I’ve noticed it’s not much fun watching people shop with their kids but it’s a blast watching them shop with their dogs. I honestly don’t know who gets more excited, the dogs or the people. The interactions are touching and fun– especially when the pets respond enthusiastically to a particular toy or treat. I know my dog practically vibrates from excitement when we get to a toy aisle — especially if tennis balls are involved.
This summer I worked on a project at Pet Food Express to capture this. I knew going in it was important to cast real people and their pets otherwise the interactions were not going to be as authentic as we needed them to be. This meant shooting with a minimal crew — just one assistant — and light on equipment so we wouldn’t get in the way. Lastly, it required doing a rehearsal shoot so we could see what the dogs liked most about the shopping experience and figure out what each dog’s sweet spot was.
It all ended up being an absolute blast. All the dogs and their people nailed their auditions and we got a really decent variety of images and behaviors. Hard to say what my favorite moment was but it came down to me having to wedge myself between Piper the bulldog, a shopping cart and her mom to get the shot I needed of her in the cart or Kylo the puppy’s impromptu decision to test out a dog bed during the shoot. Gotta love talent that can improvise.
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