Endearing Animal Portraits By 18 Year Old Photographer Jessica Trinh
I love animals and many of us do. They’re so expressive and it makes you wonder what they’re thinking of. You see the innocence in their eyes and you know it’s genuine. Let’s not forget to mention their ever ready playful demeanor. When you combine these vibrant attributes with photography, it sets up for some endearing work. Cue in animal photographer, Jessica Trinh.
When I saw her work for the first time, I was engaged right away and I had to know more. I browsed through her work for what seemed like an hour. At each image, I stopped and imagined the world she created with these animals.
At just 18 years of age, she’s managed to shoot pets in a way that captures the mood I see in their eyes. You can’t help but gravitate toward her work.
I was fortunate enough to steal some of her time and get inside her world. Check out her work below along with a brief interview with her.
You can also find her work through her website, Facebook, and Flickr accounts. She has more work than we could possibly feature, so do be sure to check them out to see her full body of work! We look forward to see where her future takes her.
Looking from your work, it seems like you’ve been shooting for a while but you’re only 18 years young. How long have you been shooting for and what got you into photography?
I have been shooting since I was 13! I got into photography when my parents got me my first camera. It was a Powershot and I loved it so much!
What inspired you to get into pet photography?
My dogs because I wanted to find a way to take photos AND spend time with them. Pet photography was the best of both worlds.
We’ve noticed a big part of your work consists of one special golden retriever, is he/she yours?
I have two dogs, Chuppy (the golden retriever) and Daisy (the rescued Australian Shepherd mix). Chuppy was given to me by my parents after our old dog passed away. I have had him ever since he was a puppy and that was near 7 years ago. Daisy was adopted 2 years ago when she was found on the streets. She is my inspiration for my project Let it Rain Love. They both teach me so much and I am thankful for that!
You really bring out a lot of emotion in the animals you shoot, how do you get it out of them?
I let them be as natural as they can be and I make sounds to make them do certain faces! Once they make the face, I QUICKLY act on it and take the photo. It is ALL about timing, I’ve learned!
They’re also quite well behaved from the looks of it. But we all know how energetic dogs can be and getting their attention can be difficult at times. Have you ever had a situation where the dogs were not cooperative with what you were trying to do? How do you get them to follow your lead?
Yes, the hardest dogs to take photos of are shelter dogs. They are scared to begin with and the real goal is to make them feel comfortable. In cases like this, I try to compromise as best as I can. Editing does help a lot as well.
Do you shoot cats and other animals as well or do you specifically shoot dogs?
I take photos of specifically dogs but other animals are definitely on the list!!
Your concepts are so whimsical and fun, how do you come up with the ideas in your photos?
I come up with my ideas in a variety of ways. Sometimes i am inspired by simple, everyday life stuff. Other times, I drown out my teacher lecturing and I think of ideas intently and usually I have a better time thinking of ideas in class. It is hard to find ideas that work with dogs that are not cliche as well so it is definitely such a challenge!
What type of equipment do you use when you shoot dogs? Is the lighting always ambient light or do you ever use flash with animals?
I use a Canon 5D Mark 3 and a Canon 50mm f/1.4. I never use flash on dogs (or any animal for that matter) since animals can be easily startled. I always use natural lighting.
What would you recommend to someone who is looking to get into pet photography? What is the biggest thing you wish someone had told you before getting into it?
For anyone that is looking to get into pet photography, i would say to strive to be different. Be true to yourself and discover who you are in photography. To find your style is the most important thing in my book because it basically creates who you are as a photographer. Do not be afraid to be different. I think the biggest thing I wished people would have told me is how addicted I would be in photography! It is such an outlet for me and I get such happy feelings when I hold my camera and edit my photos.