We are used to last minute bookings coming in but this one was super short notice! The booking was only confirmed at 5.45pm on a Friday evening for the following Monday. As the office is closed on weekends, we had to put on our speedy skates and get working immediately on this one. The brief that came in was for a total of eight dogs needed for a photoshoot with The PetShop Boys for a cover and feature shoot for Attitude Magazine. The dogs had to all be small breeds and no two could be the same breed. They also all had to be “cute”, but what dog isn’t?
We pulled together a great line up of available dogs, these included; Nemo and his sister Minnie the Poodle, Lilliput the Maltese, Matilda the Yorkshire Terrier, Kipper the Pug, Lottie the Cavachon, Maisie the Westie and Abby the Shih Tzu.
Everyone was very efficient at confirming their availability right away and excited about the fun shoot ahead after the weekend. They had just a few days to get ready, most of them taking a bath and getting brushed up to look glamourous.
Monday lunchtime we all headed off to Big Sky studios in Kings Cross. The whole group was scheduled to come a little early for a pre-shoot meet and greet with our animal handler Adam. It was very exciting for the animals to meet all their new friends and dogs and handlers all had a fun time mingling. There were a whole range of dog treats to be shared out and testing your friends treat was a highlight for some! Kipper the pug was especially in his element as he was mostly surrounded by female co-models and could not believe his luck at hanging out with all these lovely ladies.
During this time the studio area was being prepared and set up. The dogs had some off the lead time to run around together and get relaxed in their new environment. This chill time is important for groups of animals to feel calm and comfortable together.
Then it was down to all the hard work. Each of the dogs was introduced to their co-stars, the Pet Shop Boys. Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic pop duo, formed in London in 1981 and consisting of Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guniess Book of Records. All that fame did not phase any of the canines and they each probably considered themselves the stars of the shoot.
First up, whilst energy was running high we decided to try for a possible cover shot. The set up was to be Neil and Chris sitting on a bright red sofa and literally surrounded by the dogs. It was a tight shot angle needed for the portrait shaped image so everyone had to squash in. A few of the little ones sat on laps and a couple of the dogs were positioned peeking over the back of the sofa. There were handlers on hand hiding behind the sofa to catch anyone who might have slid off!
For a few of the shots, some of the dogs had to wear some props such as hats or sunglasses.
Here Kipper tries on a hat, as you can see he was quite taken with it and everyone wanted to get a picture of him in it. Just to his right you can see Poppy keeping a watchful eye on things.
The next series of shots were having all the dogs on their leads and them all to be held at once by Neil or Chris. The dogs were arranged by Adam into two groups of four, depending on who was getting along best and then four leads were to be held in each hand.
Adam, the PetLondon animal handler practises for the shot with all 8 dogs being called towards the camera on cue.
The photographer for this shoot was Joseph Sinclair Being a dog owner himself he was great to work with and created a calm and friendly atmosphere for the animals.
It was a very short turnaround time since the magazine was due to be published in just two weeks after the photoshoot. Often in this industry there are much longer lead times and we have to wait months and months before the shots are released.
The credits for all the images below go to Joseph Sinclair and Attitude Magazine. We think they are fabulous and everyone involved did a fantastic job.