Dog Portrait Studio Photography
This image of Carina and Mushu was shot in my Centurion studio during their portrait session. How many of us have reams of photos of our pets on our phones, but not many decent ones that we are actually in?
I adore photographing owners and their dogs, portraits like this have tremendous sentimental value as our dogs age (also as we age, but the less said about that the better ;)).
I photographed rescue dog Jenna in the studio as part of my Mutts project.
I published Mutts the Book last year. Mutts is a collection of portraits of adopted rescue dogs and their inspirational stories. I'm an ardent proponent of shelter dog adoption and Mutts the Book is my way of getting mixed breed shelter dogs into the public eye and encouraging people to adopt rather than buy dogs. Click here to buy a copy of the book.
Mutts will be going on tour this year and I've been adding extra Mutts portraits into the collection for an exhibition later this year. Jenna was adopted from an SPCA and now lives in the lap of luxury with her parents. You can also find her 'sister' Scarlet in the book.
Click here to find out more about the exhibition and how your dog could take part.
Meet Hazel, one of my rescue dogs.
I photographed Hazel in the studio. Getting scale from a photograph is quite tricky, so to give you an idea, Hazel weighs 5 kgs (on a good day) but thinks she's the size of a Great Dane.
She was adopted from Ark Animal Centre as an eight week old puppy and over the next two years ate her way through: 5 x laptop cables, 1 x iMac cable, several shoes, a set of felt tip pens and an antique chair. Thankfully she's stopped that nonsense now and her favourite thing to do is hide in shopping bags.
Studio photography doesn't have to mean plain backgrounds. I like to create backgrounds and concepts for studio shoots that add variety and are tailored to the client and/or dog I'm photographing.
This backdrop design was made from paper fans and created for a Valentine's Day themed shoot (you'll just see the Friendship Collar 'Love' design that Lolli is wearing).
Lollipop wasn't very happy about having to model, when I'd finished photographing her she disappeared off for a nap.
You can see how I made this backdrop by clicking here.
Chelsea & Phoebe
Two cheeky Dachshunds with HUGE personalities. Chelsea and Phoebe came to the studio with their brother Harvey for a portrait shoot.
With the help of some cheese and lots of patience they posed like movie stars for their doggy portrait shoot.
You can see more images from this shoot by clicking here.
Wallace the Bulldog
Gorgeous Wallace came through to the studio for his dog portrait session. Sadly Wallace had been diagnosed with a heart tumor a few weeks before, so his Mom wanted to have some professional photographs of him.
Dog portraiture is not just snapping a photo of a dog, it's a process of capturing character, energy and personality in one click of the shutter.
See more of Wallace's photographs by clicking here.
The love of my life. This brown hound is one of my rescue dogs, adopted from CLAW when she was just 2 days old. I really hadn't planned on keeping her, she was supposed to be a foster, LOL. Turns out I'm not very good at fostering dogs.....
Victoria is modelling a limited edition Friendship Collar design and this portrait was shot in the studio as part of a Valentine's Day promo.
Click here to view more portraits from this shoot.
Rosie, Fergus and Tank
This image was not in fact shot in my Centurion studio, I used a portable studio set up at their home.
Dogs don't always travel well (Tank, on the right, get's very nervous about car journeys) so I offer the option of a home studio shoot for clients who'd like the clean look of a white or black background, but have dogs who don't enjoy travelling.
View more from this shoot by clicking here.
Fashion Hound Jane
Jane is one of my dogs (one of only two non rescues that I share my home with). She's a Ridgeback X Weimaraner and the perfect model.
I've shot a couple of conceptual studio shoots with Jane. She'll sit still for any snack item, so makes the perfect muse for more 'out there' ideas.
Black & White Portraits
Monochrome portraits are incredibly striking when shot with the right amount of contrast and energy in the image. There's something incredibly artistic about a beautiful Black and White portrait.
This is Wallace the Bulldog giving me a lovely head tilt and a soulful expression.
Dogs in the Studio
Studio dog photography portraits by Emma O'Brien, award winning photographer, working in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth,London, New York, Paris.