Monday, 30 July 2018

Aberdeenshire Dog Photography, Holidays at Home, Chickens, Ticks and Other Observations...

Another few weeks have passed in a hot, hazy daze.  Our little family were on holiday for a few of those weeks and as always, steps were taken to ensure the hairiest member of the household could join us.  Who needs the South of France anyway?  It's been so gorgeous here I wouldn't have had it any other way.  By "here" I mean Aberdeen - the holidays were enjoyed on Skye and Portsoy.

Not perhaps the best of times for dog photography sessions - the heat has caused a few postponements and quite rightly so.  Evenings are often best at this time of the year anyway, especially with active or elderly animals.

Just before the heat kicked in, I was out in the countryside meeting a couple of very lovely dogs for an evening session but before I even reached the front door, I was captivated by the friendly chickens running round the yard.  Would have been rude not to take a few photos but I can't imagine you'll be seeing a full time chicken photographer website any time soon...

Photo of a chicken by Jamie Emerson

Both these dogs were just lovely to work with - very distinct personalities.  Their owners had brought back some beautiful bandanas from their honeymoon ( see?  Even when we're not with them, we're always thinking about them! ) and I was keen to get them in shot.

Aberdeenshire dog photographer hairy dog

At any session, the idea is to get a really good variety of photographs for the owners.  Everything from heartfelt portraiture to full on, nuclear powered, paws off the ground action!

Dog portrait photography outdoors by Jamie Emerson

Blurred background photo of a dog by Jamie Emerson

As you can see, the light levels were pretty low and as the session progressed, it grew ever dimmer - no wonderful golden light on this evening.  So out came the strobes / flashguns.  In the photo below, it's hopefully not immediately apparent that extra light has been added - I try to keep it looking natural unless I'm going for off-the-scale drama.  If you have a close look though, you can see where Benson's legs and tail are slightly blurred through movement whilst a blink of diffused flash on a stand to the right has stopped the motion in his head and ears.  And believe me, Benson is a fast fellow so the flash was entirely warranted!

Hairy dog photography action photograph

Ticks - what are they for?!!

Finally, at this time of year, dogs spend their whole lives doing their best to become infested with ticks.  Seriously though, it's almost unavoidable if you walk in the Scottish countryside.  And with this infestation come the many, many posts on Facebook, along the lines of, "OMIGOD my dog has a tick, what shall I do??!"

And out come all the auld wives' tales.  Cover them in vaseline, put out a ciggy on them, spray frontline on it, rub widdershins round the tick until it falls off, only twist them clockwise, etc, etc.

I'm not about to start handing out advice on which tick-repellent works best but I can say for sure that all the above methods are a load of old toot and covering a tick with anything to "suffocate" it, rubbing at it to annoy it or burning it are all good ways to ensure the insect vomits directly into the host's bloodstream with the attendant risk of disease.

Kasper gets loads - below are a few phone snaps...  Sorry...  My method is to carefully part the fur without disturbing the tick - if it gets a fright, it'll bury in deeper - you can see it happening.  Then just grab it as close to the dog's skin as possible with tick teezers, normal tweezers or any other removal tool and wheech it oot smartly before it knows what's going on.  Simple and effective.  I've also used my thumbnail and index finger when tweezers haven't been available.

Large tick next to coin for scale

Yuck.  Anyway, happy Summer dog walking and do just get in touch if you'd like some beautiful, happy, sunny photos of your dogs :-)

Aberdeen dog photographer


Friday, 15 June 2018

How To Prepare For a Dog Photography Session with Hairy Dog.

Dog photography in and around Aberdeen is always going to be a bit hit or miss, given that despite it being Summer, we are still seeing a fair bit of haar and the odd rain shower.  I recently added an FAQ section to my website ( Hairy Dog Photography FAQs ) and am struggling a wee bit to remember all the questions I've been asked over the years.  Most potential issues can be preempted by a few sensible measures; take the dog(s) for a swift walk before the session, especially if they're a bit rambunctious, bring treats and toys but only if that's what the dog's used to, choose a dry walk if they've just been groomed, etc, etc.

With that in mind, please contact me though the Hairy Dog Photography Abedeen website if you can think of anything I should be adding to the list.  As always, I'm striving to make the whole experience enjoyable and stress free for both dogs and humans :-)

funny dog photo by hairy dog photography
Upstaged again...  I can't guarantee every photo will be a keeper!

One of the many joys of photographing dogs is that if it's dingin' doon with rain or hailstones, we can just reschedule.  After years of wedding photography, it took me several more years of photographing dogs to get used to the idea that it's OK to do this!  With weddings, obviously, there's less wiggle room (i.e., none) - you just have to get on and make the most of whatever's being thrown at you...

Black labrador jumping by Jamie Emerson, dog photographer Aberdeen

For outdoor sessions though, the one thing I do need is light.  Ideally, soft morning or evening light - golden hour if possible, or even glorious midday sunshine.  Sunset shoots can work very well, especially with older or less zoomy dogs.  I do use flash here and there, either for dramatic impact, to overcome very bright sunshine or if it's just plain dull.  It's also very useful in woods to stop the dappled light from creating patterns on the subject as it filters through the leaves - it just evens the light out nicely.

GSD photograph by Haiy Dog, Aberdeen photographer

The question asked more often than any other is, "My dog won't really sit still - how will you take his photo?"  A quick look through the Hairy Dog gallery or Hairy Dog Facebook page should put your mind at rest.  So far, I've never met a dog which can't be photographed (touch wood!).  And that includes greyhounds, whippets, mad spaniels and puppies with absolutely zero training.  It's amazing what a bit of patience, combined with a few squeaky toys and my ability to make all manner of weird noises can do!  Also, as the photos show, I do tend to specialise in a bit of action photography, as well as heartfelt portraiture.

Bonio ring and terrier by Jamie Emerson, Aberdeen dog photographer
Patience you must have, my young Padawan...

Bring the whole family on your Hairy Dog Photography session!
Beautiful black and white spaniel photograph by Hairy Dog Photography
Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog

Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog

Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog, this is bokeh

Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog, welsh springer

Swimming cockapoo by Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog
He was just at the blooming groomers yesterday!!!   #@@#@!!****

Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog

Aberdeen dog photographer, Jamie Emerson of Hairy Dog
Bulldog not chewing a wasp at a Hairy Dog Photography Session...
So if you're consideing a family photo session this Summer, or if it's just that you'd love some photos of the hairiest family member, do get in touch! There are a few special offers running right now - please like the Hairy Dog Facebook Page to get first look at current dog photography offers.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Dog Walks and Photography around Aberdeen

Hairy Dog Photography in Aberdeen

Since moving back home to Aberdeen late in 2017, I've been hugely enjoying finding all the most interesting dog walks straight from the new house at the West of the city.  And of course, the camera comes too if there's even a hint of decent light, so the dog now has an impressive photographic portfolio incorporating the beautiful Aberdeen landscape!

Hairy Dog Photography in Aberdeen

It's also been fantastic to find so many dog-friendly cafes and pubs throughout the region.  A good cup of coffee and perhaps a bit of cake on a Winter dog walk is always welcome and Kasper the dog is usually delighted to get into the warm for 20 minutes - some establishments even offer biscuits and water too!  Some of our newly discovered walks require a drive to get to and although I could start listing all the great places we've visited (or revisited) it's probably best if you enjoy discovering them yourself - all part of the fun and there are plenty of apps and Facebook groups for that sort of thing :-)

The website is now back up and running, Hairy Dog Photography has started to appear on Google and I've finally got round to updating my portfolio which you can see on the Facebook page or on the dog photography aberdeen gallery site.  Whilst updating the portfolio, I was happy to come across some lovely but neglected photos on various old hard drives - I'll pop a few up here.

pug photo, jumping pug dog photography, aberdeen

Given that dog photo gift vouchers fairly flew out the door at Christmas time, you can expect lots of interesting new locations to be featured on the blog and Hairy Dog Facebook page very soon.  I was in two minds about covering the whole of Aberdeenshire rather than just the city limits but am very glad I did so - wouldn't want to miss out on all the surrounding countryside and amazing photo opportunities!

Monday, 4 December 2017

Gift Vouchers for Aberdeen Dog Lovers!

Just the perfect Christmas present for dogs and owners.

A Hairy Dog Photography gift voucher is much more than just a pretty card in a flashy envelope...  It's a long lasting reminder of happy times with the hairiest member of the family and as presents go, it's always genuinely appreciated - a gift with some thought behind it!
Book your Dog Photography Gift Voucher here!

When you buy a gift voucher, you'll receive a physical card to write your own message in - there's a brief explanation of the process inside and contact details on the back.  The lucky recipient is entitled to a one hour photo session in the location of their choice, within about 25 miles of Aberdeen City.  Further afield is fine too with a bit of prior discussion.

A few weeks after the session, they'll be sent a link to an online gallery to showcase between 30 - 40 beautifully finished images.  Each photograph is worked on individually to ensure it looks its absolute best.  They can then choose which two they'd like printed at 9x6" and I'll have them made at a professional lab on archival photo paper.

Hairy Dog Photography gift vouchers, Aberdeen

The session itself is mostly about having fun in a lovely location - this could be the dog's favourite walk or perhaps somewhere new and interesting!  I'll liaise with the owner to make sure we get decent weather and a time and place that suits everyone.  Over the years, I've learnt exactly what to take with me (and what not to take) so everywhere from fields to mountains are within reach.

Humans are encouraged to have a few photos with their dogs but I won't bully anyone into having their photo taken - it can be all about the dog :-)
hairy dog photography gift vouchers aberdeen

Find out more on the Hairy Dog Photography website, see some recent work on the Hairy Dog Facebook Page or go ahead and buy a voucher or book a session HERE.  If you have any questions, please do just drop me an email at or use the Hairy Dog Contact Form on the website.  Alternatively, just call me on 07866127732 :-)

Jamie Emerson hairy dog photography aberdeen

Friday, 27 October 2017

Aberdeen Dog Photography Housewarming Offer

A New Chapter for Hairy Dog Photography...
... and a Very Special Dog Photography Offer in Aberdeen...

After many (many!) months of waiting, we have finally sold our house near Durham and are now living back in Aberdeen, after a 15 year absence!.  We haven't moved in to the new house quite yet - everything seems to happen with all the haste of a glacier moving through syrup...  However, I'm now up and running in Grampian, offering the same services as before - tip-top dog and family photography ready to be turned into stunning art for your walls.  Bad jokes are all part of the service too.  The Hairy Dog website has had a bit of an Autumnal spruce up and I think I've removed all references to NE England...

hairy dog photography, special offer aberdeen photography, pet photographer aberdeen

As a sort of housewarming gift, it seemed a good idea to run a short special offer, so I've slashed the session fee to just £40 instead of the usual £70.  This still includes an hour long session on location, two 9x6" prints and an online gallery to view your images.  As always, each and every photo is worked on individually and you can expect about 30 photographs to choose from.  If you'd like to know more about dog photography in Aberdeenshire, please click through to the Hairy Dog booking page.  You can read some of the most common questions about a dog photo session too.  The offer lasts until the 1st of December, so don't wait too long!  You can buy your session now but you don't have to use it straight away - any time before the end of April 2018 is fine.

Also, don't forget that dog photography gift vouchers are available - starting at £70 they're a great gift for those friends who are constantly covered in dog hair and mud :-)

Hope to meet some of you soon!


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Last Chance for Heavily Discounted Doggy Photoshoots!

Very Last Gasp for Better than Half Price Photo Sessions

All through the Spring and early Summer, Hairy Dog Photography has been running better than half price, last minute photo sessions, mainly due to the house being up for sale and an uncertainty about where I would be in a month's time!  Well sadly, the house still hasn't sold so it looks like you're stuck with me for at least a few more months!  And this means that prices will be returning to normal on the 15th of August.

Current offers are; just £35 for a full, one hour session in Herrington Park or at Penshaw Monument / woods instead of the usual £70.  This includes an online gallery to view your photos and two 9x6” prints.

Alternatively, just £85 for the same session without the prints but with ALL your full sized photos available as a download to print, share and copy as often as you like.  This would normally cost £290, so it really is a massive saving.

You don't have to use your session straight away but it does need to be bought and booked before the 15th of August, even if your booking isn't until September.  There are only so many sessions I can squeeze in between now and the 15th, so please do get in touch now to secure your booking.

To buy your session, please email me at, message me through my Facebook page: call me on 07866127732 or just use the 'Contact' button at the top of this page.

If you have a location in mind, I'm happy to travel within 10 miles of DH44LN at no extra cost if you're buying the £85 package.  Mileage is charged at 40 pence per mile after that.

Discount photoshoots in Sunderland, Durham and Newcastle for dogs


  • Why choose Hairy Dog?  Established back in 2011, Hairy Dog is the North East's go-to place for all things dog photography.  With over a decade of working in photography, you can be sure of a reliably brilliant service every time.

  • What if it's raining on the day of my session?  It does happen and I'm completely flexible when it comes to rescheduling.  I'd rather wait a few days and get the best possible photos of your dog than send you away with photos of a soggy dog!

  • How do I pay for my session?  PayPal is usually the easiest and most secure way but you can also use bank transfer or I can take payment in person with my card reader.  I do ask that all sessions are prepaid at the time of booking.

  • Can I bring my family along?  Yes, yes and a thousand times yes!  Please do!  I love getting the family involved in photo sessions.

  • I have three dogs - is that extra?  No, you can bring as many dogs as you like, so long as they all live in the same household.

  • Can I buy extra photos, framed photos or canvas prints etc?  Yes, I can take care of everything for you with an amazing range of ready to hang products but there's absolutely no obligation and no hard sell!

  • My dog won't sit still - is that a problem?!  Not really - I specialise in action photography and you'd be amazed how often I'm able to get some beautifully lit photos of even the most restless dogs!

If that sounds like something you or a friend would like to take advantage of, please do just send me a message / email or give me a call to book your session whilst they're still on offer - these offers will end on August 15th, so please don't wait too long!

dog photography at penshaw, herrington, north east, newcastle

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Half Price Dog and Family Photoshoots

For one month only...

...  Hairy Dog Photography is offering half price photography sessions in Herrington Country Park.  If you've been thinking about having some professional photos of your dog for a while, now's a good time to dive in!  The sun is (mostly) shining, the mud is (mostly) drying up and the world is finally beginning to get green again.

Your one hour session includes a web gallery and a 9x6" print, all for just £35 instead of the usual £70.  The only thing I ask is that the session is held in Herrington Park where there's a good mix of backdrops - everything from woodland to open grassy areas.

Although I specialise in natural photos of your dog in action, I'm just at home taking lovely still portraits too, so don't worry if your dog is easily distracted or not allowed off their lead.

 It's super easy to book your session.  Just call me (Jamie) on 07866127732 / 01915845442 or drop me an email at

Why the big discount?  Well, after 12 lovely years of being a photographer here in NE England, Hairy Dog is moving to Aberdeen, so I'm happy to offer this 'last minute' discount to new and existing clients.

In short then;

  • Payment must be made prior to your session - please call or email to schedule
  • Your session should be taken between 18th March 2017 and 18th April 2017
  • Session cost is £35, including web gallery, one hour photoshoot and print
  • All sessions to be held in Herrington Country Park
  • You can buy any other prints and products from your gallery but there is absolutely no hard sell at all
  • Feel free to bring the whole family if you'd like some informal, professional photos of them too!

A few FAQs...

  • What if it's raining?  I'm always happy to reschedule.  No-one likes photos of a soggy dog
  • Can I bring more than one dog?  Yes - so long as both dogs are part of the same household
  • My dog is reactive / not allowed of the lead - is this OK?  Absolutely yes!  The park is large enough that we can always find a quiet corner, even on the busiest days

    So please do get in touch today for this last-gasp offer from Hairy Dog
discount photoshoot, north east pet photography discount, half price photoshoot, hairy dog photography