Since its launch in 2013, Whippets Snippets owner Kerry Jordan has been photographing both humans and hounds in specialist photoshoots across Surrey and surrounding areas. And now, having secured her very own National 'day', Kerry tells us what to expect from a photoshoot for your dog.
1. Congratulations, you have registered your own official national dog photography day! What was the reason behind doing this and how did you go about it?
The boring bit is I was planning what content I’d like to share on my blog posts this year, and there are so many national and international days, I got curious as to how you register them! There is a UK and a US database so I decided, considering my business, to see if they would accept National Dog Photography Day. I managed to convince them, so now it’s a registered day, and it even has its own hashtag #nationaldogphotographyday - it’s on the 26th July which is Elliott Erwitt’s birthday - if you don’t know who this is, go check him out.
2. How long do dog photographic shoots usually last and do owners join too?
Generally I say a minimum of an hour, however it’s usually more as I don’t like to restrict the time if everyone is having fun. The owners do join in sometimes, and I’m glad when they do as I love to show the relationship between human and hound. I try never to have very posed shots, it’s more about the interaction. If people really aren’t comfortable in front of the camera, they usually like ‘the boots shot’ where I photograph the hound sitting next to the owners wellies (with the owner in them obviously!).
3. Where are your favourite places for shoots, and do they vary depending on the dog/breed?
I love anywhere that shows off our beautiful British scenery. Luckily in West Sussex we have some of the highest points in the South, and some of the most beautiful beaches. It’s all about what the dog is comfortable with though, I always chat with the owners first to find out the personality of the dog. If they are nervous I know a few places that are very quiet, if they love a sprint, the beach is fantastic for that (West Wittering is stunning).
4. What should owners bring with them to a shoot (apart from their dog!)
It’s always lovely if the dog has a ‘Sunday best’ collar to show off, but generally all we need is the owner, the dog, and lots of enthusiasm.
5. Do clients receive all of the shots taken or do you edit them down to the best ones?
The gallery usually consists of around 30 images, all edited to a high standard. I take the best from each set of poses - I have learned that if people get confused between five very similar images, it’s actually off-putting for them as they can’t decide. Most people trust my judgement.
6. What techniques do you use to get the best shots, and how do you get them to sit still?
Tough question! It’s very dog and location specific but the one thing I always look for is beautiful light, even on a cloudy day. There are several ways to get a shot, one way is to have the owner get them to sit for a treat and I’ll use a lense which I can zoom in and isolate the the dog, I have a variety of noises to get their attention and to get a good expression. Another way, if the hound isn’t able to be off lead, is for the owner to hold the lead in a certain way so that I can take it out when I’