Andy has always had a passion and love for dogs, especially large breeds, and got his first dog, a Saint Bernard, over 25 years ago. After the dog passed away, Andy couldn't imagine life without another 4-legged companion, which is how he ended up with his first Great Dane. Together they started taking part in and photographing dog shows first in Europe, then around the world. This new found hobby grew quickly, and before Andy knew it, more than 10 years had flown by.
Then in Summer 2016, the coincidence occurred. Good friends of Andy asked if he would professionally photograph their 2-year old daughter, Alice. Andy agreed, and they decided to conduct the shoot in a well known park. As it just so happened the couple also brought along their Great Dane, Sean, who ended up becoming part of the photo shoot.
|2-year old Alice and her Great Dane, Sean|
|3-year old, Fedor, and Newfoundland, Ringo|
Photographing children, especially children so young, comes with it's own unique set of challenges that have to be cleverly overcome. For example, when Andy was asked to photograph Alexandra and her harlequin Great Dane, he and her mother were both struggling to find ways to calm the capricious 2-year old. As it just so happened, Alexandra loved to play with electronics, and when her mother handed her a small compact camera, she started playing the game "photographer" taking pictures of her dog as the model. It was then that Andy went to work to capture these energetic, intriguing, and interactive moments of fun between dog and child.
|2-year old, Alexandra, and her harlequin Great Dane, Zara|
|3-year old, Lisa, and Leonberger Dogs|
Andy also conducted action shoots to again capture the communication, love, and joy between children and animals while playing sports.
|Young boy with 4 Bracco Italiano Dogs|
"The main priority for this photography series wasn't just to make a beautiful photo, but to achieve and show communication and condition of contact between child and animal."Andy recalled the exact date that the series began, 24 July, 2016. The locations for the photo shoots are all natural places where the models usually walk with their dogs. In the future Andy would love to photograph a Komondor, which is a Hungarian sheepdog, but also many more large breeds. He is, however, cautious about photographing Terrier breeds with children, unless the child grew up with the dog. A common re-occurrence Andy is noticing is that families do not often introduce large breed dogs when they have small children, the exception being that the child was born into a family that already had a large breed dog. More often then not the children have grown up and moved away when the dogs join the family. So in these cases where owners still would like to participate in the series and request to have a photo shoot, they are instead bringing their grandchildren or children of friends and acquaintances, and therefore the dogs and children are already familiar.
|2-year old, Anechka, and her Dogue de Bordeaux|
"The work with this series is at the beginning. I hope to capture and present the maximum number of representatives of large breed dogs. The love to dogs and children makes people better!"
|Click here to see more photos of Little Kids and Their Big Dogs|