My name is Zoltan. I’m a passionate portrait and travel photographer. I do a lot of dog portraits, I love photographing dogs, but when I travel I photograph the landscape and the everyday life of the people. I don’t even take my portrait lenses with me, because you know, you have to save as much room as you can. I usually just take my camera and my 18-35 mm lens.
A few years ago, my then-fiancee Agnes and I traveled to Sal, Cape Verde. When we arrived, we were a bit shocked to see the huge number of stray dogs there. I just knew that I had to photograph them and I thought I made a mistake not bringing my portrait lenses with me, but the funny thing is that in the end, I was happy that I could only use my wide-angle lens. I had to get close to them and we had to have a connection and I loved that.
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The images are more like environmental portraits that show more about how the dogs live. All the dogs were so friendly and so calm. Some of them were very playful, and some were a little sad. Some of them even had collars on, so I assumed they had owners, but they were still hanging around with the others on the streets or on the beach.
I think locals see them as part of everyday life, they even feed them sometimes and they also get fed by tourists.
Fun In The Sand
Beau In The Sunrise
There was one special dog who stole our hearts. We met him on the first day of our holiday and he basically stayed with us for the whole time. He waited for us every morning in front of our accommodation and we spent every day together. We loved him so much that we decided to rescue him and we named him Beau. We took him to the vet in Santa Maria and they were so friendly and helpful, we got him microchipped and vaccinated and we took him with us.
Beau has been living with us and our other dog Alfie for about 4 years now. We love him to bits. Especially my wife. They have a special connection and he is a real mommy’s boy. Ever since we met Beau, we have been trying to support the dogs at Cape Verde. We were so lucky to find a group of people who helped us get Beau to England. Some of them live on the island and regularly go out to feed the stray dogs and take them to the vet. Some other group members, just like us, rescued dogs from there and we try to support them as much as possible, like sending them some money for food and vet bills.
A Group Meeting
Guarding The Pier
My journey as a photographer started in 2013. It was my hobby back then and I had only been doing it for about a year.
I started posting my photos on Facebook where they soon began attracting more and more attention. Initially, I would mainly shoot landscapes and portraits, and I was doing 365 and 52-week photo projects on the side, which helped me develop my photography skills.
Relaxing In The Shade
People Don’t Bother Him
One day a girl named Agnes contacted me to take photos of her five-month-old American Staffordshire puppy called Alfie (now our dog Alfie). It was my very first dog photography session and it was a significant one. That day I fell in love not just with dog photography, but also with Agnes who is now my wife.
Open Air Gym At Santa Maria Beach
I think the most challenging part of photographing dogs is to make them look at the camera. My dog Alfie, for example, always turns away when I ask him to look into the camera. I have a few tricks I use to get their attention, though. I always have treats with me and whistles that make funny noises or squeaky toys, and I usually ask the owner to stand behind me and call the dog.