We all love taking pictures of our dogs, but photographer Greg Murray turned his passion into a career. Murray, who shot this month’s Pet Lovers’ Guide, takes artful pup portraits by coaxing adorable expressions out of canines — often by using treats. His third book, Peanut Butter Puppies, comes out March 16. We talked to Murray about what it’s like to have our dream job.
I love getting to work with animals all day. It’s challenging to get that amazing photo, but I enjoy that challenge and that it’s going to make people happy. The first thing I do when they come into my studio is take 15 minutes to develop a relationship with them — hang out and play with them, give them treats and let them know it’s safe. During the shoot, I’m holding my camera in one hand and a treat or a tennis ball directly over the lens. It takes extreme patience, taking one photo and then having the dog run away to play and then come back and take another. Sometimes I just give them a bunch of peanut butter or even just kind of throw it on their face and capture their reaction. I primarily take headshots because it forces you to look into their eyes. It’s fun to capture their personality. Sometimes I think about how silly and simple it is, but it just makes people laugh and smile, and I feel so lucky to be able to do something like this. — as told to Dillon Stewart