You may remember the name Grace Chon. She’s the photographer behind the viral series Jasper and Zoey where she paired her adorable young son next to their rescue dog. It turns out that Grace is a pet photographer by trade, she shoots photos of dogs, cats and more and has a large portfolio of work to show for it. On her website, one of the sections I accidentally stumbled across is called Funny Bones. Why did she create this separate section? “Dogs are inherently really funny creatures,” she said. “Aside from the obvious things like they smell each other’s butts to say hi and they have no problem eating poop, dogs are just funny. They’re like furry preschoolers that never throw tantrums. And like kids, each and every dog has their own very funny characteristics and quirks. As an animal photographer I strive to capture emotion – whether it’s a soulful look, a poignant moment between human and animal, or a hilarious unscripted moment from a dog. Funny Bones is a compilation of the funny stuff.”
Out of the 30 or so photos in the section, I picked out seven of my favorites. These images spotlight smartly dressed dogs who are overflowing with personality. More than anything, these funny photos show the hilarious side of the pet owner, the dog itself, and, of course, the photographer.
I got to ask Grace what she’s learned about shooting dogs over the years and here’s what she told me. “I’ve learned to go with the flow. I like to say that I’m not making the dogs work for me, because we are working together. I don’t make dogs do things they don’t want to do. If something isn’t working, owners oftentimes want to keep making the dog try but I just like to move onto the shot. It keeps the dog happy and makes the shoot more about a collaboration between the dog and I. When the dog is unhappy or uncomfortable, believe me, it shows in the shot. The dogs I photograph look happy and look like they’re having fun because they are!”
Finally, how does she catch dogs showing such funny expressions? “I really just go with the flow and let the present unfold in front of me,” she said. “I am really relaxed when I shoot and capture what I can without forcing moments.”
(The first and last photo are my favorites.)