Living Portraits photography is so distinctive, you always know it when you see it. That’s because we have a very consistent approach to the way we photograph your pet, the retouching we do, and the equipment we use.
All of our photographers are great with both people and animals. Not only do they have to be, to get results like these, but they’re also very experienced (and animals aren’t the easiest subject to photograph!). They can quickly put dogs, horses and cats at ease, getting the best out of them in the shortest possible time while avoiding stressing or over-exciting your pet.
Our photographers don’t just know how to take amazing pictures; they’re also highly skilled retouchers, and they know how to print, mount and frame each photograph to best effect.
That’s why you can trust your Living Portraits photographer to deliver a faithful portrait – a real work of art – every time, and with every animal.
My wife Julia and I are the owners of Living Portraits. Our busy home life consists of our three children – Hetty, Lydia & Charlie – and a very lively black Labrador called Stanley.
As a great lover of the outdoors, I enjoy discovering new walks in the beautiful British countryside with Stanley by my side (or charging ahead of me, to be honest!). I’m also a keen golfer, and as well as meeting up with friends for a regular round at the local course, I’m also lucky enough to get away each year to play in Spain or Portugal.
I originally trained as an artist, with a keen interest in creating photographic art. I eventually moved into photography and have worked as a professional photographer for over 30 years. I’ve worked with the likes of Saatchi & Saaatchi and many other leading advertising agencies, both in Europe and the UK, and I’ve directed photo shoots around the world in places like the Caribbean, Cayman Islands and America.
After that, I wanted to work with people and pets – but most of all, I wanted to do something that I’d really enjoy. As the saying goes, “If you do something you love as a job, then you’ll never work another day in your life”. Every aspect of what we do is rewarding in different ways, but especially seeing clients’ reactions when presented with stunning images of their beloved pets, captured forever by Living Portraits.
Although we’re based in Harrogate, Living Portraits photo shoots are available throughout the country, often taking us from North Berwick to Knightsbridge in the same week. There’s never a dull moment!
I’ve lived in Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, since I was child. Living in such a beautiful rural environment gave me a love of animals and wildlife from a very young age.
Observing local wildlife in its natural habitat made me want to record what I observed, and that awakened my interest in photography.
Starting by photographing birds and wildlife using natural light, I moved on to photographing a wider range of animals including dogs, cats and horses. I would constantly persuade friends and family to let me photograph their four-legged friends.
My own dog Daisy, a blue roan cocker spaniel, wasn’t exempt from my search for models and it was because of her that I got into studio portrait photography. She has to be the most photographed dog in North Yorkshire, and she continues to model selflessly while I test new techniques and equipment.
Volunteer photography work is also an important part of my life, as I take pictures for two local charities which are very dear to me: Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Jerry Green Dog Rescue.
Photographing animals (dogs and horses in particular) is now a major part of my life, both when I’m working and in my spare time. I’m always developing my techniques to produce the best possible photographs for my clients – and that will never change.
I did an MA in film and photography at Leeds University (and got a distinction for it). But as much as I loved working in the studios, I knew I’d suit an outdoor role much more – so Living Portraits is perfect for me. My undergraduate degree was in fine art so I bring real creativity to every shoot, and I can work my magic in post-production to make sure every photograph is absolutely beautiful.
I love my job, meeting all these wonderful people and their gorgeous animals. And if I’m not photographing dogs and horses in my spare time, I’m certainly out and about with them. I compete in eventing and play polo with Bramham and Toulston polo clubs, and I’m vice-president of Leeds University Polo Team.
I live with my family and Kizzy, a black Labradoodle, in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside.
Photography has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager, developing film in my home darkroom as a hobby in the pre-digital age and I have since spent many years perfecting my craft.
I originally worked as a chef in Michelin starred restaurants and Oxford colleges until I’d had enough of the hot, hectic environment of a professional kitchen and decided that I wanted a change of career.
I still wanted to be creative, so combining my passion for photography with the desire to work outdoors with people and animals was the natural choice. When I met Chris and Julia, I quickly realised that Living Portraits was the perfect fit for me.
The satisfaction I used to have in producing a Michelin standard meal has now been surpassed by the thrill of producing art that can be treasured for generations rather than fleeting moments.
I really enjoy meeting people and working with them to capture stunning images of their cherished pets, then lovingly enhancing the images to create unique works of art that will give them pleasure for years to come.
"I’d always wanted to work for myself, doing something creative, but I’d never plucked up the courage. Now I love the freedom and variety of being a Living Portraits franchisee. I set my own hours and my own pace – and office politics are thankfully a distant memory!"