A Photographer's Secret Weapon: Christmas Bargains and a Cheese-Loving Dog

My mom lighting the Christmas trees.

I have a new college degree, some high-tech photo equipment, and recently purchased studio lights. What I need now are some props for seasonal studio shots.

The model getting ready for his big photoshoot.

My mom thought I should start thinking about next year’s Christmas sessions, so she offered to get up early on Dec. 26 to see if she could find some post-holiday bargains. She scored two rustic trees, some lights, garland, festive throws, and stockings. (She wants me to note that she saved about 65% on everything!)

The studio setup.

Now that we are settling into the new year, we decided to experiment with the props. We set up the decorations and put a bow tie on our dog/model Bernie. While I set up my studio lights my mom secured plenty of cheese, which is what we use to keep Bernie focused.

Light #1: RPS softbox, set to 1.0
Light #2: RPS umbrella, set to 1.0

Bernie was pretty cooperative as I adjusted lights, switched lenses, and tweaked the props. He’s getting so good at this that it won’t be long before he demands something more than cheese for payment. Who knows, I might have to buy him a steak.

The final product! Camera: Sony a7iii | Lens: 50 mm f/1.8 | Settings: ISO 50, f/2.5, 1/100

"There's not enough cheese in the world to make me enjoy this."