We love a good coffee table book and when we spotted Pub Dogs of London we knew we’d found a keeper. If you’ve been keeping up with DogBuddy news, you’ll know all about the Dog-friendly Pub Awards – so we just had to catch up with the book’s photographer Fiona Freund and chat about all things pub-dogs, plus – we’ve featured our favourite from her collection gorgeous pub dog photography below.
DogBuddy: Hi, Fiona! Can you tell us how Pug Dogs of London came about, what inspired you to photograph pub dogs?
Fiona Freund: I’ve been a freelance portrait photographer for 25 years. Then one day the nice people from Freight Books got in touch, the conversation went something like this:
Freight Books: “We need portraits”
Me: “That’s what I do”
Freight Books: “of dogs…”
Freight Books: “In London Pubs”
Me: “When do I start?”
DB: What did you enjoy most about the Pub Dogs of London project?
FF: I totally fell in love with the whole thing. It was just me and the dogs with their owners on hand for the occasional treat. I loved connecting with the dogs, getting a feel for their personality and capturing what makes them each special. After the book came out I had a lot of requests to shoot people’s dogs in the Pub Dogs style (some were actually shot in their local pub!). My own dog portraiture business really took off from there.
DB: What’s the main difference between photographing dogs and people?
FF: Photographing dogs and people is pretty similar. In both cases you need to compose your shot and make sure no unsightly rubber gloves or battered buckets in the background. With dogs, having some treats on hand is useful! Keep their It’s all about getting them to show off their personality.
DB: You make it sound so simple… Is it really?
FF: Photographing dogs you always have to expect the unexpected, I tend to spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor making a twit of myself entertaining my models (which I usually do a fair bit anyway), and getting sniffed and licked by them (which isn’t normal human behaviour!).
DB: Any favourite pups from the Pub Dogs of London series?
Dougie the Dachshund-cross who likes frankfurters, Willow the whippet (pillow thief and cat chaser) tilted her head and looked like butter wouldn’t melt. Winnie the Jack Russell who wants to lick cats rather than chase them and Dallas the heavyweight Boxer who wouldn’t come out from under the table. They were all brilliant!
DB: What’s your reaction to the stats from our survey of UK dog owners?
(1/3 of Britons struggle to find dog-friendly pubs, 70% of the UK’s dog owners search for dog-friendly pubs and nearly 1/4 of dog owners left a pub that wasn’t dog-friendly.)
FF: That’s such a shame, dogs add so much character to a pub and it’s a great place for kids to learn more about them. It’s a great British tradition to go out for weekend walkies with your pooch and finish with a pint by the fire in a hearty hostelry.
DB: Let us in on a secret, where are all these beautiful London pubs you’ve photographed the pups?
FF: There were over 20 pubs used and listed in the book all of which I would highly recommend but perhaps a special mention to the Rosemary Branch in Old Street, and my lovely local the Elm Park Tavern in Brixton.
DB: Any tips for aspiring dog photographers out there? Our sitters and owners love taking pictures of their pooches, how can they make the most of the cameras in their pockets?
FF: The most important thing is to be patient, dogs don’t understand what you are trying to do so you need to give them time to grasp what it is you need from them. Bright light is good, glossy fur looks lovely in sunshine. Take lots of pictures to be sure of one really good one. And remember if you just can’t get a good shot you can always call in a professional *wink*, *nudge*.
Thanks, Fiona! If you know any of the pubs featured in Pub Dogs of London, why not pop over to DogBuddyPubs.com and cast your vote!