#Kittens & Picturing Pets, with Karen Hoglund & Nancy Borowick

05/25/2023Link0

Humans and pets have shared a deep bond for centuries, yet our animal companions are now considered more a part of the family than ever. So, it’s no surprise that pet photography is a blossoming niche, and a perfect subject for this week’s podcast—especially since it’s National Pet Month!

Above photograph © Nancy Borowick

We start by chatting with pet photographer Karen Hoglund, who alerted us to her work in response to Allan’s musing about using the hashtag “kittens” to generate traffic on social media. After noting that #kittens only yields a 20 percent bump over #photographer, Hoglund offers advice on the dos and don’ts of posing pets, and picking up on their non-verbal signs of anxiety or stress.

After a break, we switch gears from posed pet portraits to learn about Sony Artisan Nancy Borowick’s candid editorial-style coverage of the Westminster Dog Show, and her long-term project, “Part of the Pack.” Primarily known for telling intimate stories about people, Nancy explains how an invitation to photograph the dog show helped her process the loss of both her parents to cancer. She talks about the challenges of covering the show’s frenetic atmosphere, describing how she maintains focus by seeking out telling details.

As we all agree, pets are truly a gift in our daily lives, and learning how to capture their unique personalities in pictures can only deepen this bond and enrich our experience.

Guests: Karen Hoglund & Nancy Borowick

A vintage Bel Air was the perfect frame for a Beagle puppy’s portrait.
A vintage Bel Air was the perfect frame for a Beagle puppy’s portrait.
Blustery winter weather made for a dramatic portrait of Karen Hoglund’s golden retriever, Murphy.
Blustery winter weather made for a dramatic portrait of Karen Hoglund’s…
The goal of this image was to capture the feeling of a summer evening with a cat in the garden.
The goal of this image was to capture the feeling of a summer evening…
Quarter Horse in Colorado with fall mountain scenery.
Quarter Horse in Colorado with fall mountain scenery.
A wide angle made this action shot of a Vizsla more dynamic.
A wide angle made this action shot of a Vizsla more dynamic.
Cats are naturally curious, and this Maine Coon couldn’t help peeking from behind a house plant.
Cats are naturally curious, and this Maine Coon couldn’t help peeking…
Hoglund planned a Great Dane’s end-of-life photo shoot for a Denver park to make it easy on her.
Hoglund planned a Great Dane’s end-of-life photo shoot for a Denver…
Two golden retrievers appear to be driving the VW convertible, but they were securely held in place by an assistant hidden from view.
Two golden retrievers appear to be driving the VW convertible, but they…
A vintage Autographic Kodak Jr camera was the perfect prop for this guinea pig’s photo shoot.
A vintage Autographic Kodak Jr camera was the perfect prop for this…
This Bengal Kitten often burrows under blankets, so Hoglund staged this situation to capture his personality during the photo shoot.
This Bengal Kitten often burrows under blankets, so Hoglund staged this…
A vintage pickup truck solved the problem of where to photograph a Border Collie puppy in January.
A vintage pickup truck solved the problem of where to photograph a…
Headshot of Karen Hoglund and her golden retriever, Murphy. Photograph © Mariah Ehlert
Headshot of Karen Hoglund and her golden retriever, Murphy. Photograph …
Karen Hoglund

Ellie, a 4 ½-year-old Vizsla, took Best of Opposite at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, shown with Owner/Breeder/Handler Michelle Porfido. 2/16/2016
Ellie, a 4 ½-year-old Vizsla, took Best of Opposite at the 140th…
A signature characteristic of the Basset Hound is turned-out, wrinkly paws, as seen here at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. 2/9/2020
A signature characteristic of the Basset Hound is turned-out, wrinkly…
Bassett Hounds Foxy Brown and Cecil B. Demile wait their turn to compete in the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2/11/2013
Bassett Hounds Foxy Brown and Cecil B. Demile wait their turn to…
Afghan Hound Enzo, 8, has been to Westminster four times. It takes him 4-6 hours to prepare for the show, 2/16/2015.
Afghan Hound Enzo, 8, has been to Westminster four times. It takes him…
Charlie, 1, a Pomeranian from New Jersey, gets touched up ringside before competing in the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2/10/2014.
Charlie, 1, a Pomeranian from New Jersey, gets touched up ringside…
Nancy Lomas with 6 ½-year-old Yorkshire Terrier GMan, and Allison Fowler with Yorkshire Terrier Carson, 20 months, 2/16/2015.
Nancy Lomas with 6 ½-year-old Yorkshire Terrier GMan, and Allison…
Bichon Frisé Bingo gets some last-minute eyeliner before heading to the ring at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2/11/2013.
Bichon Frisé Bingo gets some last-minute eyeliner before heading to the…
Although short in stature, Basset Hounds stand tall and poised in the ring at the 139th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2/16/2015.
Although short in stature, Basset Hounds stand tall and poised in the…
Amidst the competition chaos, a Bernese Mountain Dog has a moment with junior handler Hope Anzalone before heading into the ring, 2/12/2019.
Amidst the competition chaos, a Bernese Mountain Dog has a moment with…
To Carol Harris, her dogs are her family, in addition to her human children, and she takes great care to love and provide for her many whippets, 7/28/2015.
To Carol Harris, her dogs are her family, in addition to her human…
Carol Harris ends her day, every day, with a book in hand and a pack of her Whippets on her bed in her Florida home, 7/27/2015.
Carol Harris ends her day, every day, with a book in hand and a pack of…
A pack of Whippets wait by the side door of their Florida home to be let in, 7/28/2015.
A pack of Whippets wait by the side door of their Florida home to be…
Nancy Lewine and Jenny Cochran of GoldenSoul Dogs take portraits of their newest Golden Retriever puppies in their Pennsylvania home, 5/2/2016.
Nancy Lewine and Jenny Cochran of GoldenSoul Dogs take portraits of…
Einstein, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian-Dachshund-Corgi mix, waits patiently beside his human brother Levi to see if any snacks are dropped out of his toddler hands, 6/24/2020.
Einstein, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian-Dachshund-Corgi mix, waits patiently…
Turq, a Great Dane, celebrates his birthday while in competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, 2/12/2019.
Turq, a Great Dane, celebrates his birthday while in competition at the…
Nancy Borowick Headshot with Einstein. Photograph © Matt Borowick
Nancy Borowick Headshot with Einstein. Photograph © Matt Borowick
Nancy Borowick

Episode Timeline:

  • 2:06: Does #Kittens or pictures of cute pets help to drive traffic on social media?
  • 4:28: How to recognize signs of stress and anxiety in pets, and tips for posing pets during a photo session.
  • 7:48: Giving treats to a pet so they’ll behave during a photo shoot and behavior differences to keep in mind when photographing dogs or cats.
  • 16:06: Tips for photographing groups of pets and people, plus advice for photographing darker-colored pets.
  • 21:32: Hoglund’s pet photography gear bag and her thoughts on using mirrorless cameras and lenses.
  • 25:57: Episode Break
  • 27:04: Nancy Borowick’s love of the Westminster Dog show and the challenges of working in such a fast-paced, frenetic environment.
  • 36:11: Difficult breeds to photograph, the benefits of real-time eye autofocus for animals in Sony lenses, and Borowick’s favorite dog breed.
  • 39:25: Borowick’s love for close-up details as storytelling tools, and her favorite lens: a Sony G series 85mm f/1.4.
  • 42:30: Evolution from photographing at the dog show to Borowick’s long-term project “Part of the Pack,” and the differences between dogs and owners at a top competition setting and in a home environment
  • 54:30: Final thoughts from Borowick and Hoglund about owning pets today.

Guest Bios:

Karen Hoglund started out as a graphic designer, art-directing photo shoots for ad agencies and commercial clients. After honing her camera skills by photographing children and families, she shifted focus to her true love—dogs and cats. After starting a pet photography business in 2012, she hasn’t looked back, working from her home base in Denver, Colorado with a squeaky toy in one hand, a camera in the other, and fur all over her clothes.

Nancy Borowick is an internationally renowned photographer, author, teacher, and speaker. A graduate of the International Center of Photography, she is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and a Kickstarter Thought Leader. Working regularly with the New York Times since 2013, Borowick has told intimate stories of people, places, and pets from every corner of the globe. Her break-out project about her two parents in parallel treatment for stage-four cancer has received major accolades and awards such as The Arnold Newman Prize and the Humanitarian Award from the organization Women That Soar. This project was published in 2018 as the monograph The Family Imprint. Borowick currently resides on the island of St. John, USVI with her husband, two sons, and her dog, Einstein.

Stay Connected:

Karen Hoglund Website: https://karenhoglundphotography.com
Karen Hoglund Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenhoglundphoto
Karen Hoglund Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KarenHoglundPhotography
Karen Hoglund Twitter: https://twitter.com/khoglund_photo
Karen Hoglund Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/khoglund/
Karen Hoglund YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@karenhoglundphotography/
Karen Hoglund TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@karenhoglundphoto

Nancy Borowick Website: https://www.nancyborowick.com
Nancy Borowick Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancyborowick/
Nancy Borowick Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nancy.borowick/
Nancy Borowick Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyborowick


Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: Jill Waterman
Senior Producer: Mike Weinstein
Executive Producer: Yermy Weiss
Editorial Director: Shawn C Steiner

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