THE ARTISAN HOUND: ADVENTURES IN THE USA
The Artisan Hound: International Dog Photographer. Now there’s a title I never thought I’d achieve! But last October, I did just that. And what an experience it was…
It all started last spring when I was contacted by Robyn of Haute Dog: Couture Pet Photography in Dallas, Texas. She was searching for someone to photograph her very special heart dog, Jake, and I was unbelievably flattered to find that I had made her shortlist (and even more honoured since she’s an incredibly well-renowned pet photographer in her own right!).
A Skype call and a few email conversations later, and I was booked for my first ever international client session! We’d chatted for a while, and everything just clicked. I almost burst into (happy) tears when I received her email saying “Out of literally all the pet photographers in the world, I am confident you are the one for this job. Will you be my dog photographer?“
We spent the next few months finalising dates, and arranging the perfect location for the session. Robyn was even kind enough to let me stay at her home for the duration of our time in Dallas – a home shared with her pack of five insanely awesome hounds! There was Jake the Bernese Mountain Dog, and my soon-to-be canine subject. There was also Hannah, the incredibly soppy St Bernard, and Kimber, the equally soppy Mastiff. And finally Ellie and Hudson, the super-bouncy super-goofy Great Danes! My excitement was matched only by my nerves – the furthest I’d ever driven for a session was 30 miles, and now I was going to be travelling nearly 8,000!
Before I knew it I was on a plane, headed for the USA. I could write an entirely separate blog post on the amazing things I got to experience during my time in America, but I’ll try and stay on track, and stick to the photography! Although I can’t go any further without saying just how brilliant a hostess Robyn was during my stay – she even went as far as to organise some awesome sightseeing trips for me during the time that we weren’t shooting, including my first ever cattle drive, and authentic Texan BBQ – I even ate a waffle in the shape of Texas, and drank Dr Pepper for breakfast!
Remember how I said I’d stay on track?…
So onto the session… The location we chose was the Mandalay Canals at Las Colinas – an incredible and unique little gem tucked away on the outskirts of Dallas. These urban canals were packed with ‘Old World’ charm, inspired by the canals of Venice. I don’t usually shoot in urban areas, so this was a brilliant opportunity to really push myself and experience something new.
And as for my furry subject? Luckily, being able to stay with Robyn meant that I had plenty of time to get to know Jake – the charming, gentle, soulful, super floofy Bernese Mountain Dog. It was easy to see why he was her heart dog! Jake was also a pro when it came to posing for photos (when your mum is a prolific pet photographer, how can you not be?) and he was an absolute dream to work with.
Okay, okay, I know what you’re all really here for… Enough of my rambling, and onto the photos! But I can’t end without saying a massive, heartfelt thank you to Robyn for her hospitality, kindness, and all-round awesomeness that made my experience one of such epic proportions – thank you so, so much! (and huge shout out to Adam and the rest of the Pope pack too!)
Robyn’s also done a beautiful write up of our experience, and sheds some light on just how special Jake truly is to her – pop over to her blog and have a read (warning – tissues may be required!).