Prepare yourself for some cute and fluffy portraits from the amazing Sophisticated Paws project... read more
Taking pictures of dogs has always been appealing. But I wanted to do it somewhat differently. I wanted the images to be staged. Like old-school family portraits, taken in a faux, artificial interior, on a set to create the idea of a photograph taken in a home. And I also liked the idea of having the dogs sit on a podium because thatâ€˜s just so not a dog thing!
Among many others, I had some wonderful curtain fabric by Laura Ashley with a classic English rose floral pattern in blue at the studio. I had always wanted to use it as a backdrop for something special. I stapled it to a large board made of plywood in order to eventually simulate a fabric covered wall.
My friend was excited about my idea. As a matter of fact, most of my friends were and they have always encouraged me. The shared thought of theirs was â€œIf there is one dog crazy person, itâ€˜s you, Why donâ€˜t you start a project with dogs? Youâ€˜d be perfect for that…”
My friend and I kept walking for a while, after passing the English bull terrier we finally looked at each other. Evidently with the same thought on our minds. Shouting “hang on a minute” I ran back where we had come from. I called the woman who obviously belonged with the bull terrier until she finally heard me and stopped. I had never really considered what itâ€˜d be like to stalk unknown people on the street and ask them for their dogs without sounding like a complete nutcase. I explained what I had in mind as well as I could, trying to make as much sense as possible under these circumstances.
Luckily, the young woman was very open and instantly on board; I had found my first model: Fritzchen, miniature bull terrier, 7 months old. So a couple of days later Fritzchen and his dog mum came by to have his picture taken in front of a blue floral pattern fabric by Laura Ashley. English roses for an English bull terrier!
From then on I’d chat up every cute dogâ€˜s owner without hesitation. With that, I would buy every floral curtain fabric by Laura Ashley I can find. For this is the (my) rule: floral patterns only and a one-time use. Every dog gets his/her fabric, each design gets used only once!
At some point, I began posting the images on my Instagram account and after a while, I started tagging @lauraashleyuk… The rest is history!Â I called the project sophisticated paws; to me, that has a traditional ring. A bit old-fashioned but also playful and seeming it is all about involving dogs the paws was an obvious addition.