Thursday, 31 March 2011

Bella and Lulu's Shoot

Hairy Dog Photography - Providing dog and pet portraits throughout the North East.  Covering Durham, Sunderland, Newcastle and further afield.  Canine events and on-site printing, studio sittings or beautiful photos of your dog on his favourite walk all available.

Today's shoot was so windy that at times it was hard to stand upright!  This didn't stop Bella and Lu having a fantastic time.  As always, I was travelling light with one camera (D300), two lenses (70-200mm, f2.8, VR and Sigma 10-20mm for a comedy shot or two.  My Lowepro belt and pouches (rocking the batman / ninja look as usual) let me carry strobes, spare batteries, prime lenses and other bits and bobs close to hand.

It's hilarious watching two so very differently sized dogs playing.  Bella is completely fearless and didn't seem to mind at all being bowled over by Lu.

The wind really was blowing a gale and after a short time we dropped down the back of the hill, where it was a lot calmer.  Shooting two dogs together offers unique challenges, especially where the dogs are very different breeds.  I chose mostly to try and get clean shots of the dogs separately.

Aaaw!  How cute is Bella! 

Lu crashing through the undergrowth, straw flying everywhere!  I love the way labs just plough through whatever it is that's in their way!

 Got a STICK!  Happy dog.

Right - she's standing still - QUICK, get a portrait!

You see?  I did warn you there's be a comedy 10mm super wide angle shot...  Despite the crazy wind, harsh sun and fast-changing light, there's definitely a few 'keepers' amongst this set of pics.  Thanks to the owners and thanks also to Bella and Lu, who kept me grinning the whole walk.

Fancy some shots of your dog?  Just visit the Hairy Dog website and hit the contact button once you've had a look around.

Monday, 14 March 2011

So what is it you do, exactly?!

Hairy Dog Photography, providing very contemporary lifestyle photography for you and your dogs throughout the North East.  Photoshoots available in Sunderland, Durham, Newcastle and throughout the region.

Over the last week, I've been accused twice of making up the phrase, "Dog Lifestyle Photography".  Mea Culpa - guilty as charged.  "Lifestyle portraiture" is a phrase employed by contemporary photographers to describe a way of shooting their subjects in an unposed and natural manner.

This is something Emerson Photography been doing for some time anyway.  Hairy Dog Photography does exactly the same thing but includes the hairiest member of the family, usually as the main focus of the shoot.

The series of photos you're seeing here were shot a good while ago now, on Balmedie Beach near Aberdeen.  I wanted to give a full and frank account of a day at the beach with a much loved dog.  The family are now my in-laws but I don't hold it against them :-)

To ensure this picture of the day is complete, I made sure to record the surroundings with a few almost landscapey shots - they help to set the scene.

Your hairy dog doesn't necessarily have to be in each and every shot (although he will be the focus of the shoot) - I do like to get the whole family, or even just the one owner involved.  I love to see and capture moments of interaction between you and your pet.

This particular day involved a BBQ in the dunes - Kasper was rewarded with no less than two sandy sausages - this is probably why he looks so happy in all the photos!

This is just a very small selection from the days' shoot.  It was shot a long time ago (on film no less!) but was the beginnings of Hairy Dog Photography.  From that day onwards, I knew that as soon as I had the time, I would do the same for other families - everybody likes photos of their dogs, but dog-lovers really love photos of their pets enjoying a day out with the family!

There are several options after your shoot.  Perhaps a nice, simple, framed picture for the living room wall - a family photo and dog portrait all in one!  Hairy Dog can also produce beautiful little coffe table books for those who absolutely must have all the images - these really are lovely little keepsakes.  Canvasses and acryllic-sandwich prints are very popular too.

All shoots are FREE until the middle of April, due to high demand.  After this, they will be available at the very reasonable price of £40, complete with a free 7x5" print.  Bargain!  Please do feel free to get in touch through the Hairy Dog website.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hairy Dog Blog!

Well, here it is - the very first blog post from Hairy Dog Photography.  The idea behind Hairy Dog is that everyone in the North East can, and should have access to professionally shot dog / lifestyle portraiture (I'm still trying to think of a slightly more elegant term to describe what is, essentially, a beautiful, modern set of photos, of you, your dog and your family).  It doesn't have to involve anyone but your dog of course.  If you'd rather not be in the limelight, that's just fine - your dog can take centre-stage!

The idea came back to me during a recent walk with my own dog, Kasper the hairy lurcher.  I was, as always, taking photos of him doing what he does best (digging, chasing, burrowing and generally making a mess of himself).  I always use the same kit as I do for weddings - top end camera and lenses - flashguns for a bit of dramatic lighting sometimes.  As I was uploading the images onto the computer for a spot of editing and processing, it struck me that perhaps other people might like professional pictures of their dog 'in the field' as it were.  Even better - the owners and maybe the whole family could be included, interacting and hopefully just having a lot of fun!  This put me in mind of the first time I had this idea, years earlier.  I'll dig out the negatives, get them scanned and blog them next week.

I stuck up a note on facebook asking if anyone would like a free, no obligation shoot, and limited it to the first five responses, and included some samples of Kasper's photos.  Within an hour, my inbox was stuffed.  So I extended it to the first 20 to get in touch and again, was overwhelmed.

So it seems there is a demand for quality pictures of the hairiest family member!  The format will now be the same for anyone and everyone.  A free shoot and a free small print.  No obligation to buy anything thereafter and absolutely no chance of a hard sell - it's just not something I do!

I remain, first and foremost a documentary wedding and portrait photographer in the North East , but this will almost be like going back to photography as a hobby for me.  Who knows, perhaps the film cameras will make an appearance too!