Paws up if you love taking photos of your dog?
If you’re here, then I know you will be guilty of driving your non doggy friends (if you have any) mad with photos of your furry friend.
And next week there’s even more reason to share your dog snaps as it’s National Dog Photography Day on Sunday July 26th.
It was created last year by pet photographer Kerry Jordan of Fur and Fables and it’s no surprise that the #nationaldogphotographyday hashtag went viral with pet owners from all over the world joining in.
(You can read what happened in 2019 and how even the Queen and Snoop Dogg got in on the action here.)
Anything to celebrate the special bond we share with our dogs gets a yes from us, so we spoke to Kerry, who lives in Surrey with her husband Al and five whippets about how it came about.
If you like listening, you can check out this podcast episode too where Kerry shares how to capture pawfect photos of your dog.
Can you tell me a little about your background as a dog photographer?
I actually started photographing weddings and was shortlisted for regional awards.
After a few years I realised that I really wanted more 1-1 interaction and less hours so decided to transfer my skills to family photography and around this time we got our first dog, a whippet called Scout who completely changed my world.
He became my muse and I would take my camera on walks and photograph him in the beautiful countryside.
Our whippet family grew – we now have Scout, Boo, Shadow, Bertie and Jasper – and people started asking me if they would photograph their own dogs.
This was in 2013 when I hadn’t really seen very many dog specific photographers, but I decided to pursue it as a niche and haven’t looked back!
How lovely! And where did the idea for national dog photography day come from?
It was actually after a live event by content specialist Janet Murray, I’d bought her content diary and was looking through the days and wondered why on earth some of them existed.
Just as an example, there’s an ugly truck day on 20thJuly in case you wanted to be part of it, and then how you do your own ‘day’.
I found a UK database specifically for registering your day called YearAhead.com so that public relations businesses and newspapers can plan content and registered my day.
They were a little reluctant at first!
Good on you for pursuing it. Were you surprised about how it took off last year and went viral?
I was honestly blown away! I knew I’d have to do a bit of legwork to get it off the ground, especially as it was the first year.
The entire day was spent retweeting and replying to every single post on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I could barely believe it when someone from the Press Association contacted me to answer some questions.
#Nationaldogphotographyday ended up being on their trending page!
What did you enjoy the most about last year?
I adored seeing so many dog pictures and their stories behind them! People were having so much fun with it, even Winston the Churchill dog tweeted.
Did you have a favourite pic and can you tell me what you liked about it?
I adore this one from The Lazy Hounds, the moody lighting with the pop of purple, as well as a gorgeous whippet!
View this post on Instagram
Happy #nationaldogphotographyday from Wendy! The perfect dog! (If you ignore the fact she eats poop) The only thing this daddy’s girl wants to do is to please us every single minute of every day #dogs #dogstagram #dogsofinstagram #instadog #whippet #whippet_feature #whippetsofinstagram
And this one from Mr Pelluchi.
— Mr Pelucchi (@Mr_Pelucchi) July 26, 2018
What are your hopes for this year’s event?
It would be amazing to go viral again! But also, I have seen some ideas for raising money for charity too which would be absolutely incredible.
Do you know what you’ll be doing on National Dog Photography Day?
I’m hoping to partner up with a couple of local dog businesses to create a fun event, current ideas is seeing how many dog portraits I can do in an hour, with money for the portraits going towards charity.
That’s a brilliant idea! How can people get involved?
If you are a dog related business, see if you can pair up with other dog businesses to create something fun!
If you are a super dog friendly shop or pub, maybe do a dog brunch and invite a photographer.
The possibilities are endless!
If you are a dog owner, Tweet, Instagram and Facebook using the #nationaldogphotographyday hashtag.
And do you have any tips to share for regular dog owners so they can take awesome photos on the day?
- Get down on their level, even if that means sitting on the floor, it gives you a much better perspective.
- Make sure there are no background distractions, if there’s a lamppost growing out of your dogs head, move around!
- A really simple one – train them to sit and wait, it makes it so much easier when your dog isn’t moving around.
- Want a cute head tilt? Try making noises that they haven’t heard before like a high pitched brrrrr or pa pa pa.
- On a bright sunny day, try photographing your dog in the shade so that you get soft even light rather than harsh shadows.
You can find out more about Kerry on her website, www.furandfables.com where you’ll find her social media links.