I’m Craig; FURtographer, animal obsessor and cat daddy to three boys with varying lengths of fur. I can barely remember a moment in my life when animals were not a huge part of it. Growing up I would dig the garden for worms and search ivy bushes for snails with my poppa. After school I would often watch National Geographic documentaries on VHS (remember those?) instead of kids TV.
We had a whole menagerie of pets; gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, birds, cats, a dog, 2 snakes, 2 water dragons and a chameleon, though not all at once! My first ever job was at the Parrot House and Guernsey Bird Gardens, where I went on to be head keeper. Working there is where I found my passion for photography, I simply had to capture the beauty I saw in the birds I was working with.
VIEW MY FULL PORTFOLIO
Check out some of my personal favourites from previous Furtography sessions, I guarantee it’ll leave you wanting to book your furbaby in for their own photo shoot.
HOW I GOT STARTED
In 1998 I started working in a photography store and as a photographer in my spare time, the Guernsey Bird Gardens had closed its doors due to a huge downturn in tourism on the island so I pointed my camera in any direction I could. Portraits and weddings and local wildlife. But photographing anything that wasn’t an animal didn’t feel right, I didn’t connect with the hoo-ha of a wedding in the same way I did with the images I was taking of my pets and other animals. In 2001 I finally realised I could combine my two loves and I started photographing pets for other people. My journey as a photographer finally had a purpose and I haven’t looked back since!
I left the beautiful island of Guernsey, where my husband and I both grew up, in 2009. We were seeking new adventures on the other side of the world after getting a taste of greener grasses whilst travelling in 2006-7. We settled in Christchurch, New Zealand. It’s fair to say it has been a bumpy road, quite literally in many cases, but Christchurch is now the place we call home. A home we share with Jazz, Mr Tinkles & Millefeuille, our 3 cats.
LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND
Since moving to New Zealand, life hasn’t been short of opportunities and I have embraced each and every one of them. My biggest achievements being the publication of 3 books; Quake Dogs, Quake Cats and A Dog’s Life. All of which have gone on to become best-sellers. My volunteer work with several charities is also something I am proud of. Photographing adoptable pets for these charities is something I believe really helps place them in forever homes faster. I’ve become an ambassador for the Kotuku Foundation for Assistance Animals Aotearoa. In 2018 I was awarded the title of New Zealand Portrait Photographer of the Year in the Open Category of the NZIPP Iris Awards. The first time someone has won the title in 80 years with images of non-humans! I also won the Canterbury Westland Regional Photographer of the Year, a handful of medals at the Australian Institute of Professional Photography awards, 3rd place in the Assistance Animals category in the internationally renowned Dog Photographer of the Year awards run by the UK Kennel Club and an honourable mention in the International Photography Awards (the Lucies).
2018 was the Chinese year of the dog. For us it was quite literally the year of the dog when Ralph joined the family. Even though I’ve been working with dogs for many years, Ralph is our first ever family dog! It’s been amazing to watch him grow, it hasn’t been without challenges, puppies are REALLY naughty when you don’t give them back after an hour, but Chris and I are besotted puppy parents and the cats are slowly coming around to him sharing their space!
SO WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
As a fellow animal lover, you will already know that each and every one of our pets has their own unique personality. My aim as a photographer is to capture that personality and commit it into a photograph. To make those fleeting moments that make your pet special a permanent memory. I love capturing the crazy moments too, rest assured that if there’s a yawn, a lick, a shake or some other crazy moment going on during a photo shoot, I’ll be clicking my shutter in the right direction.
We all know our pets aren’t with us for nearly as long as we’d like, but how fantastic is it that you can have a lasting image made that perfectly shows what made them them, that you can look back on for years to come, smile and say with fondness ‘that was my furbaby’.
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NZIPP/Nikon Iris Awards: New Zealand Portrait Open Photographer of the Year 2018.
Furtography is based in Christchurch, New Zealand and serves clients throughout New Zealand and worldwide.
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