Dog Photographer West Sussex Creative Pet Photography on Location

Location pet photography is always going to be a different ballgame to studio photography. A ‘location’ of some description is chosen because it provides important visual clues to how our subjects live, and the things they enjoy. I do occasionally work in a studio for more stylised projects but I am overwhelmingly an environmental shooter. I love the variety, the challenges, and the immediate decisions which are inextricably linked with the discovery of each new place. On a practical level location photography normally requires more time investment, more planning, some travel, and a greater level of liaison between photographer and client.

When any prospective client makes an approach it’s important to gain an understanding of exactly what the client is looking for to ensure we’re a good match for each other. It also helps if we understand any budgetary or time constraints before getting into a more detailed dialogue. If the client describes a static and fairly traditional portrait against a traditional fabric background then the client would be best served approaching somebody else. Ditto if they’re wishing to apply minimal time to their photography. That’s not to say that we don’t create some controlled and classic portraits during a location session, but in general our customers are asking us to tell their story. In other words, the process is one of collaboration between client and photographer. We need to be on the same page, with the same goal in mind. For the hours we spend together, we’re a team. I know that the wedding photographers reading this will identify with everything I’ve said.

A few months ago one of my clients arranged to visit for an initial consultation. She knew exactly what she wanted and I was delighted when the word ‘album’ was mentioned. I specialise in fine quality wall pieces and books and it’s always great to meet a like-minded customer. I can understand why some photographers shy away from the work involved in producing something which is undoubtedly time-consuming. After all, an album isn’t just a collection of photos stuck on the pages. Each album spread must flow coherently, with each page complementing and leading into the next phase of the journey. We also need to consider how we’re going to show the relationships between the participants, and their connection with the environment. I love designing albums – it’s one of my favourite tasks. It may mean that we need to shoot for longer but the end result is a labour of love and something which will become an heirloom, handed down from one generation to the next.

I had so much fun working with this particular client, including two incredibly characterful (and very well-behaved) Westies and their buddy, a gorgeous Labrador who came along to keep us all company. We’ve worked closely together over the last few weeks producing an album which will be a very special gift, for a very special person on his birthday. It will be a complete surprise for him. There’s been plenty of sneaky subterfuge, like taking the dogs out for special outings lasting somewhat longer than usual. We’ve walked miles in good weather and bad, we’ve laughed and played. And our team spirit carried through to the arrival of the finished product. A simple but sumptuous cover in pebble taupe fine leather, with the names and date carefully debossed to the front.

The album contains 72 silver halide photographs across 22 spreads (44 sides), utilising the finest printing and binding in the industry. Each of our albums will be uniquely designed for each customer, and will be handmade by craftsmen here in the UK. We have a fabulous selection to choose from, with covers ranging from fine leathers, silks, linens, acrylics, and even metal. Pages can be printed to classic silver halide photographic medium, or high impact matte fine art substrates. We can commit anything from 20 photographs upwards to an album.

If you feel that the pets (or people) in your life deserve their own heirloom album then do get in touch for an informal chat. Aside from our award-winning animal photography, we’ve also won many accolades for our people photography as well.

Here are a few photographs which were chosen for the album:

Dog Photographer West Sussex Creative Pet Photography on Location

dogsLindsay Dobson