Take pictures of Boston Terriers. In a studio. Maybe in a small, black, faux leather chair. Put ’em in a book. Simple enough, right?
Like most halfway decent ideas, the inspiration for the For the Love of Boston project came from a combination of places. Other photography projects, other photographers, other dog books, and my own dog – Kenni – all had a hand (or a paw) in helping this project come together.
Kenni has been a mainstay in my photography ever since we brought her home. Not only is she a loyal companion, but she has also been a great test model. New lenses, lights, ideas, and inspiration…she’s usually the one I’m testing things on.
After doing some studio photography with Kenni, I decided that was the way I wanted to shoot this entire project. It’s not often that dogs are shot in a studio environment…that’s usually reserved for human head shots and family portraits at Sears. By shooting everything in studio, I could create something unique while at the same time controlling the environment (it’s not as easy to control the environment when you have four dog sessions scheduled on a rainy Saturday afternoon).
I initially needed two things to get this project going: dogs to take pictures of and money for a few things I needed to take pictures of said dogs. Kickstarter seemed like the logical place to throw this idea out there. If it stuck and received full funding, I was good to go. If it flopped and didn’t garner interest, all I lost was the time it took to put the idea together. About three weeks of planning, research, budgeting, thinking, and designing went into what became the For the Love of Boston Kickstarter project.
At the time I clicked the launch button on Kickstarter, I still had no idea what to expect.
By mid-May – about a week before the funding deadline – For the Love of Boston reached its funding goal. Success.
The dog shoots themselves were not only the most labor and time intensive part of the project, but also the most fun. Each dog spent around 45-60 minutes doing their thing in my home studio while I held a camera in their face. There was no shot list and very little posing…I wanted the dogs to run the shoot for the most part. Pretty much whatever they wanted to do was fair game. It was important to me to let their personalities come through in the final shots.
For me, one of the coolest part of the entire project was in the variety of Bostons that came by for the project. Different shapes and sizes, colors, personalities, tricks, and quirks. There were some supermodels, some divas, and reluctant models. Some had definitely seen a camera before and others probably thought they were at the vet’s office. Poses, smiles, snarls, barks, glances, glares, and stares…I got a little bit of everything.
Much to my surprise, Boston Terrier owners came every from across town, across the state, and even from out of state to participate in the project.
As I was putting together details for the project back in March, it was important that I be able to donate a chunk of the proceeds to a Boston Terrier rescue organization. The Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue was my first choice. My wife and I have been following them on Facebook for a few years and are always appreciative of the work they do for the breed. Medical care, foster homes, adoption, and a ton of love.
In August, I was happy to pass along to them a $1,000 donation to help them continue doing what they do best. They expressed their thanks as a part of this blog post and even sent Kenni her own fancy NEBTR food bowl. From what they told me, some of the donation went immediately to helping a dog in dire need of medical care.
The plan is to continue to donate a portion of whatever proceeds this project generates to similar rescue organizations.
Along the way, I also put together a calendar featuring photos from the project and made the shirts from the Kickstarter project available for anyone to purchase. Both items are of limited quantity and a portion of the proceeds from the shirts and calendars will be donated to S.N.O.R.T. (Short Noses Only Rescue Team), an animal rescue organization.
I’m beyond thankful to have had the opportunity to put this project together. Many thanks to everyone who backed, shared, posted, reposted, commented, tweeted, Instagrammed, and did whatever else to get this idea out there. It means a lot to have had the support of so many people from different places throughout this project.
The finished product is coming soon, and I can’t wait to get it out there.