Sonoma Valley Fall 2016

September 15-18, 2016. In Sonoma Valley, California.

This workshop is now full. Please be sure to sign up for our wait list in the event that someone cancels.

You may have been photographing dogs professionally for a while, or maybe you have a professional people photography business and want to try photographing animals, or maybe you are just getting started in the business as a professional and need more foundation. Maybe you just want to have some fun photographing dogs! Whatever your reason, this boot camp is for you!

We will cover dog handling, dog posing, dog and people posing, lighting, marketing, branding, business, Photoshop, in person sales and more. This workshop is a time for you to get ideas about how to better your photography and your photography business. It is a chance to practice “in person sales” and to get tips and tricks on how to maximize your sales. It is a chance to practice choosing your lighting, posing dogs and most importantly, posing people with their dogs! This will not be a case of copying what the instructor has done, but really planning out what you want to accomplish, and then doing the photo session. You will visit pricing for profit and ideas for marketing your business.  You will have fun photographing dogs, all while practicing your photography and Photoshop skills. (Kim and Margaret will be sharing their favorite Photoshop tricks on retouching dogs!) And that is just the beginning! With a limit of 9 students there will be a lot of individualized attention. Learning from each other is a huge added benefit of a small group!  We guarantee that we will have you thinking about your photography and your business in more detail than you ever have before!

So what is all of this going to cost and what is included? The workshop is $1500 USD for the 3+ days and includes instruction, locations, models, a resource guide as well as all lunches, drinks and snacks.


Go to and tell us your name, where you are located and your contact information. We will set up your registration for you.

Don't wait! There are only nine spaces and the clock is ticking! The spaces usually fill up fast!


Your instructors are Kim Hartz, a PPA Master Photographer, PPA Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer, and Margaret Bryant, a PPA Master Photographer, PPA Photographic Craftsman and Certified Professional Photographer.  Both have full time photography studios and are experienced teachers and speakers. Margaret was a platform speaker at Imaging USA in 2014, and Kim was a platform speaker at Imaging USA in 2016. Assisting us will be Chris Kittredge, who has her own photography business, as well as a long time working relationship  with Canine Companions for Independence. 


-Where is the workshop? The bulk of the workshop will take place at a private residence on five acres of land in Santa Rosa, CA. Classes and studio practice will be inside and location photography will be outside on the five acres. We have also made arrangements to photograph dogs at local vineyards. 

How many hours a day is the workshop?  Thursday is a 4 hour half day, Friday and Saturday are full 9 hour days and Sunday is is 5 hour day with a optional two hour time for one on one questions at the end of the workshop.

What is included? Classroom instruction, photographic locations, dog and people models, lunches, snacks and drinks, and a resource guide.

-What is the Resource Guide? This is a booklet that will have some of the more detailed notes from the class, plus in depth discussions of some of the topics covered in class. It will have many useful links and be a great reference long after the class is over. 

How much is the workshop? Regular price is $1500 USD. You may pay the full amount up front, or pay $750 USD up front and the remaining $750 USD by August 15.

- Is there a discount for signing up early? Yes! A $100 discount for signing up by August 1 at midnight CT. However the entire $1400 USD in one payment is due by that time.

What do I have to provide? You will provide your own hotel, meals (other than lunch), airfare, and transportation to and from the airport and the workshop location. We encourage ride sharing with other members of your class. It is also a chance to share information and get to know them better!

- Is there a limit on the number of people in the workshop? Yes, we will take a maximum of nine students for the class. This will insure individualized attention.

Are there a minimum number of students needed to have the workshop? Yes, we need a minimum of six people to sign up to have the workshop. 

Is there a restriction on who may attend the workshop? Yes, anyone within a 30 mile radius of either Kim’s studio in Houston, TX , Margaret’s studio in Carrollton, TX, or Chris' studio in Santa Rosa, CA, will not be able to attend.

Is there anything else that comes after the workshop? Yes, the last day of the workshop (Sunday) has two hours of optional time set aside should you want a portfolio review, a price list review or other one on one topics. There will be a private Facebook page where the learning continues. You will also receive a printed resource guide, which will prove to be useful long after the workshop is over.

What do I need to know about my camera before coming to the workshop? You need to have a good working knowledge of how your DSLR camera works including f stops, shutter speed, ISO settings and exposure compensation. You should be able to operate your camera in manual, be able to white balance it and know where the more often used controls are and how they are used.

What do I need to know about lighting? You need a basic understanding of lighting and how it works. We will provide more details. You will learn more about both environmental and studio lighting.

Do I need to bring a computer? You will want to bring one. Each day after the dog photo shoots, you will need to download your camera’s memory card and select a couple of your best images from each session which will be given to the dog owners in exchange for being your models.

During the retouching portion of the workshop, we will be using Photoshop. If you would like to follow along using your own computer, you should have a licensed and installed copy of Photoshop on your computer and at least a basic understanding of how Photoshop works. You will be given files to practice what we are teaching and will be given time to work on images you took during the workshop. We will also touch on using Lightroom, so a licensed and installed copy of Lightroom will be helpful too. 

- Is there a list of equipment or other materials I need to bring to the workshop? Yes. You receive a list a few weeks before the workshop begins, but expect it to include a DSLR camera, one or two lenses, memory cards, card reader, note taking materials, comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, an open mind and a desire to learn.

-What about transportation and hotels? Each participant is responsible for their own transportation and hotels. People usually fly into San Francisco or Oakland airports. You can rent a car or take an Airport Express bus to the Santa Rosa area. We have reserved a block of hotel rooms in the $103-$125 range, however you can stay wherever you like. Ride sharing is encouraged in getting to and from the workshop each day, as is sharing hotel rooms. We can give you more information when you are ready to sign up.

 -What do I do about breakfast and dinner each day? Breakfast can be done on your own at your hotel. Dinners are also on your own, and we find that classmates usually go out to dinner together some place in town. We will provide you a list of suggested places to eat. On Thursday evening, the instructors, assistants and class will have dinner together. It’s a great way to informally continue the learning. Thursday evening's dinner is not included in the workshop fee.

- Are there other things to do in the area if I were to bring my spouse? Yes! There is beautiful countryside to tour, vineyards and wine tastings, golf, redwood forests, The Pacific Coast Air Museum, The Charles Schultz Museum, biking, hiking, and more!

What if I have questions not listed here? Just email us at

Drop us an email at and sign up now!