Serena Hodson: What Makes a Pet Photographer Click

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Simon
Simon enjoying life from collection of dog photographer Serena Hodson

 

Serena Hodson isn’t your ordinary pet photographer.  She has a way of capturing the personalities of animals that goes far beyond the traditional point, shoot and hope they hold the position long enough to capture something interesting.  Or something at all.  Rather, her perspective, her storytelling, lends layers to the visual context in each profile.  Her most recent series, Upside Dogs, has captured the imagination of many, following on the tail (yes, pun intended) of her Dry Dog/Wet Dog series.

Henri_Dry Dog Wet Dog

 

Casper_Dry Dog Wet Dog
Above: Henri, below: Casper, part of the Dry Dog/Wet Dog series by Serena Hodson. Just the fact she added the detail of making the backdrop wet is an inspired bit of whimsy and speaks to her wonderful creativity and imagination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A trained Graphic Designer, Hodson always had a keen interest in visual communication.  Back in 2008, she began her lifelong love of animals by photographing her own two dogs, Rocco, a Bullmastiff, and Ralph, a Dachshund.  What started out as a personally indulgent hobby at the outset became a professional passion, finally deciding to take it seriously as she was getting such positive reactions from people.

Boss
Simon clearly showing who’s the Boss, in this aptly titled portrait

 

Hodson personally believes that a house it not a home until there is a companion animal in residence.  As she says, “They’re great therapy and a lot of fun to have around.” She loves to photograph dogs, in particular, because they don’t have any hang-ups. They aren’t inclined, as humans are, to complain if a photo is unflattering, they just seem to enjoy the experience.  Of course, working with animals in general can have its good and bad aspects, but Hodson loves the challenge.

Blacknwhite

Ralphstar
Serena’s muse, Ralph, above, in Blacknwhite,” and, below, Ralphrstar

 

To date, her favorite model has been Ralph, whom she has featured in much of her work.  Sadly, he passed away about a year ago from cancer.  “He was a perfectionist and brought so much character to any image.”  At present, however, she is loving working with her three newest models Simon, Garfunkel, and a wired-hair dachshund named Henri.  She credits her first models, Ralph and Rocco as having been her original muses, with her own French and British Bulldogs, the aforementioned Simon and Garfunkel, providing on-going inspiration for her work. “They have such quirky personalities and have inspired a whole new look for me to share.”

Simon, Garfunkel and Henri
From left to right: Simon, Garfunkel, and Henri

 

 

 

“My dogs, inspire me everyday. They are pure comedy and make me laugh on a daily basis. Rocco and Ralph were my muses and how I learnt photography. For their patience with my camera, and me, I will be forever in their debt. With Rocco and Ralph I wanted to develop a style of pushing a different kind of personality from pet photography. I experimented with a more creative concept while wanting to create humorous stories with the silly things these two would do. Sadly now they have both passed.”

Lucy_Bullmastiff

Madame and Schmidt_Upside Dogs
Lucy, above, and Madame and Schmidt, below, in part of the Upside Dogs series by Serena Hodson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hodson’s work is indicative of someone who loves animals, although, she admits, people may be surprised to find out she is afraid of horses and doesn’t even know why.  Still, she clearly loves dogs and her beautiful work is a testament to her talent and ability to bring out the best in the canine species.

Relax
Ralph in repose in photo called Relax

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