When people ask, I always try to catch myself before saying "Oh, I shoot people's pets ...." — somehow, they seem to take it the wrong way!
Seriously though, I'm completely besotted with animals of all kinds and always have been ...... OK, there are several bugs whose purpose I truly call into question, but other than that, I'm a total sucker! If you walk past me in the street with a dog, there's a good chance I'll ignore you completely at first, and smile at the dog! Please don't take it personally! ;)
I love working with people's pets. Photographing them does take a lot of patience, but I think the hardest part for me is forcing myself to actually do my job and not just play for hours!
Cat-teasing, dog-directing, kitten-catching, pigeon-posing, puppy-training animal wrangler ..... who assists with on-set lighting with his second pair of hands!!
Getting dogs to behave and pose for the camera is one of Joel's specialties (along with throwing balls and getting covered in drool!) And after many hours practicing with our own cat, he's learned how to bring out some awesome prey and pounce behavior in cats, which is great to capture on camera. If it sounds like Joel's main job during photo-shoots is to play around ..... well, that's not too far from the truth! But he's also the invaluable lighting guy, who can often be seen on-set with toys in one hand, a flash in the other and a reflector between the knees! Versatility — that's the name of the game!
Many pet photographers describe their pets as office managers. Much as I really do need one, little Miss D. is definitely not that! She's rather my excuse to procrastinate and frequent cause of "Feline Paralysis" [noun. an inability to move, work, make cups of tea or do anything useful as a result of having a cat in your lap.] It's a thing, honest..... Google it!
Daisy, however, did initiate my path to pet portraiture. She'd been abandoned by her owners and showed up in our yard one day, in very bad shape; all beat up and emaciated and incredibly aggressive. No-one, even our veterinarian, thought she'd be manageable as a pet, but to give her up would have been to end her life.
Our journey, rehabilitating her, brought to our attention the plight of the millions of other abandoned animals, but we felt helpless to do a thing. I'd noticed an article in a magazine, talking about how taking beautiful portraits of shelter animals drastically increased their adoption-rate, and a light came on for me — THIS I could do, at least. I started out working with animal rescues and it progressed from there. Since that time, I've had the joy of photographing a diverse set of creatures for a range of clients, whilst still trying to help as whenever possible with animal charities.
We are located in South Charlotte, North Carolina.
To contact us with questions , or to schedule a session please email:
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or call 704-557-0225
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