They say never work with children or animals…
Ha ha! Well, I’ve been doing both!
As you all know, I absolutely love my job photographing babies, children and families. Some of you may also know that I could be described as a bit of an animal lover and have been known to dabble in pet photography, often with our family Pooch Scamp as the obliging subject.
So when I get asked by clients if they can bring their pets along to take part in a photo shoot, I see it as nothing other than a chance to combine these two loves of mine, and it’s always a lot of fun!
My studio in Poole has recently been visited by a whole host of animals. These have included Lucky the newborn duck who waddled in on a newborn photoshoot with its five-month old helper Edie. There has also been the lovely Lilia with her new puppy Belle, an American Cockerpoo (an American Cocker Spaniel and Toy Poodle cross, in case you were wondering!). There’s also been Lenny the Bassett Hound who took pride of place in the Pavey family photoshoot, among lots of others.
Photographing animals certainly has its challenges though. Unlike newborn babies who can be lulled to sleep and manoeuvred into position, animals rarely follow directions and are pretty much always on the move!
As with people, getting a great portrait is always easier when the subject is relaxed, so if you’re planning on bringing your pet to my studio, make sure the animal comes fed and alert. If it’s a dog, I’ll encourage you to play with him as you would at home so bring along his favourite toy or treat. If it’s a duck like Lucky who is less likely to follow commands, well, I’ll setup the shot and then watch and simply wait for them to do their thing.
My job as a photographer, whether of people or pets, is to be ready at any moment to capture a certain look or fleeting movement that might just create the perfect portrait.
Children and pet photography is something that I hope to do more of. The love that kids often have for their pets is so endearing and can translate well into a photograph. And let’s face it, no family portrait can be truly complete without the animals of the household included too.
So to those who say ‘never work with children or animals’: Thanks for the advice, but I think you’re barking mad! Ha ha!
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