I should probably start this article saying that photographs in this blog post are straight out the camera, no edits other than applying my logo.
You probably know already that while I love being a photographer I am too a dog lover and owner of an Yorkshire Terrier that has been traveling for quite a bit before eventually arriving in Tokyo on Haneda Airport after completing the whole procedure demanded by Japanese authorities in order to prove that he is rabies free and received his shots on time, all in all about 8 months in length. So, what comes along, goes along….and after Facebook messenger talks, today I have travelled all the way from Yokohama to Chiba Peninsula and even passed Tokyo on my way there, even if just briefly, and visited Mina, a certified dog trainer and animal rescuer with the purpose of photographing some of her rescued animals which she currently owns and takes great care of.
Mina is a beautiful human with a great heart and love towards any kind of pets. Her love and dedication pushes her to rescue all kinds of animals, from Kevin Bacon ( as the name suggests he’s a PIG, yes, the real deal and not at all a convenient Surname but very funny after all 😉 ), Pit Bulls, snakes, chickens, Sugar Glider and the list can go on forever as she will keep doing this. Of course, all these comes at a cost, as the animals need food, occasional veterinarian visits and she could use some love and support from you… here’s Mina’s Instagram where you can contact her to find a way to support her animals.
I have been planning this pet studio shoot for a while now, and I’m saying for a while because weather had it’s own way and agenda and got in the way. As you probably already know, in Japan was typhoon season which hopefully has come to an end, now that’s the end of October. Chiba Peninsula was one of the places that has been hit very strong and people have suffered a lot, so please, if you can help, there are various English speaking channels you can use to do good. If you are concerned about me, my family is one of the lucky ones living in Japan that haven’t been affected by the typhoons.
So, coming back to the photoshoot, the main subject of my article, I have bagged all my studio lighting equipment, stands, backdrops, camera and lenses and I drove to Chiba to meet Mina’s animals (and Mina of course). As a bonus I got to meet het mother too, who’s an artist that does wonders with broken pottery (similar to Kintsugi) and other art related crafts.
From the beginning I have been welcomed by Kevin Bacon, ahhh and I so wish I had taken a photo of him, but I chickened out in front of the rain… and Ella, an eight year old rescued Pit Bull, an absolutely wonderful dog if you get to know her. Because I didn’t want to make any of Mina’s animals suffer during the photoshoot, I kept the session as short as humanly possible. Mina was kind enough to help me out almost as an assistant photographer with “poses” of her animals too, and so the rainy day had become a little bit more bearable and happier.
First time I had photographed the snake whose name is Hendrix, because Mina told me is better for our safety (her safety to be precise) that the snake wouldn’t feel any other animal’s smell, otherwise the risk of biting could have been an issue. For those reptilian lovers, this is a beautiful snake. I’m very proud as a photographer to have such an exotic model, not to mention it will have a spot in portfolio too.
Second in turn was the little parrot Kaipo, from the family of Budgerigars- nicknamed budgie by the loving parrot community. Although I have a phobia towards feathers (or anything covered in feathers, with a bird so little it seems that I have no problems) I did actually enjoyed to photograph it and even got it stay on my fingers.
The third pet I had in front of my Nikon camera in the impromptu pet studio was the Pit Bull Ella. I must admit, I had felt intimidated at the beginning because indeed, Pit Bulls are very muscular dogs. Like all dogs, Ella would manifest exactly like my little Yorkshire Terrier, except with extra weight of 20 to 30 kilograms that comes packed together with a tone of force. Needless to say, Ella is very well trained by Mina and she listens everything is told to do. Wish my little dog Yorkie would listen half of the commands this Pit Bull does.
Fourth “client” was a fluffy white rabbit with red eyes. I could see during the photo session that the rabbit was a little bit scared being surrounded all of a sudden by all black cloth on a table. Even though challenging, I have managed to get a few “poses”. During the shots I was even thinking inside myself about “how to pose a rabbit”, an animal that doesn’t responds to sounds and to my knowledge, only responds to fresh hay and water. 🙂
Do you live in Tokyo or Yokohama and are you a pet owner? I would be more than happy photograph your beloved animal in my little Tatami Studio. Press the contact button down bellow and let’s Frame Your Life Stories.