Latest blog posts from specialist dog portrait photographer in Johannesburg South Africa.
Lick-a-licious portraits of dogs enjoying Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream doggy stix
I recently collaborated with Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream and Friendship Collar South Africa to shoot a collection of fun and colourful images of dogs looking fashionable whilst eating ice cream.
We commandeered some of our favourite dog friends to model for the shoot. Some of them, like Fergie here, would have preferred smoked salmon.
Others, like Cruiser here, really got into the ice creams.
Chelsea sang to her PHIC stix doggy ice cream.
Molli was very delicate about enjoying her ice cream.
Bacon the pug didn’t seem sure about the whole PHIC stix vibe. He was happier running around the studio like a loon.
Mika thought the ice creams were delicious. His went down the hatch.
Oreo and Chelsea were super star models, here they are rocking the Friendship Collar ‘White on Trend’ boutique collar.
The four poodles were a collection of tiny little sweeties. They trotted around the studio with the gorgeous collars and posed like champs.
Mika really enjoyed her PHIC stix, in a very delicate and ladylike manner.
If these doggy portraits (and the ice creams and collars) have tickled your fancy, you can win yourself a shoot with me, a R250 Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream voucher and a Friendship Collar set by visiting my Facebook page here - https://bit.ly/2xTKNs9
A collection of these images are on display in the Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream shop in parkhurst too.
Dj Roger Goode photographed with his collection of Monochrome dogs.
Roger Goode is exactly as you'd imagine him after listening to his radio show. High energy, ridiculously entertaining and stacks of fun. I was commissioned by Pet Prints Magazine to photograph him and his dogs for the July 2018 issue.
Dj Roger and his partner share their home with 5 black and white dogs. Acquired purposefully to coordinate as a set, his dogs are absolutely gorgeous. Multiple dog shoots require ninja skills for optimum positioning and cooperation, also known as treat wrangling, as displayed below.
We shot Dj Roger and his pack of hounds in various spots around the house, possibly the highlight was when he donned a onesie for some shots on the bed.
And some outdoor shots which varied from sedate (we managed to get one dog still at a time) to lunacy on a 'who let the dogs out' theme.
Portraiture, in my opinion, is all about capturing personality (Roger definitely has personality) so the images were very lively and full of energy. The dogs weren't quite sure what was going on and kept looking at me like I was mad.
Find out more about Dj Roger Goode and his pack of hounds in the latest issue of Pet Prints Magazine available at your local vet or vet shop. Visit their website for more info - www.petprints.co.za
Portraits of a dog and his human - Maboneng & Newtown
Little Dog, Big City. A photographic adventure through Johannesburg with Floki and his Mom Lisa. Inspired by my city dog portrait shoots in London, I've decided to offer doggy portrait sessions in the heart of Johannesburg.
I love taking photographs in the middle of Joburg. There are tons of murals, graffiti walls and really cool locations that are completely underused and undiscovered. Or at least they were undiscovered.......
Johannesburg CBD does have a bit of a reputation for being grimy and dangerous, however, whilst we were vigilant when we were shooting, neither of us felt unsafe or threatened in any way. We kept to busy areas where there are plenty of security guards and people around and happily sauntered around Maboneng and New Town with no problems. The grimy part was unavoidable, the trick is to not sit down anywhere.
Floki had a great time being admired as we walked around and he very much enjoyed the smells (us not so much) as he explored the Joburg metropolis.
My dog radar was working perfectly as I found this little gem right where I'd parked the car.
The ever changing murals and upgrading of the area means that each trip to the heart of Joburg produces a different set of images. We're going back again very soon for some more pics, in the meantime, here are my favourites.
If you'd like to find out more about commissioning your own Little Dog, Big City shoot, please contact me by clicking here.
Dog portrait photography on location in Johannesburg
This is Dexter the Whippet. Dexter and his mom won a competition I ran in collaboration with Friendship Collar South Africa and got themselves a portrait shoot at Hell's Kitchen in Melville and a matching collar and bracelet set.
Dexter is a bit of a nervous chap, so we had to enlist the help of some bacon to persuade him that the photo shoot wasn't as stressful as he assumed and that he'd be well rewarded for posing in front of some slightly suggestive neon signs.
Hell's Kitchen is dog friendly as long as dogs are outside (we worked in the courtyard at the back of the restaurant) sadly Joburg eateries haven't quite become as liberal with dog diners as London restaurants, I hold out hope we'll get there one day.
Dexter's antics (looking very worried and not sitting still) kept us all amused throughout the shoot. He made us smile even more when his mom popped his reindeer snood on for a couple of shots.
We snuck Dexter onto the doorstep of the restaurant to get some cool bokeh effects with the lights inside and some pretty pics with his mom.
I love photographing dogs in unusual places, it keeps things creatively interesting and it's always fun to explore new hang outs in Joburg. You're going to see many more urban shoots coming up over the next few weeks as I think outside the box to keep the outdoor shoot vibe going without using Delta Park :).
As always, I'd love to hear about the dogs in your life and chat about photographing them for you. You can get in touch with me by using the contact form here.
Studio Dog Portraits Johannesburg & Pretoria
The definition of chaos is probably three dogs in a photography studio, and then after that, spending a day at my house LOL. Israel, Athena and Charlie came through to the studio to have their portraits taken recently and they kept their parents and I very entertained.
This is Charlie, professional snack taster and squeaky toy locater. This little lady got so excited by the treats and toys that we had to hide them to reduce the energy to a manageable level. Once she'd calmed to a mild panic she stayed still long enough for me to get some shots. Beagles are renowned for their ability to sniff out snacks and tasty treats and Charlie was on the hunt for the stash in between shots.
Athena and Israel are seasoned professionals when it comes to posing. They are both award winning show dogs, although I'm not sure this particular pose would get a rosette in the ring. I absolutely love Weimaraners, they have such a wonderful range of facial expressions. Despite the slightly goofy looks here, Weims are highly intelligent and very sensitive dogs. In fact, they probably posed like this on purpose knowing it would entertain us all.
Listen humans, just give me the snacks.
Israel striking a pose.
Athena channelling her inner Princess Di.
It's my aim, along with capturing the personality of the dogs I photograph, to create beautiful portraits that can be made into wall art. Sometimes that's easier said than done (this shot is a composite of two separate images) but perseverance and patience always pay off. I can't wait to see how these images end up being displayed.
Dog portraits in London
Sunshine in London! I am thrilled to report that my trip to London recently yielded some beautiful dog portraits courtesy of actual summer weather. I couldn't quite believe it when I had to apply sunscreen. Amazing.
Here we have the utterly fabulous Joy the Viszla and her interior designer Mom strutting their stuff along a gorgeous street in Chelsea. They both colour coordinated by happy accident with the house and flowers which made for my favourite shot of the day.
Chelsea is a very posh area and we made the most of the grand streets and houses to create some very cool portraits.
Viszlas are theoretically working dogs (Joy does go to work with her Mom every day) however they are more well known for their loving, affectionate nature and velcro-like tendencies towards their humans. Joy's Mom told me that dogs go everywhere with their parents in Chelsea, including into the Zara store. I saw dogs wherever I went in London which was just lovely.
I'll be back in London in October for more dog portrait shoots, if you'd like to find out more about availability and pricing please get in touch with me here.
Studio Dog Photography Portraits
Three Boston Terrorists, oops, I mean Terriers. Ahem.
Meet Frankie, Enzo and Luna three fabulous Boston Terriers photographed in the studio a few weeks ago. Despite the shocked look on Frankie's face, I think the dogs actually had a nice time being photographed, the nice time being mostly provided by the biscuits that we shovelled into them to get them to sit still.
The boys modelled their Adidog winter outfits.
Luna squeezed into her winter coat.
Little Luna is deaf, so photographing her was a bit more challenging than working with the boys. She's the sweetest girl and as long as she could see the treats, we had her full attention.
The more I photograph dogs, the more perfection I find in the imperfect shots. Enzo was jumping up at his Mom for snacks whilst Luna and Frankie sat patiently, but I love this shot. It sums up the crazy energy and fun we had during the shoot. I think there are very few dogs that actually understand what they're doing in a photography studio, so I've learnt to embrace the unusual and silly things that they do. Including photo bombing.
Er excuse me Luna.
In amongst the tomfoolery we did get some beautiful portraits of the bostons. I shot them against a white background to accentuate their monochrome colouring and I love the contrast between their coats and the background.
Cape Town celebrity dog portraits
Bo-Kaap had been on my to-shoot-in list for quite some time. The team at Pet Prints Magazine really gave me a treat with this shoot of Zoe Brown and some gorgeous rescue dogs from Side Walk Specials for the cover of their latest issue.
For those of you not familiar with Bo-Kaap, it's an area of Cape Town that was formally know as the Malay Quarter, and it's characterised by brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets. It literally is a photographer's dream for shooting cool portraits.
The only real catch to the shoot was the timing. We ended up shooting at midday which made for some very bright sunshine and quite challenging lighting conditions. Zoe's schedule is such that no other time was possible, so I worked with the gorgeous sunshine (and made sure I applied factor 30!) There's a quote from my favourite photographer, W. Eugene Smith who said, "Available light is any damn light that's available". It's not always possible or convenient to wait for the 'perfect' light, you have to actively find it.
Our four legged models for the day were brought along by a collection of Side Walk Specials staff and volunteers (they have all since been adopted, yay) and took their duties very seriously whilst we sauntered around Bo-Kaap. The humans let the side down slightly as none of us managed to bring dog treats along (my excuse is that I was up at 4am to fly to CT), so we had to borrow a bowl of grated cheese from the restaurant we'd met in to use as bribery. The lovely lady in charge of said cheese bowl became known as 'The Cheese Bearer' which kept us all entertained, especially when she got distracted and had to be summoned.....
I get my creative inspiration for shoots from all sorts of places. I avidly read fashion magazines (and by read I mean look at pictures) as well as looking at art and watching movies. I gave this shoot a bit of a Wes Anderson spin with the use of symmetry in some of the shots. If you watch 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' you'll see what I'm getting at.
This is Happy. She wasn't that happy about having her photo taken on the day, she's much cheerier now that she's been adopted though :)
All the pups in the shoot have been adopted, however, Side Walk Specials always have a constant supply of unwanted puppies and dogs to rehabilitate and rehome. Find out more about their work and how you can help here - www.sidewalkspecials.org
You can get your paws on the latest issue of Pet Prints Magazine to find out more about the lovely Zoe Brown. If you can't find a copy at your local vet or vet shop, go to their website to find your nearest collection point - www.petprints.co.za
Dog portraits on location in Johannesburg
Did someone say snacks? Meet Coco, Cookie and Casper three little dogs with three big personalities. I went to their home in Johannesburg to photograph them and with the help of my faithful friend Biltong, managed to shoot some gorgeous portraits.
From experience (first hand on a daily basis with my tiny tot Hazel) I've found that the smaller the dog, the bigger the personality. It's like if you weigh less than 5 kgs, you automatically think you're at least 40 kgs and the size of a small pony. I think only dogs can get away with having that huge and inflated a sense of self and still be likeable. This trio was very likeable indeed and we had lots of fun posing them around the garden and house during the shoot.
We scheduled the shoot on the same day as a grooming session, so fresh from their trip to Le Pawtique, three little dogs were manoeuvred around the premises so I could capture their individual personalities as well as some shots of the three of them together. I often get a quizzical look from dog parents when I suggest team photos, granted it took a few gos to get the hounds to sit together, but eventually we managed it. Thereafter we had to fight to get them to NOT be in the photos all together.
I brought my black backdrop along for some more formal portraits, especially easy to set up with tiny dogs, and captured this set of photographs. Dogs are often more comfortable in their own space, so for clients who'd like a more formal look to their images as well as shots in the garden, this is a super option.
Once we'd worked the garden vibe, we trotted into the house to shoot some natural images of the dogs chilling on the couch. They didn't disappoint. I think they were just waiting for the cue. Cookie made herself comfortable on the couch first next to her Dad.
Followed by Casper.
Coco was quite wary of all the activity and took the longest (and the most Biltong) to warm up. I pretended to ignore her, then she got onto the couch too.
Three little dogs ended the shoot altogether, on the couch, in preparation for an afternoon nap.
Photographed on location in Cape Town for Pet Prints Magazine
Excited doesn't even begin to describe how I felt when Pet Prints Magazine commissioned me to photograph singer/songwriter Jeremy Loops and his rescue dog Maya. I flew down to CT a couple of weeks ago for the shoot in Kommetjie, Jeremy's home town.
You can't go wrong with a musician who's famous, yet utterly down to earth and super cool, especially one who love rescue dogs. To top off adorable Maya, Jeremy also has a horse called Troy who he swapped for a guitar in order to give him a better home than the one he was in. We didn't get to meet Troy this time, but I think the Pet Prints team have him up their sleeves for a future edition (here's hoping anyway).
Maya was totally unfazed by the modelling assignment and was more interested in exploring the rocks by the Slangkop Lighthouse. I was mostly interested in staying upright whilst gingerly walking across slippy rocks to find spots to take pictures.
We had some fun with the shot above. Jeremy's girlfriend took a very similar shot when Maya was a puppy, she has of course grown quite a bit so wrangling her into the same pose on slippery rocks took a bit of juggling.
This pair have a really close bond, Maya stays with Jeremy's parents when he's on tour and is totally doted on by granny, but she only really has eyes for her Dad. She often goes with him when he's out and about in Cape Town and happily sleeps at his friend's houses after a party.
You can find out more about Jeremy and Maya in the latest issue of Pet Prints Magazine which has just hit the shelves of your local vet shop.
Photography tips for black dogs by specialist dog photographer Emma O'BrienRead More
Fashion Hound Jane models some of the popular trends from the 2018 A/W London and New York Fashion Weeks.
Fashionista Jane is often referred to as the super model of our household. She's strikingly beautiful, but we suspect there are only spiders and the odd piece of cotton wool floating around in her skull, meaning she'd never question the photoshoot outfit choices. This criteria makes her the perfect model for some of the trends that appeared recently on runways in London and New York as their Autumn/Winter fashion weeks unfurled.
Several rather unexpected trends emerged most notably, animal print and tweed alongside some very interesting cat walk displays of artistry involving swimming pools, balaclavas and balloons. Read on to find out more.
Possibly the most bizarre outfit I've ever seen is Edwin Mohney's swimming pool dress, he describes it on Instagram as 'when your necklace is too big for your outfit'. Well yes, just a tad.
Jane totally rocked this look with a slightly smaller panda bear version, showing that even real people can be on trend.
Next on the list for out of the ordinary looks was Stephen Jones' balloon headpieces, paired with dresses designed by Matty Bovan.
The designer said the headpieces were like, 'carrying the weight of the world', this confused Jane who wasn't phased about the headpiece I made for her, she said it was actually very lightweight. You can't beat the worry free properties of Helium.
Designer Richard Quinn had the prestige of Her Majesty the Queen watching his runway show which involved lots of floral prints, scarves as a tribute to Balmoral style and bondage, apparently. Queen Lizzy kept a stiff upper lip and was, by all accounts, quite entertained by the show.
Jane channelled her inner queen with the multi scarf look as she got into character and thought about all the roast pheasant she'd enjoy if she ever cracked an invite to Balmoral. Tally ho.
Tweed is an obligatory look for any self respecting royal, so with a nod to Calvin Klein's eclectic mix of tweed and metallics, Jane's tweed look was born.
The Fashion Hound budget is limited to locally sourced fabrics, although China mall could be deemed exotic if you've got a good imagination, so I've paired some (Chinese import) Chanel-esque pink tweed with a space blanket to create Jane's interpretation of the CK look. If nothing else, she'd be warm if the Princes invited her to Aspen for a skiing trip.
Vertical stripes are always so much more flattering than horizontal ones so Jane was thrilled with how slim she looked in this photograph, I think this outfit is her favourite. The headpiece also reduces one's prep time as hair needn't be dried or styled before leaving home.
Animal print has had a revival for 2018 and was trotted down many a run way by designers from Victoria Beckham to Diane Von Furstenberg.
Whilst I openly admit to owning a couple of pairs of leopard print pumps (from Primani) the head to toe animal print look is slightly reminiscent of a cheap taxi back seat and Lambrusco swigged from the bottle. The trend and Jane's subsequent photo shoot does, however, answer the very pertinent question of 'Who wears Cheetah?'
Dog portraits from the launch of Friendship Collar's new range, photographed at Full Stop Cafe in Johannesburg by dog photographer Emma O'Brien.Read More
Fashion hound Jane models four looks - 2018 pantone colour trends.
How many newsletters are you subscribed to? I seem to have quite a collection in my inbox at any one time and I often don't have a chance to read them. Quite by chance a couple of days ago, a newsletter from 'The Creative Finder' grabbed my attention, talking about Pantone's unveiling of the A/W 2018 colour trends that it predicts will be hitting the high streets and malls following New York Fashion week.
As I read through the article, I realised that I have inadvertently painted three of the colours on my studio walls recently as well as being the proud owner of a not much used red paper roll. Given that fashion hound Jane is almost a perfect match to 'PANTONE 16 - 1438 Meerkat' I spent an hour in the studio (with the help of Carla the dog trainer and several slices of liver bread) getting her to model a few of the trending colours.
The image above is Jane (approx PANTONE 16 - 1438 Meerkat) with 'PANTONE 11 - 4801 Tofu' around her mouth against a backdrop of 'PANTONE 18 - 1549 Valiant Poppy'. I accessorised her with the same red scarf to add some contrast and break up the background colour.
Here we have Jane against a darker hue of 'PANTONE 14 - 4107 Quiet Gray' with a shawl in a similar colour. Jane's 'Meerkat' coat and 'Tofu' mouth and chin fur gives some contrast against the block colour grey without distracting from it. Pantone suggests that some of the trending colours are impactful enough to wear on their own, I think Jane looks impactful here.
Following on from Pantone's suggestion that the 2018 A/W colours are super enough to wear on their own, I've taken things step further here and removed the Jane/background colour contrast to mix two similarly toned colours together - 'Pantone 16 - 1438 Meerkat' with 'Pantone 14 - 1116 Almond Buff'. I actually think the tones really complement each other, giving a very warm feeling to the image and accentuating the colour of Jane's eyes. Perhaps Pantone could base a new colour on her eyes - Fashion Hound Brown?
The trend report states that the 2018 colours are expressing a need for individuality and when combined in an ingenious way can produce a signature look. This vacant expression is fashion hound Jane's signature look and whilst I think the colour combinations look fabulous, they don't boost her appearance in an intellectual way. Perhaps the addition of some glasses with frames in Valiant Poppy would help?
In case you are interested in the new 2018 colours, which, all sarcasm and jesting aside, are actually pretty cool, here are the swatches (images reproduced from Pantone's website). The link to the article I sourced these from is here - www.pantone.com I've also added click through links on the pics.
Portraits of rescue mutts shot in the Centurion studio by dog photographer Emma O'Brien. Got a fame worthy mutt? Get in touch with Emma to find out how your dog could be part of an upcoming exhibition.Read More
7 goofy dog photos that will make your day better
If you're feeling down you can guarantee that your dog will make you feel better. Or you can take it a step further to being cheered up by someone else's dog looking more ridiculous than yours.
Got something stuck on your lip there? Something aside from the droplets of drool?
I don't recall there being a sideways breeze when I took this picture, but looks like there was a strong westerly blowing.....
The guy at the front looks curious, the guy at the back looks like his meds just kicked in. Dragons in the kitchen perhaps?
Caught red pawed, literally with a paw in the cookie jar.
Hey human, we're not sure where you're sleeping tonight, but it's not on your double bed.
Don't even. I'm serious, if looks could kill, you'd be a goner.
Another dental dilemma here, there's nothing like a good underbite to bring cheer.
Valentine's Day Doggy Studio Shoot
Love is in the air.
Well it certainly was yesterday in the studio with a collection of rescue dogs and the latest range of Friendship Collar accessories.
I've teamed up with the lovely people at Friendship Collar South Africa to offer a Valentine's themed photo booth & collar combo at Full Stop Cafe on Sunday 18th February. We got busy in the studio shooting the Valentine's range of collars that are now available to buy to give you guys a taste of what's in store if you come along to the event next weekend.
Lollipop didn't really get into the spirit of things and had to be bribed with treats and snacks to look even vaguely interested. Here she is licking her chops in between bribes. Perhaps secretly she works for the government.
Lolli was much happier with her Mom. She even smiled.
My motley crew of rescue dogs of course made it into the shoot. Hazel is always very keen to perform in exchange for biscuits.
Edward tried his best to smile for the camera, wearing the blue for boys version of the LOVE collar.
And Victoria, my muse and best dog model, walked into the studio, jumped up onto the posing block, sat down and waited for me to get ready. This little brown dog is such a super star.
We'll be shooting images next Sunday with the same super colourful backdrop and you can take your pick of Valentine's themed collars for some beautiful portraits of you and your four legged bestie. To find out more and book your spot, please email Lisa - firstname.lastname@example.org
You can view the range online here - www.sa.friendshipcollar.com/the-love-collection/