Jessica Bell is a Canadian photographer and an experienced dog trainer. Although it is extremely challenging, her passion is capturing photos of dogs in action. Recently, she rounded up some of her friends and their multi-talented pups for a unique shoot. The dogs are all involved in canine sports including obedience, disc, and agility competitions.
To showcase their incredible athleticism, she coated them in colorful powder and snapped images as they ran, leapt and played. The concept was inspired by equine photographer, Andrea Zachrau‘s Holi Horses series.
The resulting photos are bright, dynamic and breathtakingly beautiful!
“Every single image is unique and highlights the amazing differences between how dogs of various breeds and body shapes move,” Bell says. “The powder acts as a perfect action amplification device.”
To ensure the dogs’ safety, Bell carefully applied the non-toxic powder to their backs only. Their forward momentum created whirls and clouds of color behind them as they moved – well away from their eyes and airways.
Despite the complex appearance of the shots, Bell says the powder was the easy part. Poor winter lighting and getting the camera settings just right were far more taxing!
“It’s not the powder that presented the challenge, but the other facets of capturing animals in action: focus, dynamic lighting, composition, etc.,” Bell told iHeartDogs. “I’m still no expert, but I learn a great deal each time I try it and feel that it’s ready for me to use with photography clients.”
“I had a great deal of fun deciding what color to use on what dog,” says Bell. “I took into account each dog’s personality and appearance and chose a color that I thought would either contrast strongly or match closely with their fur.”
In addition to the championship canine athletes shown in the series, Bell also included her own pooch – a lovely Australian Shepherd named Cohen!
“To me, these photos highlight just how hard our dogs work for us when asked, and frequently for nothing more than the toss of a toy or a dried biscuit,” Bell says of the series. “The photos freeze these split-second moments in time and allow us to appreciate our pets as tremendous athletes as well as companions.”
Bell loves the challenge of capturing dogs in their natural element. She also takes gorgeous family portraits, and recently added equine photography to her skill set. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her amazing work!
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