Photo Lab for Bark Magazine: A Behind the Scenes Look

Posted on: Tuesday, March 6, 2012

from the Photo Lab

If you love dogs, you’ve probably heard of Bark Magazine; and if you appreciate smart writing, great design and gorgeous photography, you’ll recognize it as the very aptly described “The New Yorker for Dog Lovers.”
We have been enjoying Bark Magazine for 7 years now. I still remember walking into Pawtrero Hill to get food and toys for our newly adopted puppy (Corbin) and seeing this beautiful magazine cover near the checkout counter; we have been hooked ever since. I can honestly say, from the moment we declared ourselves animal photographers, it has been our dream to work with Bark, and a bigger dream still, would be to see one of our images on the cover.

Last year we had the pleasure of becoming contributors to the magazine, bringing images to articles and recently collaborating, photographing and designing the layout for their acclaimed Dogs in Letterpress piece. Little did we know that early in 2012, we would reach a major milestone in our careers and see a huge dream for our little business come to life… with a cherry on top.

In late January, Cameron Woo, creative director of The Bark, contacted us with a request to photograph the cover for the upcoming spring issue (picture us wide-eyed with jaws on the floor). The assignment involved photographing the newest member of the Bark family of canines, a sweet little terrier mix named Charlie. Oh my goodness… Not only were we getting the unbelievable opportunity to photograph for the cover of a dearly respected dog culture magazine, but we were being trusted with photographing a Bark family member! After the fainting spells subsided and the shock started giving way to excitement, we very happily accepted the assignment and started planning for our shoot.

On a lovely February morning, we packed up the car and headed over to the Bark headquarters in Berkeley. Charlie (who had been given a bath for his big day) could have easily stepped out of Patrick McDonald’s Mutts comic strip; he has the perfect combination of cute + scruffy + frisky, with a pair of stunning, sparkly eyes and patches of brindle on his coat.

A little gentleman. If you look closely, Charlie is sitting on top of a shoe :)

Before even pulling the camera out, Bill and I like to get to know our models, playing, observing, and getting comfortable with each other. Charlie was not at all phased by any of the equipment, and we would soon find the ultimate trick to get his attention as Cameron describes below:

That tangle of arms and elbows of the left is Bill and I, with said attantion-getting Cat sounds app.

 ”We didn’t know what to expect from Charlie for his cover photo shoot … fortunately, he showed no apprehension to the backdrop we set him on, and did his best to hold his sit-stay and looking cheerful. He’s a dog of few expressions, rarely opening his mouth, so we concentrated on the small things — his posture, getting his ears to perk up, coaxing a head tilt. Then Nat pulled out her secret device … that “cat meow” app which instantly captured Charlie’s attention. Volia, a cover shot!” ~ Cameron Woo

Once we got our cover shot, we had some fun photographing on different colored backgrounds with Charlie happily accepting liver-flavored bribes from me. When the photoshoot was over, he remained stitting on the seamless, as if saying “What, are we done already? I’m ready for more!”

I cannot express in eloquent words what we felt when we got our first look at the final cover. It is a tangible dream. It is something that will go up on our wall and always remind us to keep working hard, loving what we do and doing what we love. I don’t know if this is true for everyone, I can only speak for Bill and myself when I say that seeing your work pubished is not something you get used to, it is always just as exciting; just as humbling and happy-dance-inspiring.

 

We can’t thank Cameron and Claudia enough for this amazing opportunity and for the trust they bestowed in us to photograph their new little friend, as well as the rest of the Bark team for allowing us to take over their space for a day. We are so happy to have been a part of this and to officially welcome Charlie into his new loving family pack.
We hope you’ll get your own copy of Bark and enjoy everything it has to offer, and if you are not a subscriber yet click on the banner link on the right and get your subscription today!

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