The Hair of the Dog Summit is on sale RIGHT NOW!

Pet Photographer? Learning Lighting? Buy a dog!

Okay, so clearly we aren't saying everyone should go out an buy a dog (or are we?) - but we do have a very useful suggestion.

If you are learning studio lighting and plan to photograph dogs and pets, we strongly recommend learning with a stuffed animal and NOT a live pet.  

It is best to learn the nuances of lighting with a consistent subject.  One that will allow you to experiment and carefully consider your lighting.  A subject that will sit still.  For HOURS.  We recommend a large stuffed toy.

We would recommend you find a toy that has a shiny coat - not dull, so you can see the effect lights will have on fur and the specular highlights it can create.  Also, we recommend both white and black fur so you can learn to really nail that exposure.   The white fur give you the risk of over exposure, and the black fur gives you a chance to see how your darks will reproduce.

We have a Border Collie stuffed animal from Melissa and Doug. ...

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Studio Tour: Anthony Grassetti

Bud Thorpe and The Master Lighting Course are proud to present our first episode of Photo Studio Tour.

Today we present a tour of the fine art fashion photo studio owned and run by none other than Boston's Anthony Grassetti.

Anthony is a full time fashion photographer with serious skills. His live/work studio in Beverly, Massachusetts is something to see!

In this full length interview with Anthony we hear about the vision he had for creating his wonderful working space, and how he made that vision a reality in his 3,000 square foot photo studio.

If you would like to see more of Anthony's work, please visit

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Our LIVE interview with Animal Image Makers

aim interview live Jul 27, 2019

Lisa Asp of Twin Cities PPA (Minnesota, USA) interview us for our upcoming speaking engagements at the Animal Image Maker's Conference in 2020. 

Not only are we excited to be joining TCPPA in this amazing conference experience, we were thrilled to be interviewed by Lisa.

If you don't know Lisa, she is not only an amazing person, an accomplished photographer, and great steward of our profession, she is the head of the Animal Image Makers Conference.

This interview was LIVE in the Animal Image Maker's facebook group.  

If you are interested in the Animal Image Makers Conference, all the details are here.  We highly recommend this conference for those that make, or aspire to make, high quality images of pets as part of their profession or avocation.  

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We are Guest Artist of the Month for Hair of the Dog Academy

Kim and I are proud to be featured as the presenting Artist of the Month for Nicole Begley's the Hair of the Dog Academy.

Nicole runs a tight ship with her programs - she fill an important niche teaching the business of pet photography having created a large community and following.

Kim and I own and run Kimberly Sarah Photography, where we specialize in creating high-end client experiences and wall art for pets and their owners.  

To see our contribution, you will have to be a Member of her Hair of the Dog Academy (read: paywall), but if you are a working photographer in the world of pet photography, you won't regret the modest investment.  

We presented a 35 minute video the describes how we created our classic "Puppy Bowl" image.  From concept to lighting, we share it all.  If you are a HOD Member, be sure to check it out.

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Facebook LIVE event for the Master Lighting Course!

Uncategorized Jun 28, 2019

On Friday, June 28, 2019 we had another Facebook Live Q&A Event.  I covered a range of lighting topics we know you will find interesting!

To see the recording of the event, you will need to be a member of our Master Lighting Course Facebook group.  You can request access to the group here.

Yes, the video and audio quality are imperfect - we are getting better at the live stream game, promise!  We recently upgraded (significantly) the internet bandwidth coming into our studio to support a better stream, have new microphones, and are working on using a better camera for the stream as well!  Okay, so the quality is about what you expect of live streams, but if you know us, we are always looking to be better!  The quality of the content is totally on point, and isn't that what really matters? (wink)

Here is a direct link to the video.

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Our Facebook LIVE event!

facebook livestream Jun 12, 2019

On Friday, June 28, 2019 we had another Facebook Live Q&A Event.  I covered a range of lighting topics we know you will find interesting!

To see the recording of the event, you will need to be a member of our Master Lighting Course Facebook group.  You can request access to the group here.

Yes, we are working on improving our live stream quality - but we think our content is pretty darn great, so bear with us as we evolve.  The videos in our course are, of course, premium quality!

Here is a direct link to the video.

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We had a great time meeting you all at AIM 2019!

aim animal image makers Apr 17, 2019

(Bud speaking with a group during a demo on the trade show floor at AIM 2019.  No, that sandbag is not hanging over anyone's head!)

As you know we sent the past week at The Animal Image Maker's Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA (April 2019).  This is a niche conference of pet photographers and let us tell you - their first event was a huge hit!

The Master Lighting Course was a vendor - we sponsored a few things including the swags bags all the participants received.  Lisa Asp and the team from Twin Cities PPA did an amazing job with this event. 

As a vendor, we rented THREE booth areas so we could create images live.  Yes!  We made a studio on the trade show floor.  We gave lots of demos, met lots of really creative and inspiration folks, and made connections that will likely last our lifetimes.

(Kim speaking in the trade show booth at AIM 2019.  Notice Kim's well known 'hair point'!)

We also had a chance to meet up with photography...

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Kim presenting at Animal Image Makers 2019

Our very own Kimberly Buccheri gave a short presentation at The Animal Image Makers Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA today.

Her talk was titled "How I raised over $5000 for dog charity with a gallery show
in one night."  She was speaking as part of a presentation on how photographers, through their actions and professionalism, can serve dog- and pet-related charities.

She, of course, is speaking of her gallery show titled "Rescued: From Shelter to Sculpture" she held here at our studio in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA to support one of our local dog charities: Canine Commitment of New England.  

Kim and I run Kimberly Sarah Photography, where we create fine art pet portraits here in New Hampshire.  And by all measures her talk was very well received!  Way to go Kimberly!



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Meet us at our booth at Animal Image Makers!

We are set up in the Trade Show area and we hope you will join us for our scheduled demos, or drop in with your questions!

(Our triple-booth setup at AIM.  Notice the wide open space for our lighting demonstrations.  Also notice the carpet.  Why is it that venues are always pretty awesome EXCEPT for their choice in carpets?)

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How to avoid burning down your photo studio!

Did you know that each and every time you use a studio light there is one thing you must do each and every time without fail?

This action is so important that if you fail to do it you could cause a fire?

Today, we are going to talk about shipping covers.

 A shipping cover is a protective cap that goes over the front of your studio light. The cap protects the strobe tube and modeling lamp. The cap itself is usually plastic.

For those with lots of studio experience, you know exactly what I am about to say:

Never plug in a studio light without first removing the shipping cover. Ever.

A melting shipping cover on an Alien Bee B800 studio light at SOPHA

Let’s talk about why.

If you plug in the studio light with the cover still attached, the light might be turned on and start to heat up. And that heat will be trapped by the shipping cover, causing it to melt.

On an Alien Bee with its exposed lamp design, the melting cover will destroy the strobe...

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