The Art of Amazing
animal photography beyond perfection
by Paul Croes & Inge Nelis
Animal photographers need a lot more skills than just camera technique and the ability to know what makes a good picture. To compete well in this fascinating field, animal photographers learn all they can about their subjects, so they can be in the perfect position at the perfect time. A pet photography session requires patience – animals rarely pose for the camera! Anyone who has ever tried to take a photo of their pet knows how difficult it can be to get the perfect shot.
Who is Paul Croes?
A short introduction from Paul’s homepage:
For 15 years I was a fashion photographer in Belgium for retail and magazines, this was my first choice to be active in the pro world of photography. In Belgium, the possibilities are not abundant, due to the empty void and unpleasant atmosphere of this in combination with the financial and career possibilities I suffered from a burnout.
At that time, I did a sort of free work shoot with a big white Borzoi, this dog posed in some pictures as a really elegant and beautiful model. In the Belgium fashion world, it is frustrating if you are a perfectionist like me, you do not work with the best models, with the best hairstylist, the best make-up artist, you cannot take pictures like the big names because you do not have the resources.
In dog photography you do not need all that to have a perfect picture, whether the dog is old, or blind or has one leg missing, is too fat or too skinny, every dog is like a top model and does not need haute couture or a famous hairdresser, it is perfect by itself! Because of my experience in fashion, I am glad I can also capture dogs’ owners in a beautiful way.
Year after year, more dogs and owners have found their way into my studio as we have a very different way of working during the shoot. We always start with the dog’s abilities and work step-by-step, taking many breaks…
I always try to search for the beauty in each of the dog models and of course here and there with a bit of fun.
There are no tricks, apart from the fact that we do use snacks and rewards for the dogs. We take enough time and patience for a shoot.
After travelling to the studio and two hours of games and commando in the studio, the dogs are showing certain fatigue, which gives them a whole other expression.
Since 2014 I have worked with a permanent assistant, Inge Nelis, who takes over the lead from the owners and it works very well. It is very important as Inge, my assistant, is very calm and gentle with the animals but also resolute, she gets more out of the dogs than the owners do, that’s because a lot of dogs we get in the studio are rescue dogs and they are not used to getting many commands, so they listen much more to a nice third person in combination with dog snacks or candies.
The photo session is meant to be educational for the dog (especially for scared dogs) I mean we want the dogs to have a good afternoon while it gets more comfortable with new people, new situations and new environments.
With the combination of all those new things, the long trip to the studio and lots of commands the dogs get tired and more comfortable with us and therefore in the third of four hours of the shoot the magical moments start.It is the moment when the dogs can be themselves again. (Paul Croes homepage)
You may have heard the saying “animals are people too.” When it comes to photography, that statement is very true!
animal portraits can be truly amazing
Eyes are where human beings tend to make the most connection with another living creature…
Animal photography is a favourite pastime of many photographers, both amateur and professional …
The three most important words that govern animal photography are patience, patience and patience. Photography is like fishing in this regard. You often have to wait a long time in the right place to catch the best ones.
Dog photography, cat photography and other animal photography is Paul’s speciality and his images appear in published form all over the world.
If you’re lucky enough to share your home with a dog or cat, no doubt you’ve turned your camera in their direction many times to get that one perfect shot photo…
How can I get animals to sit still for photographs?
Ever since I was young I have had a passion for photography and also I have always had a profound love of animals…
Currently, Paul & Inge travel a lot to other countries for dog shootings, in every country they have an organizer who invites them, makes the planning and does the communication with the models before the shooting.
Paul said… “Everywhere we go, people are so nice, it is like a dream come true. I could not wish for more, well, yeah, maybe someday a lovely coffee table book with my favourite pictures ..”
It’s not only dogs that Paul puts into the right spotlight …
….. some more awesome shots
amazing animal photography at its very best
…. a few more
All images copyright ©Paul Croes & Inge Nelis
Animal photography requires skills of a photographer
It wasn’t easy for me to choose the photos for this article, as with a portfolio that is simply brimming over with astounding visual feats of this incredibly creative photographer!
Some of the things that make an exceptional animal photographer are understanding the animals and being able to anticipate their actions and reactions.
I could go on and on and on …. if you are as fascinated as me about Paul’s outstanding works of art, please go to Paul & Inge’s Behind Eyes there you can find information about their home studio and travel shootings as well as the place where you can order their fine work of art.
You can purchase all photos as art prints!
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened”
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
I hope, you’ve enjoyed these amazing works of art as much as I did.
Thank you so much, Paul & Inge, for the courtesy of giving me permission to use and publish your images!