Behind the lens
OUR DOGS prides itself on the quality of photographers available to cover events and shows around the country.
Here we introduce you to some who you will see around the rings this year, learn a bit about them and ask.... ‘what’s your favourite photo?’
Although John Jackson was brought up among horses all he ever wanted was a dog of his own. When he was eleven his parents bought him a black labrador bitch and his subsequent love of the breed has lasted a lifetime.
He originally qualified and worked as a mining engineer in the coal industry but left just prior to privatisation at the end of 1994. He then went back to college to study professional photography for two years. Because he and his wife Eileen had been involved in dog showing and breeding for some years he decided to set up in business as a professional dog photographer and was subsequently invited to cover shows for OUR DOGS which he has done for the last 12 years
Apart from dog photography he have been involved in other ways for many years as a committee member of the Three Ridings Labrador Club and President of Huddersfield Canine Association. He has judged for several years and will be awarding CCs in Labradors for the first time later on this year at Driffield. He now spends a great deal of my time working as Photography Manager for OUR DOGS which involves organising and co-ordinating the superior photographic coverage offered by the paper
When he is not involved with dogs he loves to watch Huddersfield Town, he also used to play cricket. His other great love is the theatre.
OUR DOGS asked John to choose a favourite photo. ‘I have hundreds of dogs in show pose but my favourite is this photo of two of our own labradors’, said John. ‘It's one I took for the Discover Dogs stand at Crufts a few years ago. The two dogs are mother and daughter but sadly Sophie the black mother of Alice died last year. I think it just captures the spirit of everything I love about dogs - I hope you agree’.
Serena Robinson LRPS LBPPA
Serena took my first photograph at the age of four and photography has been a life-long hobby ever since. In 1994 she developed RSI rendering her permanently disabled and she was “retired” by her employers. She studied several animal psychology courses, took a PGCE degree having written several courses and is now a tutor for the Animal Care College.
This enforced situation gave her an opportunity to consider what she really wanted to do – simply to work with animals. She is too sensitive to work in a veterinary environment so she started “Home from Home” Pet Care Service. However the work was intermittent and in 2002 she expanded her business by launching Digi-Pet Portraits, (www.digi-petportraits.co.uk) having photographed her pets over the years it seemed a logical progression. She was aware of the dog show world and in 2004 she sent a portfolio of images to Our Dogs for consideration, in the summer of that year her first photograph was published in Our Dogs. Later that year she sent a panel of pet images to the Royal Photographic Society and in November 2004 gained a Licentiate. In 2006 she was asked to photograph a wedding as a direct result of photographing dogs, and this side of her business is steadily growing (www.serenarobinson.co.uk).
March 2007 was an incredible month, she was approached by my local newspaper The Ross Gazette to photograph for them on a regular basis and having covered many Open Society and Single Breed Championship Shows was asked to attend Crufts for the first time “officially” photographing the events in the YKC ring - it is a huge honour to be an OUr Dogs photographer and is something of which she is immensely proud. She says she is so lucky in that she loves what she does, if she hadn’t developed RSI she would not be where she is now, photographing at Crufts! It just shows with determination you can achieve anything!
Her favourite photo is of her ‘girls’ - probably not her best she says but it is a favourite. Chloe is a Border Collie/Labrador X and is 12, Sophie is a Whippet/Jack Russell X and is 15 - they are her life and she says she would love to see their image in OUR DOGS - so here they are!
Bill Moores, photographer and Consultant Editor to OUR DOGS attended his 40th successive Crufts show this year. Associated with the paper since 1967 he first took photos for OUR DOGS in 1973 but in recent years, since 2005 stepping down from 'the editor's chair' which he occupied for 18 years, he has specialised in providing high quality digital images for the UK based canine press, trade advertisers as well as having breeder clients in this country and overseas.
In the early 1970s he became a member of the British Association of Industrial Editors and was awarded its diploma a section of which demanded study and practical application of photographic skills. He later gained the qualification MCB (dip). In 1992 he wrote the book Dogs: a guide to pedigree breeds illustrated by top photographer Paddy Cutts and published by Sunburst Books in the UK and the USA. The book was subsequently reprinted in 1994.
He has represented OUR DOGS at events in Eire, Europe and the USA and likes to combine his knowledge of what an Editor looks for in a photo with satisfying the requirements of proud owners. He tells us he loves to work to tight deadlines and appreciates that modern technology has facilitated this.
His favourite photo from his extensive library and shown below was taken at Crufts of the group winning Bouvier from Belgium. 'To me whilst not colourful it is a subtle illustration of handler and dog in harmony', said Bill.
Combining his love of the mountains with photography he walked the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William - 100 miles in six days - with Kennel Club Charitable Trust trustee Bill King in 2004 together raising over £4000 for the trust. A past president of the Midland Association of Mountaineers his landscape and mountain photography has won awards in national magazine competitions.
Alan was born in London in 1957 and grew up in Surrey before moving up to the North West in his late teens. He now lives in Preston, Lancashire and has been taking photographs of various subjects for over thirty years.
He completed his City & Guilds in basic photography and natural history both passed with distinctions in 1999. His hobbies are wildlife photography and one day he hopes to go to India to photograph wild Tigers.
This is his sixth year as an Our Dogs official photographer and he enjoys being part of the team. He tells us that he has met and and made friends with a lot of nice people and their dogs whilst working on behalf of OUR DOGS and hopes to continue in the future.
Alan V. Walker
Alan V Walker has been taking professional photographs of dogs since the early eighties and has been an official Our Dogs photographer from 1985, making him one of the most experienced full-time canine photographers currently working in the UK. His work is regularly seen in Our Dogs and been published in all the front running canine publications, including web sites and hard backed books.
At some point in his career, each of the major dog food manufactures has commissioned Alan as well as a couple of family owned pharmaceutical companies and of course Dogs Monthly. Also during the last 20 odd years he considers himself privileged to have photographed some of dogdom's finest and most famous dogs.
With fellow professional canine photographers John Jackson, William Moores and John Hartley, Alan has a web site: www.k9photographers.co.uk.. Essentially this is an information only site. Please note that personally commissioned work or recent dog shows will not be featured, as he prefers to send out proofs the old-fashioned way through the post.
This year was Alan’s twentieth consecutive Crufts as an official Our Dogs photographer.
However, Alan also covers numerous show around the UK. As it say’s in the Our Dogs Annual ‘Why not let Alan put you in the picture’?