On Location in a House Full of Dogs for Puppo Dog Food
January 23, 2019
San Francisco dog photographer Mark Rogers goes on location for a pet product photography shoot featuring custom-made dog food company and a pack talented canine models.
What on Earth is Custom Dog Food?
I was really pleased to get a call from the good folks at Puppo to shoot a series of pet product lifestyle and studio photographs. They needed updated images for a social media campaign featuring happy dogs with a new line of custom-formulated dog food. Each dog gets kibble based on their specific dietary needs and the bags come with a photo of the canine diner! Anyone keeping an eye on the pet-lifestyle world is probably thinking that’s pretty cool.
Help! This Project Needs to Happen Fast
This was a quick-turnaround project that needed to happen within three day. Eek! Fortunately, Puppo’s Art Director already had a solid shot list, a location, and full cast of animal talent and trainers.
1) hire an assistant and digital tech on short notice and
2) devote some thought to giving this a clean, contemporary look with a focus on the animals’ personalities.
A Pet Product Photography Shoot in Two Acts
We shot on location in a contemporary home with a blend of professional animal actors and employee animals to get a range of looks and behaviors. Our goal was to get a mix of fun images highlighting the brand and the personalities of the dogs. Trained studio dogs are a must for nailing specific behaviors and if you need to get things done quickly. However, I like the spontaneity civilian pups bring to a set — especially for more humorous moments. We wanted both and this hybrid approach worked well.
We spent the first part of the day doing pet product photography of the dogs in a kitchen interacting with food in the bags and in bowls. We had two standout canine performers for this phase. The first was a Basset Hound who patiently walked by a full bowl of delicious kibble at least 10 times without eating (I don’t know how he did it). The second was an adorable employee dog named Franklin who came armed with one of the best dog smiles I’ve seen in years. Seriously.
For the second half we set up a studio with white seamless in the living room and shot dog personality portraits along with more pet product photography. In this round our staff corgi and a talented beagle the trainers brought stole the show but the Basset was definitely still in the running!