An Interview with Karen Weiler of Posh Pets® Photography
Karen Weiler is the artist behind Posh Pets® Photography, offering beautiful bespoke portraits for the discerning pet. Karen has appeared on CP24’s Animal Housecalls and her work was featured in several publications, including Mother Nature Network, the Toronto Star and Country Living Magazine. While based in Toronto, she works with clients around the world to deliver a truly special Posh Pets® Experience.
I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Karen over coffee and we clicked right away! I knew for sure that my readers would love to learn more about her and her captivating photography. She agreed to do an interview for the PetsGo blog, and boy are we in for a treat! Thank you, Karen!
Can you describe your style of pet photography?
I describe it as bespoke portrait photography for posh pets. It’s about creating portraits that showcase the unique individual underneath all of that hair and fur. The result is captivating, quintessential, and timeless artwork of your dog or cat.
What makes Posh Pets® Photography different? Do you offer any special services?
A session with us is truly bespoke, which means it is custom and unique to you and your pet. In other words, no two sessions are exactly the same. The Design Consult is the foundation of the process and it is where we spend some time discussing the types of images you want to create. For example:
1. Do you want outside images during a certain season?
I can assure that a late Autumn session looks different from an early Winter session due to the change in the quality of light. And they can be only a couple of weeks apart, so timing is crucial.
2. Are there locations that are particularly meaningful to you and your family?
I’ve photographed dogs and cats at a client’s cottage, by the lake, downtown in front of the skyline, in a favourite park, with a treasured BMW or Rolls Royce…the options are endless.
3. Do you want to be in the images?
If so, we discuss the feel you want in your images, colour palettes and style.
4. Where do you want to display your images?
Clients often want wall art, so if you are looking for a large piece to go above your couch, we need to ensure that the colours and style we create within your images will go with your interior design.
Once the session is completed, we view your gallery together and decide how you want to display your images in a way that suits your style. Framed prints, acrylic, canvas…again, it will be your choice because it is your custom artwork.
Tell us about your most memorable or rewarding pet photography session.
I work with a number of rescues and shelters (more on that later) and, at this point, have photographed hundreds of cats and dogs. I always like to think of those animals now in loving forever homes, living great lives. So, it is always such a delight to receive a call from someone who adopted one of the animals I photographed, and who now wants a whole session to celebrate their lives together. Seeing a happy, healthy and well-loved pet is one of the greatest rewards of all.
What is the most challenging aspect of being a pet photographer?
Well, this is going to sound a bit silly, but it is the people. Why? Owners are like parents and they want their pets on their best behaviour when they meet me. Unfortunately, that nervous energy can rub off on their pet. I always repeat the same thing: I have no expectations from your dog. I do not know what they are capable of so almost anything they do is awesome. The images will be beautiful.
And you know what? They always are. Once you relax, your dog becomes a star!
What do you do to keep pets safe and comfortable during a shoot?
Safety is paramount! One thing that surprises most people when they look at my website is that a lot of the dogs were ‘on leash’ when those images were created. A portrait session is often a new experience for the pup and their owner. The location may be unfamiliar to your dog and has exciting new sights and smells that your dog is understandably eager to explore. One brave squirrel and your pup could be off, perhaps across a busy road! Using a leash allows us to ensure that they don’t stray too far.
Comfort is also important and I stress with each and every client that I will never ask your dog or cat to do anything that causes discomfort, anxiety or fear. Your pup should remember the session as an awesome time full of fun, treats and lots of love. That result is no accident and your pet’s comfort is carefully incorporated into every step of the experience, from the Design Consult, to the duration of the session.
I know you work with several rescues and organizations as a member of HeARTs Speak. Tell us more about that!
I love giving back to the pet community especially those who are still looking for their forever homes! Each month, I devote some time to photographing available adoptables for various rescue and shelter organizations in Toronto. When I travel, I will often contact the local shelter and offer to do the same for them. Statistics bear out that a great image of an animal increases their chances of getting adopted.
I belong to an organization called HeARTs Speak which is an organization of creatives (photographers, painters, graphic designers etc.) who all donate their time and abilities to helping homeless animals find loving homes.
How can we book a Posh Pets® Photography session?
It’s really simple! There are 3 ways to get in touch with me – choose the one that works for you:
Tel: (416) 568-2547
Karen Weiler of Posh Pets® Photography is an animal portrait photographer based in Toronto, Canada. She and her team create bespoke portrait experiences for the posh pet. Visit her website at: www.poshpetsphoto.com