American Bulldog in Prospect Park

American Bulldog in Prospect Park

It was so hot and humid that evening in Prospect Park that I couldn’t get photos of this beauty with his mouth closed. What you can’t see is that I felt the same way. I hope to get to work with him on another shoot in cooler weather.

American Bulldog in Prospect Park

American Bulldog in Prospect Park

American Bulldog in Prospect Park

American Bulldog in Prospect Park

Alan Barnett, NYC pet photography

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Studio pet portraits

Franklin and Tammy Pose in the Studio

A friend fosters dogs as they await new homes. During some downtime for both of us, she brought her pooches into my studio for a photo shoot.

Studio pet portraits

Studio pet portraits

Studio pet portraits

Studio pet portraits

Alan Barnett, NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

A Boy and His Dog

I recently completed renovating my apartment, and with the new layout and decor, I was considering an experimental photo shoot there to explore its potential as a set for future shoots. I was interested in how my subject, my equipment, and I would fit in the space, and what I could accomplish with window light, studio lights, and a combination of the two. Coincidentally, a model I had worked with before contacted me to suggest we do another shoot. I had seen from his Instagram feed that he just adopted and adorable puppy, and I half-jokingly suggested that he bring his dog to the shoot. It turned into a great success. The apartment, though small, was easy to work in, and the puppy was as well behaved as I could expect a puppy to be when exploring new surroundings, especially with two cats present.

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC portrait photography

NYC pet photography

NYC pet photography

Alan Barnett, NYC portrait photography, NYC pet photography

Introducing Watson and Crick, the Cutest Kittens on the Planet

In September, my 11-year-old cat Valrhona died of lymphoma. I’ve had cats for the past 25 years, and while I couldn’t imagine living without them, I wanted to take some time to enjoy life without scooping litter and fur flying everywhere. That period didn’t last as long as I thought it would, because in November I noticed that I felt sad every time I opened my door and was not greeted by a furry friend.

So it was time to adopt, and I decided that it would take two kittens to fill the hole in my heart left by Valrhona. The previous August, I volunteered to photograph a benefit for the rescue organizations The Toby Project and Animal Haven. Remembering that, I headed downtown to Animal Haven and met a lively litter of seven kittens, eight weeks old. I played with them all and found a strong connection with two of them. Later that afternoon my application was approved, and I brought them home the next day.

Well, I couldn’t have asked for better kittens. They’re very social, and they love meeting new people. Best of all, they sleep all night and don’t get up until I’m ready. They’re challenging to photograph, and I hope to keep trying throughout their lives. We had a short session in the studio and made the rest of the photos at home. After about three weeks of waiting, their names presented themselves. As they were wrestling, they appeared intertwined like a double-helix, and being a science geek since high school, I thought to name then after the Nobel-prize-winning team who discovered the molecular structure of DNA, James Watson and Francis Crick. Watson is the black-and-white male, and Crick is the faux-Siamese female.

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Man’s Best Friend

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Friends of mine, a couple, have three terrific dogs. One of the owners is very proud of his rescued English Foxhound (above right), which he says is an uncommon breed in the United States. They had talked for a long time about having framed photos of their pets to hang in their home.
We originally discussed a complicated indoor photo shoot with lots of lighting, so I was surprised when the project turned into an invitation for a casual dinner with some informal shots of the dogs in the back yard beforehand. It turned out pretty well.

It always surprises me what photos my clients choose versus which I’d choose. The three shots above are my favorites, while those below will be made into gallery wrapped canvases and hung in my friends’ home.

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Family Portrait with Pet

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A rider in Braking AIDS Ride, which I photograph each September, hired me to make family portraits of his cousin and his cousin’s partner as a gift to the couple. I think a portrait session is a great gift idea! I knew the portrait would include their dog, but we had to have a discussion about whether the session would be in a natural environment or the studio. They chose the studio. The humans behaved well. Working with the dog could have been frustrating, but I actually had a lot of fun. She was rather old and losing her sight and hearing. She often wandered off the set and didn’t hear us calling her back, so we had to run after her, scoop her up, and return with her. Since she couldn’t see well, as she wandered she sometimes ran into light stands but kept going, moving the lights across the floor. Our laughter made for great smiles in the photos.

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