The art of dog photography with Haslemere’s Fur & Fables PLUS win a dog portrait session worth £175
- Credit: Archant
When it came to re-focusing her career, Haslemere photographer Kerry Jordan took inspiration from her family of five whippets | Interview: Rebecca Younger - Photos: Kerry Jordan
When Kerry Jordan moved from London to the Surrey/Sussex border, she did so for the same reason many people do – to leave the rat race, live ‘the good life’ in the countryside and follow a more fulfilling career path. For Kerry that career was photography.
“I started off doing weddings because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do as a photographer,” she says.
“I loved working with the couples and capturing those intimate little moments of their big day but I wasn’t as enamoured with shooting huge groups. So, I moved into family portraiture, which I loved.”
Showcasing your work is one of the best marketing tools for photographers and so Kerry made good use of her social media channels, posting pictures she had taken. Scattered among these photos were some of pet whippets.
“I noticed these seemed to be getting more attention than the family portraits and soon people started asking me if I would photograph their dogs,” Kerry explains. “So, I started doing dog photography too and soon realised that that was what I wanted to be doing full time.”
Kerry rebranded her business from BooFace Photography to Fur & Fables last year and hasn’t looked back. “I didn’t even know that dog photography could be a career choice, but it’s been incredible,” she says.
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“It’s pushed me in directions I didn’t think possible.”
One of those directions led Kerry to found National Dog Photography Day, which takes place on July 26 each year – a date chosen by Kerry as it is the birthday of Elliott Erwitt, who is famous for his documentary photography of dogs.
“I was at a marketing talk for small businesses and the speaker mentioned an awareness day calendar that she used for marketing purposes and so I started to investigate,” says Kerry.
“What sparked my curiosity was that there’s even a National Ugly Truck Day so there can literally be a day for anything!”
After officially registering the day and creating a following on social media using the #nationaldogphotographyday, the concept went viral and was covered by newspapers across the country and even national television.
As well as taking portraits for dog owners, Kerry now photographs for several doggy brands – with her five whippets, Scout, Jasper, Boo, Betsy and Shadow often featured in the campaigns – and runs a dog model database for dogs with star appeal.
“Whippets are very well-mannered and incredibly laid-back, so they make pretty good models,” she says. “But, as the saying goes, ‘everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of them are wrong!’”
Kerry’s top dog photography tips
Light: This is such a simple one but can transform your images. Before you even raise the camera to take a photo, look at your dog’s face and see how the light hits it. Is one side in shadow?
Can you see any nice little spots of light in their eyes? If the dog’s face is in shadow, can you move them around? Can you move around? If you aren’t sure, take several photos in the same location but change the direction your dog is facing.
Perspective: Get creative. If your dog likes getting up high, go down really low and shoot upwards? Move around, look down on your dog from above (this is lovely if your dog is in long grass or heather). The common way for most people is to stand while taking a photo – get down on your dog’s level.
Phone settings: Most smart phones have either selective focus or portrait mode, which puts your dog in focus but blurs the background, which really helps your hound pop!
Most phones also have the setting for overlaying a grid on your camera so that you can check to see if your photos are a bit wonky.
Composition: Another simple one to try is to not put your dog in the centre of the image all the time, try having them to the left or right side, it helps make the photo a bit more dynamic.
Background: Before you take the photo, check your background. If you are outside, check to see if there’s a tree accidentally growing out of your dog’s head, or if you are photographing in your home, is there clutter you can move out of shot before you take it?
Fur and Fables dog photography shoots start from £175. For more information visit: furandfables.com
One lucky reader can win a dog portrait session with Kerry Jordan worth £175 with £50 credit towards any products. Simply send us a photo of your dog through the form below: