In 2012 I interviewed Carli Davidson regarding her animal portrait photography. She was able to bring out and show personality and emotion in our furry friends in a way that was truly unique. She recently released her book "SHAKE" which is filled with pages upon pages of dogs shaking off, caught in the action. If you or anyone you know is a dog-lover, this is a book you'll want sitting on your coffee table.
Carli started working on the photos for "SHAKE" way back in March of, 2011. "The first time I uploaded the photos I couldn’t stop laughing, I knew I had to keep shooting it and create a body of work! I shot my last photo for the book a few months ago. I was taking to a friend recently about how my dog Norbert inspired the series, I don’t remember exactly when the a-ha moment really hit, but it very well might have been when I was cleaning his slobber off of my walls.
"Officially I scheduled over 120 dogs for the book, but not every one of them shook. I knew I needed to account for the non-shakers. To date, I have over 140 shake (two of each dog) photos edited."
Some of you are probably wondering what it's like to photograph dogs, and how it varies from taking images of people. "Animals work 100% on instinct; you can’t trick them, so if you are not committed to the shoot they wont perform. They can sense your stress and they respond to it accordingly. So much about working with animals is about being in the moment with them, listening to their needs and directing the shoot as you go. This is similar with people, but we can just ask people what they need. With animals you need to create a dialogue based on instinct and respect. One of my favorite differences about working with animals… I never have to worry about an animal not liking the way they look."
If you want to learn more about Carli and her work, take a read of the interview from 2012.
As far as the book goes, this is something I'm glad I own. One of my more favorite activities is giving it to a dog lover and just watching their expressions as they page through the book.
In my opinion, this is a coffee table book. Coffee table books are designed to help pass the time (if there is some reason to wait) or transition between subjects to chat about when guests are over. This book succeeds on both those accounts with flying colors.
What I liked:
Tons of images
Large variety of dogs
What could use improvement:
Goose egg. This book is great.
If you're looking for a great book to have ready for guests in your studio or just something sitting on your coffee table at home, I can't recommend "SHAKE" enough. It's sure to spark conversation and bring joy to anyone who reads it.