Nice Nosing You

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How did this project begin?

The project began when I got myself a compact camera (a Fujfilm X-20) with super macro mode in the wide-angle range. I tested these functions on my dogs as they were chewing on treats.

What is the shooting process like for you? Is it different with each dog?

Absolutely. Every dog got its unique character. That’s a very fascinating aspect of my work. I love meeting so many different dogs and having to figure out how I can turn an idea into a picture with the corresponding dog. You’ve got to be very creative sometimes. Some dogs are easily manipulated, others are not so willing models. But with the right motivation so far I managed to take decent pictures of every dog.

“Nice nosing you” also includes a portrait of a horse. Do you plan to include other animals as well?

Yes, absolutely. I will start looking for models soon. So far there are on my list: cats, sheep, goats, cows, actually every animal that won’t swallow me… 😉 But let’s see where it leads to…

You shoot many of your portraits using a compact Fujifilm X-20.What other gear and equipment comes in handy when dealing with your subjects?

I have a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and a range of lenses. For action shots of dogs the Canon EF 70-200 mm 2.8 is my favourite. I love the Canon EF 100 mm 2.8 macro. It’s very versatile. Other lenses include the Canon EF 85 mm 1.8, the Canon EF 50 mm 1.4. My studio equipment is very simple, I usually only use one flash of a Elinchrome D-Lite 4 set.

Much of your work is with your 3 rescue dogs Noodles, Scout, and Ioli. What tips do you have for those working with dogs?

For untrained dogs you have to find out what really motivates them. This can be a treat, a play, a toy. Have an assistant or maybe even two to help you. Trying to take pictures of a dog while also trying to entertain him is really hard to do.

What other projects and plans do you have for the future in regards to your photography? What’s next?

I’m currently working on a picture book with my photographs. It’s finished soon and I’ll be really excited to see it in print. There are several projects I would like to realize, a few of which involve travelling abroad. I’ll probably do charity work and take pictures of dogs looking for homes.

Elke Vogelsang lives in Hildesheim, Germany with Noodles, Scout, and Ioli.

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