Two humans, two dogs and one very busy morning in Maboneng Precint. Meet Kuper, Kaley and their human servants, oops I mean owners, who I had the privilege of photographing last week. I chatted to Mom the week before the shoot who had told me that both dogs are a little wary of new people and not keen on other dogs so she wasn’t quite sure if shooting in Maboneng would work. I told her I didn’t think it would be that busy on a Thursday morning (wrong) and that there wouldn’t be any other dogs there (this prediction was at least correct). Despite the fact that Maboneng was teeming with people, we managed to find some quiet spots to work in and I think the size of the dogs put any bystanders off trying to pat them.
Kuper and Kaley are rescues, adopted after they were abandoned in a back yard by their previous owners. Given that St Bernard puppies are expensive to buy, although starting at R3000 on Gumtree*, not as expensive as I’d have thought, you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’d be an unlikely breed to be mistreated and left like trash. Apparently not. This pair were never socialised with other dogs or people as youngsters, so their early bad ownership has left them with a few issues. Their Mom and Dad have worked very hard to undo the damage and I was very impressed with how good they were in a new place that was not only full of people, but also a crazy photographer snapping away like they were famous.
Most shoots in the heart of Joburg involve some sort of pee dodging. This one was no different. I spotted the double dog and panda graffiti, thought it would make a good shot, got close to the wall and nearly passed out. The dogs weren’t phased and Mom and Dad were very good sports about sitting in a spot which smelt like the opposite of a rose garden. Maboneng is a great place for portrait shoots, there are tons of places with cool graffiti backdrops and different colours to liven up pictures, especially good if the pictures are destined for a wall. Think really cool wall art in your home.
The dogs were on a bench for this shot, I was a little worried it might not hold their combined weight, thankfully it did. It might have taken a bit of explaining to the Maboneng management if not.
I spotted this wall as I drove in and I think it looks really striking with the diagonals and monochrome tones. This will look spectacular printed big (I like big prints and I cannot lie) either on canvas or framed up. Family portraits are often overlooked as a source of awesome wall art in favour of conventional paintings or prints, what better way to decorate your home that with iconic pieces like this?
If you like these portraits and would like more information about scheduling your own colourful artwork shoot, please get in touch with me using the contact form.
*A little note about dogs on Gumtree and other listing sites – please don’t support people who are selling dogs indiscriminantly online, they do not care about the welfare of their animals and you perpetuate animal abuse and cruelty by buying from unscrupulous breeders. If you are after a specific dog breed, please buy from a reputable breeder (KUSA registration means nothing, so don’t be fooled by that). Reputable breeders will allow you to meet both dog parents and they are unlikely to have more than one litter available at a time, they will also ask you for references so they can make sure their animals are going to a good home. Better still, google and find a breed specific rescue and adopt from them, or your local shelter.