If you are living in 2018 and have a dog and are a girl in her 20’s, you know the importance of photos of your fur-baby. I mean that’s the only reason any of us basically have the gram, right? I personally have my own account, which is all basically photos of me and my dogs together, I like to think of it as documenting our love story. I also have an account that is just for the dogs. So as you can probably already tell, I am obsessed with them and with photos of them. I also like to think I am okay-ish at taking their photos, well that’s until I get into a dark hole on Instagram at 2am and I see all this professionally taken photos of dogs and girls and their dogs and then I once again am online looking for a photographer close to me! Finding a good photographer, a good DOG photographer can be so hard sometimes, and by sometimes I mean all the time. They have to be great with dogs first off, your dog has to feel comfortable around them as well. They have to know how to shoot dogs, how to get their attention and get that head tilt and that puppy dog eye look all at the same time. Then you add a human into the mix. Now, they have to be good at taking photos of humans, and humans and dogs at the same time, all while making you and your dog(s) feel comfortable. So what I am basically getting to is that when you find one that fits all of these, hold on tight! And for all my New York City dog moms out there, I have already done that hard work for you and found one of the best dog photographers that I have ever worked with, Natalie Siebers . Not only is she amazing with the camera, she is great with the pups and so fun to work with. The pups and I have shot with her a few times this year and every time is better than the last! We ask Natalie some questions on how she got started, what her love story is with her pup Sophie, what inspired her and much more!
How did you get started?
I began photography in high school and continued through college. Once out of college, I figured out that I’m not a conventional 9-5 type of person, so I began freelancing for a commercial photography studio and got to work with the Purina brand pretty extensively. Even though I was only an assistant at the time, I fell in love with the work. Once I moved to NYC I set out on my own and began photographing private family pets and have slowly been working my way back up to doing commercial work. So far I have done many lifestyle and editorial shoots for small pet brands and the American Kennel Club. (No worries, I’m still a available for private sessions, it’s one of my favorite parts of the job!)
Tell us about your pups!
Unfortunately I only have one, but she’s my whole life. Her name is Sophie and she’s a spunky little Yorkie mix that was rescued from a puppy mill in the Midwest. It’s one of the classic “dog adopts human” type of stories. She never leaves my side, and even assists me on photoshoots sometimes.
What and who influence your work?
Brandon Voges is one of the photographers I was able to assist for while I was living in the Midwest. He is a lifestyle photographer that I would try to emulate when I was first starting out. Since then, my biggest influences have been Dani Diamond who is an amazing portrait photographer and retoucher, Claudio Piccoli who is known for his amazing action shots of agility dogs, and Andy Seliverstoff who has several photo collections published as books. If you look at any of their work, you will probably see how much it has influenced my own.
What is another dog brand you love and why?
The official brand isn’t out yet, but one of my close friends and clients is opening an online pet shop called Urban Dog. One of my favorite Etsy shops in L.M. Dog Designs, the girl that owns it is an absolute sweetheart and my pup is so small that a lot of times she needs things custom made for her.
What keeps you inspired?
My undying love for animals… but mostly dogs. I’ve traveled the world photographing animals both wild and domestic. The mystery behind why dogs are genetically programmed to please humans fascinates me, and it’s seen across the majority of human cultures around the world. From feral Rhodesian Ridgebacks living on the outskirts of Harare in Zimbabwe, to spitz descendants on the Bolaven Plateau in Laos, to street dogs in Quito, Ecuador, to Masai dogs living in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, they are all amazingly adapted to living alongside humans and finding ways to build a symbiosis with them.
If you are in the New York area, or coming for a visit with your fur-babies, I HIGHLY recommend reaching out to Natalie and scheduling a shoot, you will love the photos as much you love the experience.
To learn more and book a shoot, click here!