Let’s just keep 2020 in our rearview mirrors and hope 2021 doesn’t have quite the sting! While my pet photography business fell off the ends of the earth during the first half of the year, once July hit, we were off and running (safely).
Soul is always pure in the dark
If you recall from an earlier blog, I tried something, well, not exactly new, but a new series for me called “The Soul of a Dog.” They are images of dogs (and cats!) on a pure black background. The eyes are everything. You may think you are looking into your dog’s eyes… but your dog is looking into yours as well. One owner said, “It's like he knows everything I've done wrong... and forgives me anyway.”
Since it’s introduction through my model session in November, it’s been really popular… sometimes, “The Soul of a Dog” is the entire session, sometimes it’s an add-on at the end. I’ve been working with a vendor to produce a beautiful 12x12 framed image and it’s gorgeous. They really lend themselves to the more uncommon square format and I’m loving it. Interested? Let me know.
Dun-dun-dunnnn… Dog Noir!
And by now, you probably know my Dog Noir series… images of your pets in a film noir type of setting. We photographed several dogs and their owners this year but we also had a lot of cats, too! The most unique one, location-wise and probably story-wise, was the photo shoot of Close Up the cemetery cat, which probably needs some explanation.
Karie Bible is a diehard film noir enthusiast (deep expertise) and she leads the cemetery tour at Hollywood Forever. In the cemetery, there is a colony of well-kept feral cats (along with peacocks, ducks and other waterfowl) and one of these felines kept appearing on the tomb of Cecil B. DeMille — you know, the Hollywood legend who is immortalized in “Sunset Boulevard” when cray-cray Norma Desmond utters the line, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close up.”
I mean, he always goes to that plot (I first met him there myself) so Karie named him Close Up and he has become quite the cemetery superstar. So this shoot was just for fun and we had no idea if Close Up would cooperate. He did. And we got spectacular Dog Noir images of Karie and Close Up. That’s Karie and Close Up on Mr. DeMille’s tomb.
And we had some awards, too
In March, in between Netflix binging, I came up with what I thought was either a brilliant idea or a really stupid one. I showed the evolution of it previously, my cat Kiwi in a still life setting. Well, I really worked on it and I loved the final results. Called “Thief at the Feast,” that image won me quite a few international awards.
In September, I had the great privilege of shooting a litter of nine Weimaraner puppies, their mother and their grandfather for Silver Eire Weimaraners. And even though it’s actually the grandpa and not the father, I titled the image “Dad Had the Fun Job” and when you see it, you’ll see why the judges laughed.
This image also did very well in competition, being one of four images that earned me a gold medal in the Professional Photographers of America’s International Print Competition. It is also one of 10 grand imaging award finalists in the animal category. So that was huge. If you want to see some of my award winners from 2020, check out Award Winners.
Just for fun
We did a little homage to Frida Kahlo shoot with a bunch of excellent dogs in December!
“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” —Frida Kahlo
Welcome 2021... let's play nice!
Let’s get together safely in the new year and I hope all of your hopes for 2021 come true. Thanks everyone and see you soon! Happy New Year! —Diana