November Featured Pet – Ruby

Ruby has many superpowers, like giving the best cuddles in the world, sitting on the back of the couch like a cat and the ability to run up a slide and then sliding back down. Being a superdog means that she is determined too and loves to do as she pleasesRuby.

Mum Natalie first met Ruby when she was only two weeks old at the Breeders. Natalie knew that she wanted a female Curly Coat Retriever and Ruby snuggled into her chest and made loads of cute noises. Ruby sealed the deal by peeing on Natalie – a sign is a sign and you can’t ignore that.

Ruby’s favourite thing to do is run, it could be running to explore something, running at the beach or at the off lead park or just running around the house with an empty bottle or her fav toy Duckie. The only one area that superdog Ruby has yet to perfect is getting the cats to love her, no doubt this will come with time.

Her best superpower is the love she gives Mum: “I can get lost for ages just being with her and forget about all the craziness in this world”.

Posted on November 15, 2013

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October Featured Pet – Franklin and Daisy

Franklin and Daisy are new siblings. Daisy joined the family earlier this year after Franklin’s beautiful brother Toto (17 years old) passed away. Daisy has helped to fill the void left by Toto and she just loves her older brother.CreatureFocus_Logo frame copy

Franklin and Daisy both love to play and the best time of day to do that is just before bed time of course. They also love to go for walks and hang out with Mum and Dad. They also have their individual loves, Franklin loves to have a chat, while Daisy thinks that eating a sock in its entirety is the greatest past time. And while Daisy is the crazy child of the family, Franklin is the more nervous of the two and is afraid to jump up on the couch, often crying until he is picked up and put there!

For Mum Karleen and Dad Ryan, Franklin and Daisy are wonderful companions “Franklin is the most well behaved dog and Daisy brings some excitement to our lives and gives Franklin some energy”, says Karleen.

Posted on October 9, 2013

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Helping Animals in Need

In Australia around 40 per cent of dogs and 80 per cent of cats that enter pounds and shelters are euthanised because forever homes can’t be found for them.*


Ketsia was photographed for Siberian Husky Rescue

Animal welfare organisations work tirelessly to help animals in need and many keep their dogs, cats and other animals for as long as it takes for them to be adopted.

At Creature Focus we work with a couple of these organisations by professionally photographing their animals to increase their chances of being adopted.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all that they do, in particular those that we work with: Animal Aid, Beagle Rescue Victoria, Stafford Rescue Victoria and Siberian Husky Rescue. And of course we are currently working on our Dogs of Melbourne book which is helping care for foster animals at Melbourne Animal Rescue.

If you are interested in adopting a new pet, visit



Posted on September 23, 2013

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Photographing shy dogs

Occasionally I get a dog in my studio that is camera shy. By that I mean that when I lift my camera up in front of my face they turn or duck away. This was the case recently with a beautiful Kelpie, Taylor.

Taylor and her kelpie cross brother Jett come into the studio to have their photo taken together and with Mum and Dad. Jett was very happy to pose for the camera and gave me his best zoolander faces time and time again. However Taylor was very shy of the camera and every time I lifted the camera up she would walk away. Her owner, Melissa, said that she also did this at home.Jett & Taylor

At the top of my list of things to do to try and get a nice shot of Taylor was to NOT force her and give her plenty of time to settle down. For a while we just sat and got to know each other, then I introduced the camera to her and let her have a sniff and gave her a couple of treats. The next step was to take a few shots so that Taylor could hear the sounds the camera makes and again give her some treats if she didn’t walk away. Finally I put it up in front of my face and took some images that way and we rewarded her when she did well. For Taylor we used a very special treat of ham, something she doesn’t usually get, this helped her to connect getting her photo taken with a very yummy treat.

The work paid off and I got some great images of Taylor and Jett.

Posted on July 2, 2013

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Featured Pet – Pippa & Jackson

CreatureFocus_Logo frame copyPippa and Jackson are the fur-kids of Anne and Mike, and couldn’t be more deserving of the good home they have now.

Both are Boxers and rescues. Pippa was rescued when she was 2 years old and had a number of health issues including being underweight, suffering anxiety and arthritis. Anne and Mike spent years giving Pippa treatments and lots of TLC and she is now doing extremely well, especially as she has her best friend Jackson to help.

Jackson was adopted about a year and a half after Pippa in the hope that it would help her anxiety, which it did (except for those pesky thunderstorms). Jackson also had his share of problems with being quite shy and  ducking his head when being patted.

Now Pippa is the serious dog and the boss, but she can sometimes be found to play with a Frisbee or having a game of tug-of-war. Jackson on the other hand is the fun lover, he will chase his tail, bounce when excited and sneak into the Mick and Anne’s bed and get in under the covers whenever he can.

“There is nothing we don’t love about them, they have fantastic personalities, we love seeing the results of now having happy healthy dogs and we love that they have fitted into our family so well” – Anne & Mick.

Posted on May 13, 2013

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The Hooper Family Pet Photography Session

‘I can’t remember, is it ok if we get some family photos with the dogs?’ This was the question that greeted me when I got to the Hooper house on the weekend. ‘Absolutely’ I said and that lead to a quick negotiation with 3-year-old Zoe about putting on a dress – ‘Can you pop on a dress for me?’ ‘No!’, ‘What about your birthday dress’ ‘Yeah!’. With that decision done, the rest of the family donned their finest and finally our two stars – Cavoodles, Jesse and Bella, had their hair fixed and their beautiful ribbons adjusted and the photo session started.

The Hooper family are what photographers (especially those used to dealing with animals) call a dream. The camera loved them all and they did whatever was asked of them, including Jesse and Bella. Zoe and her big brother Zac could be supermodels and I have never met a 3-year-old work the camera so well.

Jesse and Bella, as important members of the family, took centre stage and were gorgeous and a great additions to The Hooper family.


Posted on March 6, 2013

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Creature Focus on Display

Just a quick warning – the following is blatant self-promotion.

Ok now that I have that out of the way let me tell you about some exciting news. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to be part of an exhibition at Obscura Gallery in St Kilda. This is a group exhibition and each artists will showcase their art under their own theme, mine is (obviously, I guess) Creature Focus. There will be a selection of images including dogs, cats and birds from work I have done as a pet photographer. I am very excited because it shows that these images are fine art and should be regarded as such.

Obscura specialises in fine art photography exhibitions and is a great supporter of photographers. Since opening in 2007, Obscura has showcased many great fine art photographers, including animal photographers such as Sarah Louise Jackson.

Creature Focus will open on Thursday 10th May and all are welcome, it will run for six weeks, so there is plenty of time to check it out. For more information, go to the event on Facebook or feel free to contact me.

Posted on April 17, 2012

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Getting good images of my pet

When I am out and about, there are a number of tings I hear continuously – one is ‘my dog will never sit still’, which I wrote about a couple of weeks ago – and another is how do you get good images of pets with a dark coat and dark eyes. The problem most people face is that when they take a photo of their pet the eyes can get lost because they are similar in colour to the pets coat. This can happen with pets that have brown coast and brown eyes, or black coats with dark brown eyes and often the images may have been taken inside or in deep shade where there is not much light. t can also sometimes happen when the eyes are set back or their is a bit of hair over the eyes that may put them in some shade.

The easiest way to find your pets eyes is to get a ‘catch-light’ in their eyes, this just means a bit of light reflection that gives their eyes a bit of sparkle and makes them stand out. You can do this indoors with a flash, but the problem is that sometimes you cannot control your flash and you end up with ‘demon’ eyes, where they look like a lion being photographed at night with eyes peering out from the grass lands. The image to the right is taken in the studio with flash heads that are adjustable and set up with light boxes. An on camera flash will not allow the same type of adjustment.

The best way is to take your pet outside or close to a window that has plenty of light, have them facing the light and look at their eyes, and see if they have a bit of light there? If you do this outside, try to do it on a overcast day, as this will allow you to get a more even shot without harsh shadows. If it is a sunny day, try to find some nice light shade.

Many cameras have an automatic setting and this is great for everyday general photographing, however if you are trying to photograph things that are at the extreme end of colour such as something very light or something very dark, it may find it hard to give you a good image, the camera is not as good as your eyes as picking up little details. You can try using your cameras manual setting such as full manual, where you can adjust the shutter speed and aperture or use either aperture or shutter speed priority settings. These setting will allow you to dictate how light or dark you want your image, and the great thing about digital is that you can take a couple of shots to see if it is right and than make adjustments if it isn’t. Most cameras should also let you adjust your ISO, this is a term from film days that related to the speed of your film. A higher ISO, like 800, will give you more light in darker conditions and a smaller ISO of 100, less light. You need to remember that the higher your ISO the more ‘noise’ you will get in your images. Noise is like grain in film, and will be most noticeable if you plan to make enlargements of your images.

I have gotten a bit technical here and given a quick course on your digital camera. If you really want great images, it does pay to get to know your camera and how to make adjustments – in the end you will find you can get some beautiful shots of your dark fur-friend.

Posted on March 14, 2012

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Paws for Charity

Sorry for the late blog post – just been one of those weeks. I do have some exciting news though – I am going to be in the 2012 Paws for Charity Art Book.

Each year, Paws for Charity produces a book, featuring photos or artworks from animal artists around the world. This the fourth book and I am fortunate to be one of 66 artists from around the world to be featured this year, along with one of my favourite images of a husky (see image at right). The great thing about this book (other than it supports an animal charity) is that it features all different types of artistic works, including drawing, paintings and photography, so it is a very unique project.

This year’s book supports S.H.A.I.D. Tree Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, so all proceeds go to a very good cause. The book has just been sent to Blurb and will be available for sales soon (I’ll let you know).

For more information about Paws for Charity, visit the Paws for Charity Blog or visit Paws for Charity on Facebook

Creature Focus Animal Photography is a proud member of:

Posted on March 7, 2012

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My dog will never sit still

At nearly every pet expo or event I go to the most common thing I hear is: ‘Oh, my dog would never sit still for long enough’. There is much truth to this statement a lot of the time, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get great pet photos.

Yes, many pet photographers like to get some nice, more traditional images of your dog in a sit or drop position, but we also want to get some action into the shots, because this is often where the real story is. If your dog likes to run and chase birds or balls then we want to capture that too. If you have an energetic dog that just loves the local park or beach, then that is probably the best place to have your photo shoot, because that is where their personality will shine and you will get images you love.

If you ask most pet photographers they will probably tell you that the majority of their furry clients don’t sit still for long periods of time, think of a two-year-old child being asked to sit still or in a certain position for even 5 minutes and you know they just won’t be able to, that is the same with most dogs – too much to see and do. A good photographer will be patient and calm and wait for the great photo to come.

Of course if you have some basic commands such as sit, drop and stay these will also help and you will be able to get some gorgeous portraits to go with your action shots.

So don’t miss out on getting some beautiful images, just be patient.

Posted on February 21, 2012

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