Episode 9: Baxter's Split Session

This special two part episode stars ‘Baxter’ - a super friendly, delightfully lazy and hilariously goofy harlequin Great Dane - what a character!

I knew Baxter would look amazing posing it up in an urban setting, but I also wanted to capture him in action for his humans - so we’d also need a location where he could run around off leash and act naturally. A split shoot meant we could get the action shots we were looking for, and a much wider variety of shots overall.

We hit a few stumbling blocks along the way, including restrictions to where we could shoot and fast fading light! The fact that Baxter is a massive mummy’s boy who’d rather smooch and lean all over his human than stand around looking majestic all day was also challenging. But as you’ll see, I pulled out my trusty bag o’ tricks and we eventually captured those glorious regal alert Great Dane expressions.

Watch the Teaser...


Ready to dive into this episode?


"Just when I thought Charlotte had covered everything in previous episodes - she managed to cover additional valuable info. Photographing a black and white dog has always been a challenge for me and I received great insights and tips. This episode is chock full of all the ingredients you need to elevate your art to the next level."

Judy Curran

What you'll learn in this episode

Part 1: Morning shoot at a riverside city park

In this 26 minute video, you'll learn:

  • How to get great expression from a super smoochy dog

  • Effective ways to eliminate visual distractions and find the perfect angle

  • Dealing with restrictions on where we could and couldn’t shoot, and what I did instead

  • How I created a wide variety of shots just through lens choice

  • The importance of high value treats
  • Tips on how to remove unwanted objects from images like humans and leashes

Part 2: Afternoon shoot at a suburban park

In this 31 minute video, you'll learn:

  • How to recognise a great location, even if it’s not much to look at at first glance

  • Crucially important tips on backlighting

  • Shooting action - lots and lots of action - camera settings, handling techniques, getting that one perfect action shot you have in mind

  • The techniques I use for alert and engaged expressions from the derpiest dog breed there is (I’m allowed to say that, I had two!)

  • How I adapt to changing light and find new spots quickly

  •  Why being flexible is so important when it comes to taking advantage of opportunities and bringing your creative vision to life

Editing Tutorial 1: Urban Portrait

In the first editing video (30 mins), I show you a full edit of an urban style image, demonstrating a super quick and easy way to remove unwanted objects - and people! There is one crucial piece of the puzzle you absolutely need to make this work though, and I’m going to share it with you.

What you'll learn
  • How temporarily cropping the image can help you make better tone adjustments

  • How to effortlessly sync adjustments in Lightroom between images, without copying and pasting

  • When (and when not!) to use the Auto Mask feature in Lightroom when using the adjustment brush

  • A quick and easy technique for removing unwanted objects

  • Using history Snapshots in Lightroom for editing efficiency


"Excellent episode with so much information that I can’t wait to put into practice. I love all the RealShoots episodes but this is one of my favorites. Baxter is such an adorable little giant and I fell in love with his breed and all the action shots. "

Lorena Cora

Editing Tutorial 2: Backlit Portrait

In the second editing video (37 mins), you get to see me work on my absolute favourite style of shot, a backlit portrait. I’ll take you through how I retained the quality and clarity throughout the tonal range. And you’ll also see how I dealt with colour casts, retaining the warmth without going overboard on the saturation!

What you'll learn
  • The 4 vital ingredients you need to create perfectly backlit images

  • Why underexposure is your friend for backlit shots

  • Why you should remove vignetting when performing certain adjustments

  • Why you might need to desaturate parts of the image

  • How to effectively clear up colour casts on a black and white dog

  • How to get those whites whiter, and blacks blacker!


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 get leans and slobbers from Baxter?

Dive in now and get your paws dirty!



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