Episode 6: Niku by the Bay

Meet Niku - an 11 month old Siberian Husky. I first photographed her at 5 months old for her adoption profile with a rescue group - she was adopted shortly afterwards! She's now loving life in her new home.

Niku is your typical arctic breed. Absolutely gorgeous, of course! But also highly distracted by other dogs, small animals, birds, people - so, basically everything - while out and about in new places. You'll see her high prey drive in action when she spots a bush turkey.

I worked with Niku on-leash in this lovely bayside location on a very cloudy day. In this 41 minute episode you'll find out how I deal with the flat light and her highly distracted nature to obtain some beautiful expression-filled portraits, hilarious action shots and dreamy twilight images.

Watch the Teaser...


Ready to dive into this episode?


"I feel Niku by the Bay really emphasizes the creativity and flexibility necessary to work with less than perfect conditions and dogs that might have a different agenda. Watching Charlotte make on-the-fly adjustments, adapt to what the dog is giving her rather than trying to force the dog to cooperate, and deal with various distractions and interruptions allowed a first hand look at how an experienced photographer manages potential frustrations while still producing breathtaking images."

Ariel Peldunas

What you'll learn in this episode

  • All about prey drive in dogs, and how you can use it to your advantage
  • Why I sometimes tell owners to ignore their dogs during the session
  • Why you should embrace those random, unexpected moments and how you can use the resulting images
  • How to quickly find the perfect exposure when switching to a different lens
  • How to identify and fix ugly blown-out skies while you are shooting
  • Ideas to add interest to your work when the lighting is flat and dull
  • Tips for creating huge variety in just one shooting spot
  • How to recreate scenarios to get the shots you want, without forcing situations
  • Heaps of options for dealing with distracting locations and an easily distracted dog
  • How to make use of the tiniest bit of colour in the sky if that's all nature gives you

Editing Tutorial 1: Moody Simplistic Portrait

This editing video is 36 minutes long (with plenty of speed edits to whisk you through) and takes you through the process of removing a person and completing altering the composition! You'll also learn some big tweaks to turn a flat, dull shot into an atmospheric work of art.

What you'll learn
  • Why you should be open to attempting big changes to an image to create something truly special

  • How to identify which edits to apply selectively in Lightroom

  • How to approach major "invisibility cloak" edits when the person is a prominent part of the image

  • Tips for seamlessly matching different parts of the image after a major change

  • How to use composition to draw attention to the subject

  • How to create a custom vignette to make your subject pop


"Brilliant episode for those cloudy days. Charlotte shows how to go from drab to fab in Lightroom and Photoshop, plus plenty of other editing tips and tricks. "

Sue Muir
New Zealand

Editing Tutorial 2: Twilight Jetty Portrait

In this 36 minute comprehensive editing tutorial, I guide you through step-by-step to create a stunning, colourful twilight portrait of Niku on the jetty, fully utilising the one tiny bit of colour in an otherwise drab sky!

What you'll learn
  • Why you should come up with an editing plan before you even touch that first slider in Lightroom
  • When it's safe to under-expose an image, knowing you can maintain quality and recover details from the RAW file in Lightroom
  • How to enhance cloudy skies, if there is even just a small amount of sunset colour present
  • Why you should keep all your rejected photos from the shoot until you've finished all your edits


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 go nutty with Niku?

Dive in now and get your paws dirty!



50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.