Between Two Dogs: New Book Captures Unique Moments

Photographer Shaina Fishman captured a picture early in her career, a bulldog puppy biting an adult’s ear, that became the inspiration for “Between Two Dogs,” her latest work.

Bulldogs by Shaina Fishman

The photo that inspired Between Two Dogs © Shaina Fishman

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Photographer Shaina Fishman captured a picture early in her career that became the premise for her new book. A bulldog puppy biting an adult’s ear as the elder lays on her back, seemingly laughing at the little one’s exploits.  That particular image became the inspiration for Between Two Dogs, her latest photographic work.

Brittany's by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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Shaina didn’t “audition” any of the dogs for Between Two Dogs as she has vast experience working with both “professional” and rescue animals with a range of temperaments.  She has even managed to work successfully with dogs who were afraid of lights, a definite challenge in a studio when those are central to the experience.  By taking all the needed time, great care, and patience during the process, she has been able to photograph even the most reluctant of animals successfully. She has both the ability and sensibility to work with each dog as an individual and capture their unique personalities and moments through her imagery.

 

Dachunds by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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While she would have loved to have worked with dogs from shelters for this project, thankfully, there are not a lot of adults and puppy pairs in rescues, so she worked with an animal talent agent to find her subjects.  Still, one can only imagine that an 8 week old puppy, even when coming through an agency, is not going be to much of a professional model, but, therein lies the fun.  While a few of the dogs had been on photo shoots before, most of them had never been on a “job.”  Shaina and the agent worked together to find a nice mix of breeds that recently had litters, as she needed the puppies to be not too young nor too old to capture the dynamics she was after.  In a couple of instances, they had to wait about two months for the puppies to be old enough to bring into the studio.  In several other cases, the puppies were already in their new homes so the new owner brought them in, making for adorable reunions with their siblings and parents.  “The short hair dachshunds are a father and puppy pair that were reunited. Oh my, how that puppy was excited! In one image you can see the annoyance on the father’s face as the puppy tried her hardest to get him to play,” Shaina shared.

Great Pyranees by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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She spent “hundreds and hundreds of hours,” in working toward the final product, from finding the dogs, shoot preparation, the many sessions, picture selection, and preparing each image, wishing, in hindsight, she had kept count of time spent, if only for idle curiosity’s sake.  No long ago she worked on a project for Brooklyn Animal Action, with stylist Ryen Blaschke, called Cats in Hats  that was created to bring awareness to rescued cats and kittens.  “The major differences between photographing dogs and cats is everything. Dogs are used to leaving their home, meeting new people and visiting new places. Cats, on the other hand, generally stay inside their home. While cats can be trained, most people do not train their cat. I enjoy the different challenges that come with photographing cats or dogs.”

German Shepards by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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There was another discernible difference between working on the Cats in Hats and Between Two Dogs  projects.  The former was all about capturing adorable kittens, wearing cute hats, in posed images. The cat was interacting directly with the camera and, ultimately, with the viewer.  In the later, it was about the interaction between the two dogs, adult and puppy or puppy and puppy.  She wanted to capture the images of what they do naturally; wrestling, snuggling, napping, and the like. ” I did not want to capture all posed portraits. Going into each shoot, I did not have a vision of how the dogs would pose. It happened organically based on the dog’s relationship and personality.” It should come as no surprise to anyone looking as these photographs that she falls head-over-heels in love with all the dogs she shoots.

Corgis by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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For the present, she has several projects in the works, both commercial and personal, and continues to donate her time to rescue groups, animals being at the center what she loves most.  Shaina’s book, Between Two Dogs, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.  To learn more about Shaina, the Cats in Hats project, and to see her other work, please visit her website.

 

https://youtu.be/PZau1ZDrUqM

Dalmatians by Shaina Fishman
© Shaina Fishman

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BTD cover Shaina Fishman

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