Cape Town celebrity dog portraits
Bo-Kaap had been on my to-shoot-in list for quite some time. The team at Pet Prints Magazine really gave me a treat with this shoot of Zoe Brown and some gorgeous rescue dogs from Side Walk Specials for the cover of their latest issue.
For those of you not familiar with Bo-Kaap, it's an area of Cape Town that was formally know as the Malay Quarter, and it's characterised by brightly coloured houses and cobbled streets. It literally is a photographer's dream for shooting cool portraits.
The only real catch to the shoot was the timing. We ended up shooting at midday which made for some very bright sunshine and quite challenging lighting conditions. Zoe's schedule is such that no other time was possible, so I worked with the gorgeous sunshine (and made sure I applied factor 30!) There's a quote from my favourite photographer, W. Eugene Smith who said, "Available light is any damn light that's available". It's not always possible or convenient to wait for the 'perfect' light, you have to actively find it.
Our four legged models for the day were brought along by a collection of Side Walk Specials staff and volunteers (they have all since been adopted, yay) and took their duties very seriously whilst we sauntered around Bo-Kaap. The humans let the side down slightly as none of us managed to bring dog treats along (my excuse is that I was up at 4am to fly to CT), so we had to borrow a bowl of grated cheese from the restaurant we'd met in to use as bribery. The lovely lady in charge of said cheese bowl became known as 'The Cheese Bearer' which kept us all entertained, especially when she got distracted and had to be summoned.....
I get my creative inspiration for shoots from all sorts of places. I avidly read fashion magazines (and by read I mean look at pictures) as well as looking at art and watching movies. I gave this shoot a bit of a Wes Anderson spin with the use of symmetry in some of the shots. If you watch 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' you'll see what I'm getting at.
This is Happy. She wasn't that happy about having her photo taken on the day, she's much cheerier now that she's been adopted though :)
All the pups in the shoot have been adopted, however, Side Walk Specials always have a constant supply of unwanted puppies and dogs to rehabilitate and rehome. Find out more about their work and how you can help here - www.sidewalkspecials.org
You can get your paws on the latest issue of Pet Prints Magazine to find out more about the lovely Zoe Brown. If you can't find a copy at your local vet or vet shop, go to their website to find your nearest collection point - www.petprints.co.za