I recently went through my old hard drives in my office to compile some work, rearrange some very old dog photography folders, and dig up some gems to share on social media. What I found was surprising, even to me. There were some real winners in those earliest San Francisco dog photography sessions - some, like the ones I've posted below - were too good not to share with you. These are all from the first year or two of my career, when I was just starting to establish myself as an artist, as a recognized name in the dog photography and fine art photography industries. I was shooting 100% with the Hasselblad and 120 film back then (where as now I shoot 80% film/20% digital), juggling my light meter, film, film backs, camera bag and, of course, a dog all at once. It was a juggling act I quickly came to love, and still love to this day.
I realized that if I could calmly and confidently wrangle a stranger's dog, a heavy manual-focus film camera from the 1970s that needed to be fed fresh film every 12 exposures, and make the work look good (and make it look easy) I'd be doing my job well. I never cut corners in the beginning, and still don't to this day. Doing things the hard way made me work much harder on my first few dog photography sessions in San Francisco, and set a standard that I've always followed: make genuine work, and be a genuine artist.
Some things have changed since the early years, but not much. I still use the same old clunky camera, but now I bring my digital camera as back up or if I think I'll need it depending on lighting (or if I'm photographing puppies). The creativity and curiosity I see in these early images really makes me smile - I hope you like them, too.