I consider myself an amateur (hard-core) dog photographer, via my iPhone, so I know how difficult it can be to take a decent picture of a dog. Now, throw a dog in an unknown environment, and the challenge just increased tremendously. Basically… new place, new smells, game over.
However, this is why Jillian and Brian (the masterminds behind the camera) are on “a whole ‘nother level” in the dog photography business. The images they were able to capture of Drake are beyond perfect!
The photo session with this duo went so well. Upon arriving, Drake and I were shown around by Jillian and Brian and we fell into an easy conversation while Drake scoped out the studio, AKA- their loft! They were both so down to Earth and EXTREMELY patient when it came to photographing Drake, who tends to look very pitiful and shy in front of a camera. Brian (the photographer) has a true eye and was able to magically capture that split second when Drake FINALLY had his ears up or tongue out.
What I loved most about our session was the feeling of not being rushed, I might’ve even outstayed our welcome (LOL) but they never led me to believe so. Basically, Jillian and Brian are the best and I wish they could hang out with them and have them take all of my pictures… everyday.
After our session, I asked them a few questions to get to know them better and learn more about their Dallas based business. I am so excited to share their sweet story with all of our readers!
Without further ado- meet Jillian and Brian, also known as, COLOR BARKING!
How did you start taking pictures of dogs?
Brian’s been into photography for a long time and once I found out how talented he was I immediately asked him to photograph Marvin. During that photo shoot, we realized how much fun we had working together and it wasn’t long until we started tossing around the idea of dog photography.
Where did the “color” idea come from?
We both envisioned a simple backdrop coupled with a portrait of a dog. We wanted to showcase the characters of the dogs themselves more than anything. Dogs have so much life and emotion in their expressions, it’s important to focus on that while keeping everything else clean and simple. Pairing that idea with a bright, colored backdrop seemed only natural and that contrast led us to think about the technique of color blocking – viola! – Color Barking was born.
Tell us about your own pup your story of bringing him into your family?
At the time, my yard guy had German Shepherds who kept having litters. He offered me a puppy and obviously, I said yes but I did not think either of us was too serious. Sure enough, a couple weeks later I woke up to a knock at the door and a puppy in a box! Best Saturday morning ever. Brian met Marvin when he was almost one year old and is now just as protective over him as he is me.
What drives your passion for dogs?
Both of us grew up always having family pets and naturally became animal lovers, but having a dog of your own takes you to another level. A level beyond the label: dog person. Since getting Marvin my love for dogs has completely catapulted. Once you have that connection with your dog, your appreciation bleeds into loving other dogs just as much – for us anyway! Basically, dogs are magic and we must protect and cherish them at all costs ?
What and/or who influences your work?
We influence each other in a way. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off one another, discussing what worked for us during a photo shoot or what didn’t. We both have that desire to get stronger and better at our craft which is really motivating. Each shoot always seems to be better than the last because we share the same vision for Color Barking.
Outside of each other, there are some artists who influence our work as well. One of them is Shaina Fishman (@shainafishman), we aren’t sure how we came across her Instagram, but we’re glad we did. The emotions she’s able to capture from her subjects amazes us every time. We also obsess over Alma Haser (@almahaser) who does much more than dog photography. Her portrait work that she mixes with patterns is mesmerizing, but it was her ‘Dog Photo Booth’ project that got us and definitely influenced the direction of Color Barking.
What keeps you inspired?
We both get inspired by meeting new clients and their pups and hearing the stories behind those relationships. Plus all the puppy love! That was another motivation for starting Color Barking: getting to be around new dogs all the time, although we think Marv gets a little jealous sometimes. Also, the responses we’ve gotten from clients once they’ve seen the results is absolutely gratifying and encourages us to keep improving and creating. We still get giddy when they tag us in a post!
The idea of taking a zillion pictures of dogs used to only be seen as “okay” through the lens of a crazy dog mom’s camera. Thank goodness times have changed and companies like Color Barking are making our 65 gigabytes full of dog pictures, not seem so weird.
I am so lucky to have had this experience and I can’t wait to for all of our fellow #dallasdogmoms to schedule their photo shoot!