I’m a pet photographer in Los Angeles and what I offer that’s unique are my Storytelling Sessions, which are all about dogs and cats cast as different characters in composite images.
I’m right in the middle of Hollywood and I think dogs and cats should be the stars of their own tails… er, tales. Why not? We have the technology.
I started doing photography composites, also known as digital art, with my own tuxedo cat, Kiwi, and with Luna, a friend’s Border Collie mix. What I do is photograph the pet on a solid color seamless paper backdrop so they are fairly easy (I will never just say “easy”) to cut out in Photoshop. And then I give them a story to tell and begin adding elements. One recent one I did was of Kiwi and Luna in a sort of “Indiana Jones” style jungle adventure. These two are both so expressive.
As I started getting recognized for my storytelling sessions, clients would tell me what stories they wanted their pets to tell and we would collaborate on the setting.
One client wanted her 7-week-old piebald Frenchie to be in a field of dairy cows and voila, we have Miss Zola Budd.
Another wanted his Frenchie to be on a country road coming to California from Kentucky (where he was born) and we had On the Road with Leroy.
My final Frenchie (yes, another Frenchie!) of last year was Phoebe Lost at Sea. But because Phoebe is a rescue dog, you have to trust that her rescue from peril is just around the corner. To show rescued animals actually get rescued, I placed my Kiwi in rough seas on a radioactive barrel but… you can see the helicopter ladder has come for him.
And because Luna has been such a great muse to me, I made her the centerpiece in the Birth of Luna, my take on the Botticelli’s Birth of Venus with two pitties as the seraphs and a Savannah cat clothing Luna as she rises up from the sea on her shell. That was a highly complex composite with more than 100 layers and it took me the better part of three days to finish it.
My latest was posing my two boys, Kiwi and Mango, as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White from “Breaking Bad.” I had hats custom made for them, the Heisenberg hat and the Pinkman beanie. The Blue Sky meth is raspberry rock candy, the Fleetwood Bounder RV is a die cast model, and I was lucky enough to find Los Pollos Hermanos fast food bags. It’s all about the detail, even though all of these elements weren’t actually in the same season of the series.
Usually my animal photography is a little more tame but anytime anyone is game for an intriguing storytelling portrait, I’m game, too.
More info: dianalundin.com
Birth of Luna
Breaking Bad, Mango and Kiwi
Phoebe Lost at Sea
Lost at Sea No. 4
Savannah Fight Club
On the Road with Leroy
Miss Zola Budd
Blue Dog No. 1
Blue Dog No. 2
You’re a Wizard, Harry
Luna Brand Tennis Balls
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