Episode 4: Elli & Freya in the Forest

For this episode, we headed to the pine forest! This plantation forest was the perfect spot for Dace and her German Shepherd dogs, Elli and Freya.

Elli is a bit of a superstar, sporting an awesome stay and recall, however her daughter Freya is a typical five month old puppy - highly distracted and sporting a very short attention span! Dace has a great relationship with both dogs and was so much fun to work with.

In this 34 minute episode I worked with both dogs using a variety of on-leash and off-leash techniques to capture their individual personalities, whether sitting pretty in the forest or racing flat out along the adjoining dirt track, chasing their ball.

Watch the Teaser...


Ready to dive into this episode?


"It was great to see two dogs in different training stages and how Charlotte deals with that. She shows some really good techniques on how to recompose the background with the back button focus. It made my life so much easier!"

Deise Oliveira

What you'll learn in this episode

  • The importance of location scouting when shooting in natural areas

  • One app that will change your life when it comes to said location scouting

  • Why I don't shoot deep in the forest, and where I shoot instead

  • My favourite new accessory for dog photography sessions

  • How to capture atmospheric portraits even if the dog is on-leash

  • How I let my clients inspire my creativity during the session

  • How to work with easily distracted dogs, without losing patience

  • The one piece of camera equipment you should always have two of

  • Learning from your mistakes when you fail at action shots

  • How to still get the shot if the dogs are over it at the end of the session

Editing Tutorial 1: Creating a Consistent Look in Lightroom

The first editing video is 30 minutes long (with cool music and speed edits that make it seem like less) and takes you through my process in Lightroom for creating a lighting look and applying it to a series of photos, quickly and easily.

What you'll learn
  • How to edit a backlit forest portrait
  • How to create that golden late afternoon glow, when the lighting wasn't exactly as you pictured
  • A special technique for enhancing black fur
  • Using local adjustment tools and creating presets
  • How to get a consistent look between images to keep your gallery looking cohesive
  • How to speed up your editing workflow without sacrificing your high standard of work

"My pet photography is 95% volunteer work for a local animal shelter and I've learned so much from you both in the shooting sessions, plus the post processing. I can capture their personalities and showcase them in their best light, while keeping the final photos realistic and beautiful without being highly stylised/edited. I like to think the photos are helping them find their happy endings."

Debby Herold

Editing Tutorial 2: Forest Portrait

We start off in Lightroom, then delve into Photoshop for the second editing video. This one is a quick watch at 15 minutes long, though packed with so much information that leaves you wondering if it was longer!

What you'll learn
  • How shooting with the editing process in mind opens up new and exciting image options you never thought possible
  • Why giving super clear instructions to your client while shooting, makes editing easier
  • One (of the many) advantages of using back button focus, but not in the way you'd think
  • One feature of Photoshop you need to use that makes leash and unwanted element removal a breeze (hint: it's not content aware)
  • Two tools in Photoshop that have their foundations firmly set in film photography, and why you should use them


In every RealShoots episode you get

Shooting Video

A two-hour, real-life dog photography shoot professionally edited down to around the length of a TV episode. Watch anytime, anywhere. No deadlines. No pressure. Tons of value.

Learning Guide

A downloadable companion learning guide to summarise and expand on the video content. Includes handy tips, images with full settings, some with behind the scenes photos.

Daily Tips

Optionally subscribe to the daily tip series accompanying the episode. Bite sized ways to improve your pet photography – delivered daily so you can read and absorb straight away.

Client Gallery

Exclusive access to the full client image gallery. See the actual results of the shoot in high quality, just as the client would see them.

Editing Tutorials

Comprehensive editing tutorials. Watch a complete image edit using professional Adobe photo editing software - Lightroom and Photoshop.

RAW Files

Download the RAW image files used in the editing tutorials so you can play along at home, while watching the editing videos. Nothing better than learning by doing!

Fun Quiz

A challenging and super fun quiz to test your knowledge and keep you on your toes! Download the Cheat Sheet for full explanations of the answers.

Discussion Areas

Ask questions about the training and interact with other students. No such thing as a silly question here - and all are answered personally by Charlotte!

Ready to have some fun with Elli & Freya?

Dive in now and get your paws dirty!



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