It’s a Dog’s Life: Saving Lives Through the Lens is a full colour photo book following thirteen different furry canines, with a portion of its proceeds helping rescue dogs.
The project is the work of Sarnia based photographer Laura Lynn Mclean. She began her photography career shooting weddings and later transitioned to working in her home-based portrait studio. The studio eventually became a pet portrait studio and Mclean also volunteered at the Sarnia and District Humane Society, photographing adoptable pets. She has always been an animal lover and has fond memories of her first dog, a black-lab mix named Star. She currently has a 13 year old rescue dog named Maggie and a cat named Truffles.
In 2017, Mclean decided to pursue project based work with her photography, and it only seemed natural to continue photographing dogs.
“This allows me to take my time to create art that means something to me, not just commissioned,” said Mclean. “It’s a great mix of both worlds.”
Finding the right families with the right dogs was the first step of the project. The dogs needed to be comfortable around strangers, happy to be photographed, and the family had to be able to commit to at least two photo sessions and an interview about their pets. In the end, Mclean found thirteen wonderful participants who are now featured in the book. The dogs range from purebreds to rescued street dogs.
“Doing the book was a way to connect with pet owners and give them the opportunity to show off their dogs in a positive way,” said Mclean. “Not all dogs are treated equally because of breed, size or adoption status. I wanted the book to cross those boundaries.”
The focus of the book is to the show the life of the dog from the dog’s point of view.
“The focus had to be on how the dog spent their days,” said Mclean. “Little to no people in the images unless necessary.”
Mclean thoroughly enjoyed the process of meeting the new dogs and spending time with them to capture the perfect images, which truly shows in the photos. The dogs are photographed exploring the great outdoors, playing with a favourite toy, or lounging in a favourite spot. The book includes 84 full colour photographs.
“I never rushed a session, and it was as much playtime as it was taking photos,” said Mclean. “Learning each of their personalities was a tremendous learning experience.”
A portion of the proceeds of each book purchased in 2018 will be donated to CK Animal Rescue. After 2018, the book will no longer be available, but Mclean is hoping to create volume two of It’s a Dog’s Life for 2020. CK Animal Rescue is a dog and cat rescue group that is based in Chatham. The rescue group accepts applications from potential adopters in Chatham Kent, Sarnia, Windsor, London and points in between. Their animals live in foster homes until their volunteers find their perfect forever home.
It’s a Dog Life can be purchased directly from Laura Lynn Mclean. She asks that you contact her at lauralynnmcleanphoto AT gmail DOT com. The cost of the book is $52.48 (additional charge for shipping).
[originally published on Windsor Arts & Crafts]