Beyond the Frame: Research

To start off thinking further into what I want to do for the module Beyond the Frame I have begone researching my first idea for a project titled Companions in order to get an idea on whether it’s the kind of project I want to do.

When looking at current pet photography it is always very light and fluffy, the images are taken in a bright location and everyone is smiling and having a good time. For my project even though I want to capture the relationship between animal and human I want to do it in a different way that moves away from the typical photography you get.

One of the first pet photographers was Ines Opifanti and her project The Dog People this is a very light and comical set of images where she captured the owners pulling similar faces to their dogs.

Conceptually I think that this is a really interesting way to photograph people and their dogs, especially doing them in a studio and having the owners dress very simply so there aren’t any distractions. However this is not the sort of direction I personally want to go with my project.

Another photographer that I found had interesting work combining animals and humans was Katerina Plotnikova.

For these surreal portraits Plotnikova uses real animals, and I think that this – in a way I am intrigued to do celebrates the relationship we have with animals in a natural way. Both animal and subject seem very relaxed in the pictures and even with most of her images they human and animal have similar features, whether it’s hair colour or skin tone.

Lastly during my research and trying to find more historic images of people and their pets I stumbled on a blog ( who included lots of the type of images I was looking for.

I am fascinated by these photographs, especially as there is a major contrast between the sepia toned images and the black and white one of the girl and her two cats. In the older images the exposure would have been longer so they’re not smiling in the photographs whereas she is. The dogs in each of the older photographs must have sat very still for the images not to have come out blurry, something I have discovered with some animals is that they don’t want to stay still for very long so a faster shutter speed is required.

After beginning my research I have actually decided to change the direction on my idea and am going to research more into photographing the human eye as a project instead, I think that as most of the project is still undecided I will find I can experiment with it more.   I did feel however that I would still post what research I did on my companions project for future reference if I decide to carry it on in the future.



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