Part of the legacy of National Dog Week were the images it inspired. Founder Will Judy understood that the “art of the dog” was not lost on his followers and fans. In keeping with tradition, last year I reintroduced this tradition and presented the dog on canvas. This year we showcase the dog as viewed from the lens of a camera.
Last September it was an honor to have the artwork of Donald E. Brown serve as the image of National Dog Week’s 83rd Observance. Donald’s portrait of Sergio, a Rescue Dog from Baja Animal Sanctuary, was the inspiration for the beautiful National Dog Week poster titled, “Help.” To learn more about Donald’s art please visit his new blog.
This year, I thought it would be fun to explore the image of the dog as it pertains to National Dog Week through the lenses of a camera. That is how the idea for “Paws to Pose,” began to unfold. I recalled books where an event or a day was recorded and then shared throughout the nation through the use of inspiring photographs (like A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMERICA). I wondered what would happen if I chose a dozen or so friends of the NDW Project, who lived in different areas of the nation, and sent them a disposable camera to record the dogs that populate their lives and community during the week of September 24th. This year is an experiment and done on a budget so I am working things out as we go along. If you feel compelled to be part of this project, please feel free to contact me.
Images captured with a NDW Camera will used on the National Dog Week Blog, NDW Facebook page
and a new website that should be up by sometime this Fall.
Why a disposable camera? Well first, it levels the playing field; everyone has the same tool so to speak. It also limits the number of chances you get to take a great shot. Why is that important? Because, after each camera is returned to me, I’ve asked the accomplished and dog-loving pet photographer Joseph Frazz to choose what he thinks is the best photo from each camera.
I “discovered” Joe’s soulful photos of dogs on Facebook and just as I had done last year after spotting the vibrant paintings of Donald Brown, contacted him to ask if he wanted to be part of a special project for the special Week of the Dog. Joe obliged and we are so happy to have him join our efforts.
In addition to his work as a photographer, Joe is a Certified Animal Control Officer in his home state of New Jersey. Of his career as a professional dog photographer Joe reflects, “I started photographing dogs to give as gifts to my customers and what started out as good intentions has turned into a life’s passion and love which has given me an extraordinary insight to these beautiful creatures we call dogs. Each time a photograph captures the unique personality “the soul” of a dog I am in awe of the simplicity of their true unconditional love and beauty. I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation of their purpose in our lives and the gift of love they bring to all of us.” You can check out Joe’s work at:
For this post, I asked Joe a few questions about his involvement in “Paws to Pose.”
What are your thoughts on the celebration of National Dog Week? National Dog Week is a great way to honor Gods gifts – “Dogs,” but in celebrating what they give to us in so many ways. It is a great time to act on and understand how truly neglected these amazing creatures are from their plights in puppy mills to their misery in our Shelters.
What do you think makes for a great canine photo? A great photograph when it comes to the subject of dogs in my estimation would be one that captures the spirit of an individual dog. It could come from their smile and “yes dogs do smile” or the tilt of the head, the lifting of a paw but, especially from the reflection of honesty and innocence that comes only from a dog’s eyes.
How will you participate in the Paws to Pose Project? I was asked to help pick the best photographs from each of the cameras that weregiven out to individuals from around the country. I’m looking forward to seeing all the dogs!
And we are looking forward to learning more about this talented photographer. Thank you, Joe.