Entries Tagged as 'Bark Magazine'

Hello, Goodbye!

Posted on: Thursday, January 3, 2013

from the Labs

If you have one resolution this year, only one… Let it be this one.

Goodbye 2012!

This past year was definitely one of growth at Photo Lab and Design Lab HQ… In every way possible, we grew.

  • We grew as a small business, bringing in double the happy clients we did last year.
  • We grew as working professionals, perfecting our craft and learning something new with each project and challenge.
  • Growing sometimes includes some difficult times, but we stuck together, regardless of the growing pains that we ultimately learned valuable lessons from.
  • We grew our following, surpassing 1000 fans on Facebook and making new friends in colleagues and fellow dog/cat/art lovers.
  • As members of HeARTs Speak, we enjoyed doing a lot of work for shelters and rescues this year, and some of it made it into Bark Magazine to our sheer delight.
  • We grew as a family, adding a shelter puppy named Willow to our pack!

In all, it was a good year for us, with its share of ups and downs but with great opportunity for learning from every curveball coming our way.

Below I compiled some of our favorite faces and projects for 2012, with gratitude to everyone involved in making them a reality. To all our wonderful clients, we sincerely appreciate you and look forward to an even better 2013!

From the Photo Lab

This was a BIG one for us our first BARk cover!! :D

From the Design Lab

These are some of the design and photography projects we worked on this year.


Wishing you the happiest of new beginnings this year!


Lessons from the Water Bowl: Dogs, Photography and Type

Posted on: Thursday, November 8, 2012

from the Labs

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and as professional photographers we could not agree more. With words, we find that the simpler the message, the better; yet as designers and overall creative people, we believe that the way that message is presented can be key to it striking a chord with the people you are trying to reach. Pairing a beautiful image with some powerful text has proven to be a subtle yet very striking way to engage someone. It has been done in many ways, many times but I find that there is never a good balance, they have great images, and wonderful words, but they don’t shine because of a poor choice of font, or placement or legibility; or maybe it’s the other way around, great words and design, and a not-so-great image.

Typography is the art or process of printing/working with type, the work of setting and arranging type in a way to make a word or message not only clear and legible, but beautiful.
I am, I’ll confess, a type-nerd. I love trying out new fonts to work with and if there is one talent I dearly wish I had, it would be that of hand-lettering.


Piecing together our monthly desktop wallpaper calendars (download them for free!), a project we later aptly called DeskType Wallpapers, really allowed me to play with words, different font styles and I gave myself an enjoyable puzzle to work on every month. I enjoyed the result so much that I decided to overlay some type on one of our images for our Photo Lab | Design Lab holiday email last year and this typography + photography combination has since become synonymous with our style. We now compose our photographs with type in mind, allowing for extra negative space, shooting at a wide open aperture to remove busy backgrounds and allow type to be more easily readable.

November’s DeskType Wallpaper. Download it by visiting our Design Lab Creative Studio Facebook page.

Our holiday newsletter cover from last year, the beginning of our signature photography + typography style.

These typography + photography pieces now illustrate every one of our email newsletters, they adorn every greeting card we send to our clients and friends, they help illustrate random thoughts or support important causes to us and have headlined many of our blog posts, in particular our series on canine behavior; every time we shared one of these pieces on the web, Facebook and Pinterest in particular, the image went viral and was shared numerous times. Most recently, we wrote and created a piece called The Promise, a personal project to express our joy and vows to our newly adopted dog Willow; to our amazement, that one garnered unbelievable attention, and resulted in calls and emails not only from people who had seen it online, but from notable names in the pet industry such as Bark Magazine, Dog is Good and P.L.A.Y. Pet, Lifestyle and You. The winter issue of Bark Magazine features three custom pieces we created for Kim Kavin’s article on fostering. We were brought in to photograph foster dogs for the article and create the type + photo pieces, writing to help tell the story and pinpoint some key messages in relation to the joys of fostering dogs.

Custom-made piece for Bark Magazine’s winter 2012 issue. “Why Foster?” by Kim Kavin

Somehow, what we were writing, creating and sharing in these pieces was striking a chord with people from all over. It gave me a wonderful sense of community to see that so many people shared our love and commitment to animals and that they enjoyed what we created enough to share it with their friends. That’s where Lessons from the Water Bowl comes in…

The Dogs Speak, I Write…
One of my favorite quotes by Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne is “Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”  This gave me an idea: what if someone not only listened, but took notes and shared them with the world?
Selfishly, it would a personal project to keep ourselves shooting for fun and for me to keep experimenting with type, but primarily, it would be a way to remind people of the many things we can learn from animals if we take the time to listen. Better yet, what if they had something beautiful, to remind them of this message?

So, we set out to create 12 pieces to begin with, gathering some of our best work and shooting for instances where we wanted something very specific. The result: a gorgeous calendar we are ridiculously proud of and one we have so been looking forward to sharing with everyone. It is here, it is ready and just in time to be hanging on your wall by January 1st. You can now purchase your calendar HERE.

Lessons from the Water Bowl 2013 calendar

January’s Lesson

May’s Lesson

August’s Lesson

The best part is, this calendar is only the beginning! This will be an ongoing series since dogs have endless things to say and teach, and we won’t stop at dogs; we have plans to include cats and any other animal willing to “sit down” with me for a chat. We hope you enjoy this series and that you keep sharing it with your loved ones.

What has your dog or cat taught you?
We’d love to hear your stories! Share them on our Facebook wall or via email and if your submission gets picked to become part of the series, we’ll send you a lovely print of your Lesson in its photography + typography format :)

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!

Sneek Peek: Momo

Posted on: Tuesday, January 10, 2012

from the Photo Lab

We are back! To welcome 2012, we thought we would dedicate our first blog post of the year to Momo, the little pug that sealed 2011 for us.

Below are a couple of our favorite images from Momo’s photoshoot. Although it was a particularly cold and gloomy day, Momo and her parents had a blast; and in one of those fortunate moments a camera allows you to capture, she illustrates one of the greatest lessons to be learned from dogs. You might recognize Momo from P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle and You‘s popular blog post Momo Mondays. Momo’s parents are the masterminds behind P.L.A.Y. and we are so thrilled to have had the pleasure to photograph their beloved little lady. We are also beyond excited to be collaborating with P.L.A.Y. on their Warm Bellies Initiative featured on the newest issue of Bark Magazine. Click here to learn more about Warm Bellies.

Honoring Our Four-Legged Heroes

Posted on: Thursday, November 10, 2011

from the Design Lab

We have been working feverishly on our Design Lab website, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate its completion than with the release of this project so dear to us and a wonderful feature in one of our favorite publications, Bark Magazine.

Throughout history, natural and man-made disasters come accompanied by many things, tragedy, tears, loss, unity, recovery and hope. I cannot think of a more perfect sign of hope than to see a dog wearing a Search and Rescue vest working diligently alongside his or her human partner. Not only do these dogs work to find life amid the destruction, or bring closure to grieving families; they also bring a much needed comfort and sense of normalcy to those around them.

In the wake of the Japan earthquake, we all watched as search and rescue teams worked tirelessly to find survivors. It was then that we set pen to paper and created an illustration dedicated to honoring their life-saving work.
We had hoped to find an outlet for this project and our opportunity came when our friend Olivia San Mateo, owner of Olive-Route Press told us about a letterpress exhibit in Japan that she was participating in. She would be donating 5 letterpress pieces to the show benefitting victims of the disaster; she had selected 4 and was missing one. Perfect. When we showed her our illustration, she loved it and to our surprise and utter delight, offered to print it and send a few pieces to the gallery show in Japan. Unknowingly, our illustration was a perfect candidate for letterpress printing, simple, clean and ready to separate into polymer plates.

These 8x10 prints are available for purchase, keep reading for details below.

We may have created this illustration, but Olivia’s skill and gorgeous letterpress printing brought it to life; Thank You Via for such beautiful work and for making this possible. We created 50 limited edition, 8×10 prints, signed and numbered. A couple of these prints were sent to Bluemoon Letterpress in Japan for the exhibit called Letterpress of Pray to help raise awareness and funds to aid tsunami and earthquake relief efforts and the rest are available for purchase on both Olive-Route’s and Design Lab’s online shops. Since giving back is of such importance to us, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, an incredible group of people and dogs working everyday to strengthen disaster response in America by recruiting rescued dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Quantities of these prints are very limited, so stop by today, purchase your print and help us say thank you to these amazing canine heroes and their human partners.

Read our 6 page article in Bark Magazine

Our prints were hot off the press when we were contacted by Bark Magazine about them. They had an article on the art of letterpress in the works and had seen a sneak peek from our print job on Olivia’s blog. Too perfect. In collaboration with Bark Magazine, we set out to design a gorgeous 6 page spread, photographing amazing printed pieces by skilled printers from all over such as BirdDog Press, Fickle Hill PressOlive-Route Press and Hound Dog Press among many others. Much of the photography was actually done in Olivia’s beautiful letterpress shop and the writing by our dear friend, letterpress enthusiast and Bark Magazine creative director Cameron Woo. The cherry on top of course was having not only our Japan print featured, but our beloved Photo Lab Thank You coaster tags printed by the amazing Cranky Pressman featured as well. Overall it was a dream project: letterpress + dogs + Bark Magazine, not sure we could have asked for more.

Our Japan print, featured on page 63 of the Nov/Dec issue of Bark Magazine

Our Photo Lab Thank You coaster tags featured on page 65 of the Nov/Dec issue of Bark Magazine


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