Since the start of the year I’ve been completely engrossed in redesigning the Ruthless Leather website. I’ve done a few WordPress sites in the last few years and thought “what’s one more?”. Making an e-commerce website is a pretty mammoth task compared to a blog or a portfolio site. It was incredibly stressful, took way longer than anticipated and cost a small fortune but today I finally got to turn off the holding page and give it life!

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the process was this little personal project I set myself to create hero images for the homepage showing that we dress dogs of all breeds and sizes. I bought studio lights back in August but hadn’t done much with them yet. I hired an ex-teacher of mine from a lighting course I’d done years ago to come and do some mentoring to refresh me on the basics. With his guidance I was able to create these unique images to showcase our collars and inject some colour and style into the website. It was quite a journey in itself though.

My baby boy was first up and luckily for him looking at the camera wasn’t a requirement on the day!


I think I got lucky with my first attempt, because when I went out a few days later with Jax I wasn’t quite so successful. This was the best of a bad bunch, with a lens flare right on top of the collar.


I knew I could do better, so I waited for an evening with some clouds in the sky and tried again. Success!


Except, it was actually a fail, because I needed an image I could put type over and the clouds were too textured to work with a white type overlay. So on the morning of his last day with us we took him down to the beach for a sunrise shoot and managed to get him to pull almost exactly the same face again in front of a more overlaid type friendly sky.


Tofu Pow‘s photo was another one that took a couple of attempts to get right (I was very committed to this project!).


I didn’t like the sky from my first shoot. It was pretty grey. I tried pumping some colour into it in post, but it looked really fake and Tofu’s expression was a bit weird so I arranged a reshoot. A new location nearby provided a better ground to sit Tofu on and I was able to include the sun just before it set for the day. Don’t worry, Tofu was handsomely paid in treats and cuddles afterwards. His world didn’t end!


Thanks to the power of Facebook, and knowing everyone with anything to do with dogs (not quite, but close), I was able to get Rubens to represent giant dogs and show that we make collars for dogs of all sizes. His owner drove him all the way into the city to pose on the back streets of Enmore in front of this awesome bit of graffiti. Every person and car that passed slowed down to gasp at him (I’ll admit I gasped when I first saw him too)! It was a tough gig but he handled it like a pro.


Now that Ruthless Leather has a new website it also has it’s own blog (which you’ll be able to subscribe to by email shortly) so there won’t be any more leather posts on here (unless they’re photography related).

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