Holiday Gift Guide

Christmas is in just over a week so we’ve compiled a list of must-have gifts for all you last minute pet-loving shoppers.

1) Dogs on Furniture 2014 calendar is designed and illustrated by Conneticut-based graphic designer Dale Coykendall.  This is the perfect modern and minimalist addition to any space to bring in a happy new year.

2) While you’re lounging around the house this holiday season, help your dog relax by lighting up some eco-friendly aromatherapy candles.  Sniff Pet Products specializes in scents designed specifically to relax and reduce stress of your animals.  They offer several candle fragrances and other products that will add some pet-zen to your living space!

3) In the same way humans shop for the perfect shampoo for their hair type, dogs and cats deserve the same attention.  WildWash is an England-based company the specializes in luxury, eco-friendly, and naturally scented cat, dog, and horse skin and coat care products.  They use all natural ingredients, are tearless, and promise to not leave any residue on your animals’ coats.  WildWash has a shampoo for any coat-type.

4) Gamla is a young furniture design studio based in Vancouver.  Their line For Gimli includes dog dens and feeders made from solid walnut with brass detailing. They are designed with style in mind, so no need to be embarrassed when company arrives and you haven’t had time to put the dog furniture away!

5) Stride is one of our favourite gift ideas for any dog owner on your list.  This 3-in-1 gadget includes a pedometer, bag dispenser, and hand sanitizer.  While promoting personal fitness with the pedometer, you’ll never get caught without a waste bag and your hands will be squeaky clean when you stop for a snack on your dog walk.

6) These next two gift ideas are for the last minute crafty gift giver!  These homemade canine wine toppers would be an awesome addition to a bottle of wine as a host or hostess gift.  At little cost you could create an entire collection of these stylish wine toppers and gift them as needed!

7) As another DIY project, these etched glass dog treat jars can be made at little cost and personalized for any home or work space.  We like the idea of making these and filling them with homemade dog treats or any other pet snacks.  These can also be made to hold spices, baking ingredients, or even paper clips and other knick-knacks.

8) Finally, a gift certificate for a portrait session with Jason KB Animal Photography would be a perfect addition to all those gifts under the tree.  What better way to spoil your loved ones?

Happy gift-giving!

Maggie and Ruby’s Holiday Gift

It is hard to come by siblings that don’t have their fair share of differences, especially where there is an age difference of several years between them. Sister Black labrador retrievers Ruby and Maggie are the perfect example of this. Their owners, Barb and Robin, came to us earlier this year after receiving one of our gift certificates for Christmas.

We visited Barb and Robin at their warm, arts and crafts home in Toronto’s Hogg’s Hollow neighbourhood to learn about their dogs. Ruby is the little sister and being only a year old she’s quite the crazy girl. Wiggling and jumping around, she is always full of energy and ready to play. Barb and Robin wanted to capture this youthful spirit in Ruby’s photos. Maggie on the other hand is the big sister at seven years old. Like most big sisters, she is more quiet and sensitive. Barb and Robin love how Maggie makes different facial expressions when they speak to her. It’s as if she is taking part in the conversation. Her beautiful feathered tail was also important for us to capture in her photos. We then spent time learning about Maggie and Ruby as a pair. Even though Maggie does enjoy playing with Ruby, playtime is always on her terms since Ruby’s youthful energy can get a little annoying at times. Being retrievers, these dogs love playing tug-of-war with sticks and fetching tennis balls, so we knew our collection of toys would definitely have to come out for this photoshoot.  

Barb and Robin had a specific vision in mind for their artworks. They wanted three large pieces to hang above the couch in their family room. The photos needed to capture each dog’s unique personality, as well as their special sisterly bond. One of their most important requests was to ensure that the dogs’ beautiful, shiny black coats would be highlighted in the photos. Many people struggle to capture great photos of their dark coloured pets, but with the proper lighting and photographic techniques this would be no problem for us.

On the day of the shoot, Ruby and Maggie had their game faces on and were excellent to work with. They were easy going but ready to play whenever we pulled out their toys. Being labs, they also loved getting tasty rewards for all their hard work. We learned key words that Maggie liked to hear and she was happy to show off some of her adorable facial expressions when we started speaking to her. We were sure we had the perfect shots of each dog individually, so we broke out their sticks to capture photos of them playing together.

When we later met with Barb and Robin to discuss image selection and printing options, they were drawn to our metal prints with silver flush mount frames. They decided on a 30” x 30″ metal print for each of the dogs’ individual portraits, and a 30” x 40″ metal print for their portrait together. The couple also decided to order a session album, since we had captured so many great photos of their dogs. We were very pleased with how everything turned out – another great holiday gift from Jason KB Animal Photography.

Photos for Pet Safety

A few weeks ago we received a call for a commercial animal photography shoot from a Toronto based company looking to promote their pet safety campaign.  The images would be used on the company’s website and in press releases sent to media outlets across Canada and the United States.  The photos needed to be of excellent quality with the animal subjects posed in fun and dynamic ways.  The company had heard of our reputation for excellence in animal photography, so we were their go-to choice for the shoot.

We approach commercial photography shoots quite differently than a shoot for our fine art clients who are looking to create artworks of their pets.  Commercial clients have a very specific purpose in mind for their photos and the photos need to stay true to their brand image.  Of course, we still have to fulfil Jason’s artistic vision for the photos as well.  All of this leads to a set of unique challenges.

The company needed their photos to really grab people’s attention to create buzz for their campaign.  They decided to focus on safe costumes, since the campaign was taking place just before Halloween and they reasoned that everyone would get a chuckle seeing dogs all dressed up for the occasion.  Anyone who has tried to dress up their dog can tell you that it’s no easy feat.  Most dogs just prefer to be naked!  Getting the dogs into their costumes would be a challenge, but it would be even trickier to make the costumes look good on film and to make sure the dogs looked like they were happy to be all dressed up.  Thankfully we have a lot of tricks (and treats!) up our sleeves!

The company did a great job choosing costumes for all five dogs, which made things much easier for us.  The costumes needed to be safe, so they couldn’t have any parts that the dogs could grab onto (and eat!) and they had to fit well.  Once the dogs were dressed up we fixed up their outfits with double-sided tape if they didn’t fit perfectly - a handy trick that Jason picked up on fashion photography shoots.  In addition to this it was Angus’ job to continually adjust the costumes between each shot to make sure they looked great.  Of course he also had to make sure the dogs were having a great time so that they wouldn’t look self-conscious in their hilarious costumes.  Angus kept all the dogs entertained by playing games and dolling out treats.

The client was thrilled with how the photos turned out and they were able to successfully leverage the images to gain media attention for their campaign, helping keep our furry companions out of harm’s way.  Another successful project at Jason KB Animal Photography.

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