Viewing entries tagged
The Doggie Gaga Project



I can't believe a year has already gone by. Can you? Exactly one year ago today I was in the studio with a group of my close friends, sewing and taping and glueing and getting drooled on by some of my favorite dogs in the city. Pulling Polaroids and flashing strobes and laughing and pushing myself to be truly creative. What had begun as sort of a 'creative dare' had become a fully deveopled, living and breathing project. I love a good challenge, and I also love finding excuses to bring together ecclectic sources of inspiration. The Doggie Gaga Project was really just a reason to surround myself with talented, creative, and smart people who inspire me- and create something cooperatively. And that is exactly what we did.

The success of The Doggie Gaga Project can be attributed to many things. People like to talk about the great timing we had, the unique ideas, the artistry, etc. I like to attribute it to these things:

Anne and Dave at The Impossible Project, Craig, Meg, Zona, Summer, Kyl, Tina, Connor, Val, Rebecca + Rebecca, Alex, Nicole, Diana, Carolyn, Ana, Terra, Bert, Kelly, Booker, Gunther, Pancake, X-dog, Kiku, Bob, Jackson, and Jennings.

To celebrate the official One Year Anniversary of The Doggie Gaga Project, I've put together a video of never-before-seen footage of our first shoot, as well as a bunch of my favorite clippings and images. I hope you all enjoy looking at these as much as I do. It's a great marker for my career as a photographer, but more importantly has been an incredible lesson in staying true to your creative vision, pushing the limits, and allowing yourself to be an artist.



And a few of my favorite 'behind the scenes' shots, by two of my favorite San Francisco portrait and lifestyle photographers: Meg Messina and Christine Zona:




Holy wow- its alive! Its instant, its amazing, its exciting, its analog, its beautiful, its completely one-of-a-kind. polaroid dog photographer

I've finally launched the long-awaited Instant Studio Sessions, and I couldn't be happier. It's true- I love black and white film, I love my darkroom, and I love my Hasselblad. But what do I love more than all these things combined? You guessed it- instant film. I don't care if it's Fuji, Polaroid, etc. It's all magical, and has characters and detail that you honestly cannot replicate or find in any other photographic process.

I consider myself a bit of an expert with instant film. Because it is such a tempermental kind of film, you really need to connect with the process. There is a mysterious connection I have with all my instant cameras- I know every unique little feature, I can predict each beautiful imperfection it will produce, and how each camera will react with various instant film types. With my Instant Studio Sessions, I now get to bring clients into that creative and magical process. Clients watch as each instant print is pulled from the large format studio camera, carefully processed to perfection, and developed right before their very eyes. Squeals of joy and tears of happiness are very common reactions.

Each session is fun and exciting, but also incredibly unique. You honestly cannot get these kinds of photographs anywhere else.

polaroid dog photographer

Do these images look familiar? Well, the highly recognized Doggie Gaga Project used this exact same process. Pretty cool.

polaroid dog photographer




magazine dog photographer Cosmopolitan Magazine just called. They wanted my advice on women and fashion. I said, let's talk about photography instead.

You can see the full article and a link to our in-studio video here:

You can see the amazing slide show (and very witty photo comments) here:




Amidst all the Doggie Gaga media attention, international interviews, requests for television appearances, and general all-around amazingness, I have been holding out for the perfect place to hold the very first public exhibit of the images. After long consideration, I've decided to showcase the work at one of my favorite San Francisco dog boutiques- Best In Show. A staple of the famous Castro neighborhood, Best In Show recently won 'Beast of the Bay' 2010 - just like me! So, clearly, it's a match made in doggie heaven. Exclusive Doggie Gaga Exhibit @ Best in Show

May 1-June 1 2010

545 Castro St, San Francisco CA 94114

Meet the Photographer Event

Saturday May 15th, 2-4pm

The in-store exhibit runs May 1st-June 1st 2010. Come meet the photographer (that's me) and the amazing dog stars, browse the store, and purchase a limited edition, signed and numbered Doggie Gaga print on Saturday May 15th from 2-4pm. This will be one of the only times I'll be selling the limited edition 11x14inch Doggie Gaga prints, so come early to guarantee first pick of images. Each 8x10inch print is archivally matted to 11x14, signed, numbered, and sealed in an acid-free sleeve. Yours for the taking, but ONLY on May 15th at Best In Show from 2-4pm.

Hope to see you all there! Please come in and introduce yourself. I'd love to say hello.

Doggie Gaga, San Francisco pet photography, San Francisco fine art dog photographer




The moment that everyone has been waiting for is finally here!

I want to thank my amazing team for all their efforts and creativity in making this a reality.  Also, a special thank you goes out to all the Doggie Gaga models - to everyone's surprise, they didn't mind the costumes (behold the power of peanut butter blueberry treats!!)  The experience is really indescribable in words, thus this time around, we are not only launching new photos, but also a behind-the-scenes video. Come take a look at the madness of the shoot, meet the doggie models, and see me manning one of my favorite stdio cameras.  I hope you enjoy this series as much as the first.  So without further ado...

Official photos of the Round 2 Doggie Models.

More on Facebook!  Become a fan and check it out!

During the shoot, two of my favorite Portrait Photographers in California  (Meg Messina and Christine Zona) were documenting the magic behind the scenes. You can visit their amazing blogs to hear their thoughts on the project, and see their behind the scenes photos:

Meg Messina' blog

Zona Photo's blog




It’s been a really incredible experience for both my photography and myself.  I haven’t seen much of a slow down to the public’s interest in “The Doggie Gaga Project” or my exponentially growing list of “Things to Do.”  Amongst the big items, I’ll be heading down to the Los Angeles area in April (9th-14th) to photograph some very exciting new clients.  Additionally, to pull together the success of “The Doggie Gaga Project” as well as showcase a beautiful collection of fine art portraits, I’ve put together a fun and interactive way for you to access what I would describe as a mini portable version of my portfolio.  Enjoy!




For Immediate Release:March 20, 2010 With Supplies of Polaroid Film Dwindling Worldwide, The Impossible Project Graciously Provided Two Packs to Award-Winning Bay Area Dog Photographer Jesse Freidin. Inspired by Lady Gaga Fashion “The Doggie Gaga Project” is a Viral Hit

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Inspired by Polaroid’s newest spokesperson, Lady Gaga, award-winning Bay Area dog photographer Jesse Freidin – with the help of The Impossible Project (TIP) – created The Doggie Gaga Project, which has become an overnight media sensation this week.  Freidin dressed his canine models in five of Lady Gaga’s most celebrated outfits, and photographed them using two packs of Polaroid film from the last remaining supply in the world.  The resulting photos went online the next morning, and within three days, have been tweeted by Perez Hilton, linked online by Entertainment Weekly, MTV, TMZ, and The Sundance Channel, and featured on ABC’s Live! with Regis & Kelly on 3/18/10.  To view all the images please visit or

Freidin proposed his idea for The Doggie Gaga Project to Netherland-based Impossible Project who has taken on the impossible: to re-invent and re-start production of analog integral film for vintage Polaroid Cameras.  They graciously donated two packs of original Polaroid film (20 prints total).  Freidin and his small team went to work creating the custom-made, Gaga-inspired canine fashions for a Boston Terrier, a Mexican hairless, a Shiba Inu, and two Pit Bulls.  Shooting in his San Francisco studio, Freidin employed a Horseman field camera with a Polaroid back using the increasingly rare T-669.  During the photo shoot, no animals were harmed – or even irritated.

More on Jesse Freidin:
Jesse Freidin, a traditional film photographer who characteristically photographs dog portraits with a Hasselblad, recently won Beast of the Bay’s 2010 award for “Best Dog Photographer.” With years of experience as a fine-art photographer and professional dog-handler, Freidin has a unique approach to animal photography that captures the deeply emotional tie that people have with their pets. As one of the last surviving traditional photographers in the Bay Area, he creates museum-quality black-and-white photographs with unbeatable richness and tone, that are produced, from start to finish, entirely by hand. His true passion for animals and loyalty to analog photography made it only natural that he would create “The Doggie Gaga Project.”

More on The Impossible Project:
 Since October 2008, The Impossible Project has been busy re-inventing a new analog integral film for vintage Polaroid cameras at a former Polaroid factory in Enschede (NL). On Monday, March 22, 2010 Impossible will make a major announcement at a press conference in NYC.  Please visit for more information.

In the words of Edwin Land, the Inventor of Instant Photography, “Don't undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.”

Lady Gaga was recently named creative director for a specialty line of Polaroid products.  Asked if he has met Lady Gaga, Freidin replied, “Not yet, but I’d love to. I hope she enjoys the pictures.”

#            #          #

For more information, photos, or to set up interviews with Jesse Freidin please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Hasty at or 213-840-1201.  To learn more about The Impossible Project please contact Marlene Kelnreiter at 212-219-3254 or




This has been the most insane, exhausting, exciting, rewarding, and emotional 4 days of my life.I'm looking forward to what this next week brings. I hope it brings new faces, new fans, new clients, new accomplishments, and new publicity. And a few hours of actual sleep wouldn't hurt, either.

Thank goodness I've hired my good friend Lynn Hasty at Green Galactic to take care of all my PR. She's amazing.

In case you've been in a bubble, here is a small sampling of some of the places I've shown up in the past few days:

ABC's Regis and Kelly Show (at minute 14)




The Sundance Channel

And my favorite interview I did this morning with an old friend of mine who is a writer with

My interview with Canada's Much Music (sort of like America's MTV) should be airing tomorrow.

Become a fan on Facebook, Twitter, or join my Newsletter to be the first to know when more exciting things develop.

Oh, and thanks. Thanks a lot to everyone pulling for me, coaching me, supporting me, loving the work, and generally sending my vibes of success. I truly appreciate it. And now I'm going to sleep.




Last night the studio was covered in multi-colored Polaroid carnage and dog treats. And I was in heaven. My amazing crew of Doggie Gaga cohorts began making some last minute adjustments to our costumes while I set up the camera. Since this entire project has been, from start to finish, a total celebration of fearless and original creativity, I decided to keep my studio set-up incredibly simple. Simple lighting, simple background, and simple propping. After much tossing and turning the night before, I realized that I wanted the costumes and photographic process to stand out, and nothing else. Multi-head strobe kits and color gels and wind machines had no place here. I wanted the character of the film and the texture of the fabrics to speak for themselves. So I placed the dogs on a couple of dirty apple boxes and waited to see what happened...

All images are untouched Polaroid T-669 instant prints, shot with a Horseman field camera and Polaroid back. It doesn't get more analog and amazing than that. To be honest, it's the most difficult way to photograph dogs, but produces such warm, textured images. It's a true salute to my favorite photographic company on the planet, and the people who are taking risks to keep it alive.

Want to vote for your favorite? Want to see more? Want to learn more about the crew? Visit the official Doggie Gaga Project Facebook page.  We'll be posting videos and more photos soon.