Capturing the spirit and personality of your dog in a photo is no easy feat, as any dog lover who has tried to photograph his dog can tell you. But for professional photographer Lisa Prince Fishler, dog photography is more than a job, “It’s where my passions, talents and identity converge.”
Recently DogTipper.com caught up with this Poughkeepsie, New York-based photographer to learn more about her work and her devotion to animal rescue (as seen in these photos taken recently when greyhounds left closed racetracks to be bathed and readied for their foster homes.)
I am ½ Japanese, and some of my Japanese ancestors were artists and Shinto Priests. This is relevant, because it has deeply influenced who I am. The Shinto religion believes that ALL things in Nature are deities… everything is sacred: every plant, every insect, every animal and even, every beautiful view.
I was raised to view animals as important members of our family, and have never lived without them. Growing up, our house was that place that animals, domestic and wild, found their way to when they needed help. We raised and released countless injured or motherless birds, squirrels, raccoons, and even a skunk, and always had a house full of rescued cats, dogs, chickens, goats, horses, etc. I had very few human friends close by and so most of my time was spent interacting with my animal family. When I got my first camera at age 8, each roll of film was filled with nothing but you guessed it, animals!
My work as a Photographer focusing on animals is really just me being me… It’s where my passions, talents and identity converge. Photographing our animal friends, their relationships, their emotions, and the beauty of their essence, allows me to artistically share what is important to me.
I’ve tried on many hats, but have come to realize it’s not a matter of putting something “on,” rather, it’s a stripping away until you find the honest to goodness version of your self. All my life, I have always said, if I could do anything I wanted, it would have to do with animals and art. Well? Here I am.
What can you tell us about Printz Photography and your own photographic style?
Printz Photography was born out of the volunteer work I did, photographing Pit Bulls at the Animal Farm Foundation. I absolutely love these dogs, and this work. One day I decided to take a chance and jump into doing what I love, all of the time…
I strive to capture emotion and beauty in a way that is unique for each animal and family. I don’t use backdrops, lights, or props, and work to make each photo a unique and organic expression of that particular subject. It is spontaneous, artful, and real.
When you photograph pets, you set up an outdoor photo shoot. What’s a typical pet photo session like in terms of working with the pet?
I don’t think there is a “typical” photo shoot for me, as all animals, families, and locations are different. I do, however, spend the first 15 minutes or so getting to know everyone, and the next hour and a half doing the same, but with camera in hand, and a little more intimately. I let the animal take the lead. If he/she wants to play, we play. If they want to rest, we rest, and so on. Ultimately, I leave with a set of images that document a slice of a typical day in the life of this animal and maybe even a couple shots with their human family members.
When pet families set up a photo shoot, what do you recommend in terms of time of day and location?
My favorite time of day to take photographs is in the early morning or late afternoon. The lighting is very soft and complimentary during these times, where as the sun during the middle of the day is pretty harsh. Overcast days are good as well. One of my favorite sessions to date began at 7:30am on a crisp Fall morning. It was 27F and there was frost everywhere. It was really magical!
In addition to lighting, an interesting location really adds to the final image. I look for a background that is not cluttered, yet has interesting texture and perspective… other than that, it really depends on what the animals and their people are comfortable with.
What else would you like the readers of DogTipper.com to know about your work?
Printz Photography was born out of my desire to Give Back to the animal community, and this continues to be my driving force. I can’t stomach the utterly obscene numbers of animals that are euthanized every-single-day, and I work non-stop to do my part to show people what amazing, thinking, feeling, loving, beautiful souls animals are, and that they deserve to be treated accordingly.
I am a strong advocate for rescue, adopting your animal companions, the American Pit Bull Terrier and a strong opponent of Breed Specific Legislation.
For More Information:
- contact Lisa Prince Fishler, Printz Photography, Poughkeepsie, NY
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- cell: 845.489.8747
- website: http://www.printzphotography.com
- blog: http://printzphotography.blogspot.com