) dogs for the shooting portion of the workshop.

Q: Is lunch included in the workshop?
A: Yes, we will be bringing in lunch.

Q: Do I need a laptop?
A: Yes. After the photo shoot you’ll be downloading and selecting images for review. You can use any type of editing or selection program that you’re comfortable with.

Q: What do I need for this workshop?

  • A DSLR with a full battery and empty memory card and a basic understanding of how to use your camera and its settings.
  • A laptop with an editing software you are familiar with (i.e., Lightroom, Aperture, Iphoto, Picassa, etc.) You’ll need to be able to export selected images to a thumbdrive which will be provided.
  • Any lenses or accessories you want to use.
  • A handheld reflector if you have one.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting a little slobbery.

Q: Are there previous requirements for this workshop?
A: You should have a working knowledge of your camera settings including exposure modes, shutter speed, f-stop, white balance and ISO control. It’s recommended that you’ve already taken the DCP Beginner DSLR Workshop, DSLR 1 & 2 classes or equivalent training.

Q: How will I know if a workshop makes or not?
A: If a class doesn’t make and has to be cancelled, you will receive an email no later than 2 days before the scheduled class date.

Q: What if I have to cancel?
A: Details on cancellations are on our Policies page.

Q: Where is the workshop held?
A: At Dallas Center for Photography, 4756 Algiers, Dallas, 75207.

Sylvia Elzafon

For over 15 years, Sylvia Elzafon has been passionate about creating compelling images of humans, animals and places. Working primarily with natural light, Sylvia’s photographic style is a combination of bright, fresh and intimate. “Capturing the essence of your subject so that viewer can truly connect” is at the heart of her style and inspiration. This is what guides her photography whether she’s creating family portraits or telling the story of our canine companions through imagery.

In addition to her national animal advocacy work, Sylvia works with a wide range of clients including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Arts District, San Francisco Symphony, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Jane Goodall International, Environmental Media Association, Southwest Airlines and D Magazine. Her dedication to creative imagery and her passion for travel have opened doors on multiple projects across the country and the world.

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