I’ve always loved black animals. When I was born, my parents had a black mutt named Ruth, and she and I quickly became BFFs.
Fast forward to my young adult life where I absolutely wanted my first pet of my own to be a black cat. I spent close to 16 years with this beautiful creature. His name was Diablo, and he enjoyed signing in the shower (true story). So you can imagine, as a pet photographer, I had to find a way to shine the light on these amazingly beautiful, funny, talented black beauties. Especially having learned that they are often the last to get adopted in shelters, and there is a lot of prejudice against them.
Chasing Shadows, A photographic Journey of Black Adopted animals, is a long term passion project where I photograph black animals in shades of grey locations. The animal’s personality, spunk, liveliness, and of course, their badassery can be displayed without any distractions. The only color is the flicker in their eye that lets us gaze into their loving souls. With various portraits, action shots, and moody environmental photography, like stills from a movie, their stories will be told.
Black animals rock, let’s show the world!
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Lewis And Felix – Brothers From Another Mother
My biggest influences in developing my photography style were music and documentary photographers. I remember seeing Steve McCurry’s work a long time ago and just loving the way he uses light, color, and composition to bring us scenes from conflicts, vanishing traditional cultures, and contemporary society from around the globe. The way he tells a story with just one gorgeous frame is beyond inspiring.
In concert photography, I love the use of light, cropping, and capturing the raw energy on stage.
I also find inspiration in movies. I remember coming home from seeing The Revenant and already start planning one of my first winter photoshoots with a dog model.
(The Chasing Shadows project was inspired by the movie Shadow.)
Shadow The Dancing Queen
I do not spend an incredible amount of time on editing my images. I try to keep them as natural as possible. I remove the leashes and teddy up distractions. I can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes per image. However, for some creative projects, I can easily spend half an hour and more.
When it comes to my favorite type of photo I’d say I lovvvvve action photography. It’s so badass. I love when there is movement, emotion, and raw energy. I also love images that include the environment and have a sense of place. Especially when that place is unique or moody. As per lighting I always use ambient lighting. I play around in mostly open shade and golden hour backlighting.
Oochie The Sweetie
I feel that as a professional that works with clients it’s super important for me to keep doing creative projects as that is what keeps the flame of my passion burning. Creative shoots give me the opportunity to try out new techniques and locations that I can then offer my clients. I strongly believe creative work helps to prevent burnout.
When they see my work most people are surprised to see photos of dogs just being dogs and I’d say they are even more surprised that I make a living photographing pets!
The part of the creative process I enjoy the most is finding inspiration for creative shoots, and creating a mood board for what I’d like to create. Finding the perfect dog model. I enjoy watching youtube videos to learn new techniques. I find joy in planning everything. I get so excited I can’t sleep!
Ellie And Shiloh – Cutest Couple
I chose to photograph pets because I love animals, they are so badass! I am obsessed with creating dynamic, edgy portraits of unique characters being their most weird, wild, and wonderful selves. Animals are the best at this which is one of a million reasons I love working with pets and the people and brands who love them.
Matta And Husher – Dynamic Duo
How did I start as a photographer you might ask? I like to joke that I was born with a camera.
I’ve been into photography for as long as I can remember. I started with film cameras and even got to develop photos in a dark room. The feeling of seeing the image magically appear on paper was beyond thrilling. I’ve always been creative and I was also a painter and musician for many years. (I played guitar in an all-girl death metal band)
Photography was a serious hobby for many years until I finally decided to do it professionally 7 years ago. I hesitated for a long time to go a professional because I feared that the thing in life that I was most passionate about would become a boring old job and I did not want to lose my passion.
But funny thing… after seven years the passion keeps growing!
Working with pets really helps!