I'm Kirsty, the photographer and owner of Dog&Co. My little biz started out as a passion project, photographing pets around Auckland part time, purely for the buzz it gave me...and it was really just an excuse to meet and cuddle dogs! But it quickly evolved into a full time job as I realised that I'm not the only super crazy dog fanatic in this city!
I am now a specialist in pet and family photography. Utilising the beautiful outdoor locations that Auckland has to offer, I am so passionate about using natural light to create vibrant & striking photographic art. I love highlighting the personality of your pets in gorgeous moments as well as capturing the bond between pets and their loved ones.
As well as on-location and studio photo shoots, I also travel to markets around Auckland doing photos on the spot for the lucky dogs who've accompanied their owners.
What two things have always brought me the most joy in life?
Animals & photography!
I have always been absolutely crazy about dogs. Like seriously obsessed. And photography has been a big part of my life since I got my first SLR camera at 12 years old. So to be able to bring my two passions together by doing pet photography is the ultimate dream come true! However, I never thought I could turn it into my job, and originally pushed it aside thinking it would only ever be a hobby, and that I should probably focus on getting a “real job”. Silly me.
Originally, I had convinced myself that screen production would suit me as a career option. I have always been a visually creative person and all the fun behind-the-scenes TV and movie stuff appealed to me throughout High School. So I began a three year degree at Massey University majoring in Media Studies, with the intention of going to film school after graduating.
During my three years at uni I had a part time job as a dog handler, working at Sharrow Boarding Kennels, out in West Auckland. I have always just had a natural knack for interacting with dogs, but working there honed my dog skills and intuition even more. Thankfully they tend to love me, just as much as I love them (thank god!).
That’s where it all began. I started wondering how I could ever move on to a job which didn’t involve dogs. How would I survive out there in the real world if I wasn’t constantly surrounded by these beautiful, hilarious, goofy and loving littles monsters 100% of the time? My heart won the race, and left my brain in the dust. I had to take the risk and focus my life on my passion, otherwise I just wouldn’t be happy.
Film school didn’t eventuate after I left uni. Instead, I worked full time at the kennels for two years while considering what my next move would be. It had to involve dogs, and it had to satisfy my need to be creative. There was only one option. Pet photography. My family’s dogs had always been my favourite subject to photograph. Imagine doing that professionally?! So began Dog&Co. At first I was doing it part time, while remaining at the kennels for a reliable income. Then it grew, and my confidence in my decision to pursue it grew. Two years later it is almost my full time job (there's always room for growth and improvement!). I can actually call myself a professional pet photographer. What!? I have never been so happy. And I even still do the odd casual day at the kennels. They can’t get rid of me. The more dogs I get to cuddle, the better.
meet my dog
In early 2016 my sister’s dog had a litter of puppies. The day that they were born, my boyfriend, Greyson, and I went to visit. Bad idea! He and I are both crazy dog people, and seeing a litter of puppies that weren’t even a day old yet tug at both of our hearts…even if they did look like little rats. We visited them constantly for the following couple of weeks, and it kind of became a given that one of those little fluff balls was going to be ours. There is no way we couldn’t. They were just. Too. Cute.
The day she turned 10 weeks old we brought her home with us. Now we couldn't imagine life without her. She is a little pocket rocket - there is nothing she loves more than being outside and exploring...yet she would also be quite happy to sleep the day away if she found a nice spot in the sun. She loves her cuddles and tends to squish as close as she can to one of us when having a nap. Also...we have not yet found a so-called "indestructible" chew toy which she hasn't chewed right through.
Keep an eye out for photos of Eve all over this website and my social media as she has become quite a skilled model. I mean, she has no choice since she's my pet photography guinea pig. But she doesn't complain as she gets paid in treats!