Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Settling in to life in New York

Mischka amongst the spring tulips in Washington Square Park

We are into our third week of being back in NYC and we are loving it. Life is a far cry from the quiet relaxing lifestyle we lead living in our small rural village in the South of France, but the change is a welcome one! Spring is in full bloom, giving the city a fresh and vibrant feel. Dogs and owners are out in force and I am meeting some wonderful new canine characters to add to my list of dogs to photograph for The New York Dog book.

The first couple of weeks have been spent location hunting and spreading the word again about the project, as well as finding our feet and figuring out places Charlize can go with her Au Pair Hannah, to keep her entertained while Andy and I work on the project. Its quite different from capturing images for The French Cat and The French Dog books; it wasn't always necessary to get permission prior to capturing images in France, whereas here in NY it's a different ball game; it is imperative I seek permission prior to pushing the trigger!!! Therefore there is a lot more planning involved to bring together the perfect dogs and locations to showcase the best of a dogs life in New York. The size of New York City is quite daunting, but we are excited to try and cover as many areas and aspects as physically possible within the 5 months we are here.... it is going to be a challenging but fantastic project to create.

Lucy and Linus frolicking in the fountain in Central Park

Bella and Bear playing ball under a blossom tree in Central Park

Justin and Hades hanging out in Stuyvesant Square

Tough Guy Hades strikes a pose

Spring time in Central Park with Lulu and Jess

Charlize giving her new friend Lucy a cuddle

Friday, 22 February 2013

Can't wait to get back to NY!!!

Merlin playing ball in Dumbo

I have been back in France for just over a week and I am chomping at the bit to get back to New York to continue shooting for The New York Dog Project. Though I am enjoying the peace and quiet of rural life in the South of France, it was so wonderful to be amongst the hustle and bustle of life in The Big Apple. Each day we are receiving more and more emails from dog owners keen to give their loyal companions the chance of fame amongst the pages of the book, a big thanks to everyone that is spreading the word! The characters and stories we are receiving are adorable, and full of inspiration, which is making my mind boggle with ideas....... thank goodness we are now heading back sooner, planning to land on New York soil in mid April, YAY!!!

Ruby leaps the fence in Central Park

I am slowly working my way through the post-production of the images I created during my 10 day 'winter' trip, I am thrilled with some of the images, and I hope you all are too, I would love some feedback. The people and the dogs I have met and had the pleasure to photograph so far have been amazing, a taste of what I know is to come, this really is going to be an incredible project! Thanks again to everyone that has helped out so far, we couldn't do this without your support, it is a lot of work for Andy and I, but we are the faces behind this project and our passion and belief in it seems to be rubbing off on everyone we meet. 

Tiki hanging out in Jersey Street, Noho

Andy and I would like to shout out a huge thanks to a handful of people who have been incredibly kind and generous with their time, assisting us with the development of this project, you all hopefully know who you are but just to remind you that we are extremely grateful...... Tracy, James, Ginetta, Nancy, Tricia, Darcy, and my wonderful niece Laura! We would also like to offer a enormous thanks to all that have made a contribution so far to our crowd-funding campaign, we still have a long way to go, and a very short time frame to get there, but again a huge THANKS!!!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Snow in New York!

Celeste & Ollie in Central Park during the start of the blizzard
I can't quite believe how lucky we have been with the weather! I have been praying for snow to hit New York for the last couple of months; I had pretty much given up on it arriving, so booked our flights anyway so we could at least get some wintery images for the book. Two days after we arrived news hit that the worst snow storm in a century was about to engulf the city, OMG, sorry New Yorkers, but I was SO happy!!! The blizzard started on Friday morning with more of a wet snow but that didn't stop Andy and I venturing into Central Park along with a number of other brave dog owners! Along with getting drenched we captured some beautiful scenery, it is amazing how snow can transform a scene, making the vista of Central Park so different from what we had seen the day before.

Rocketman patiently waiting for his ball

We have only been here for a couple of days and already we have met so many gorgeous dogs and owners, everyone has been so friendly and enthusiastic about the project, its wonderful and incredibly encouraging. The aim during this 10 day visit is to make as many contacts as possible, capture some winter images for the book, location hunting and researching areas for when we come back in the summer to create the bulk of the images for the book.

Valentino enjoying the snow in Fort Tryon Park, North Manhattan

Saturday morning we were up and out of the hotel at 6.30am, the height of the Blizzard had hit between 7pm and 2am, Manhattan was under at least a foot of snow and I have never seen the streets so deserted. By the time we had walked to Central Park, every man and his dog was out, it was a beautiful sight, it was such a joy to see so many happy excited and playful dogs LOVING the snow! The sun was out by mid morning when we got to Fort Tryon Park in North Manhatten, where we spent a good two hours with our new friends Jim and Ginetta and their gorgeous dogs Valentino and Geisha. The New Yorkers were in full snow mode, kids and parents were sledging down hills and staircases, dogs were frolicking everywhere, it was magical.

Mischka looking for the raccoon she saw in the fountain a few months back!

This trip has already been so fulfilling and we still have 5 days to go....... it has been wonderful to meet the team at The Humane Society of New York, they are all very excited about the project; they do an incredible job for the animals of this city and it will be an honour to be able to raise money through this project to assist them with the care they give. Tomorrow we are meeting with the team at Abrams Publishing, the publishing house that has produced my French series here in America and will be taking on The New York Dog. The greatest part has been meeting all the dogs, and building relationships for when we return.

Chaika, Cali & Sibi in Central Park the day before the snow arrived

One thing I have discovered during this visit is just how vast New York City is, it is going to be a huge project to cover the areas and show a true reflection of the New York Dog. We are on the streets making contacts and handing out leaflets, but we still need help with spreading the word. So please pass on the website and tell your friends with dogs here in New York to be in touch. We also need you to get behind the indiegogo campaign to help get this book produced. So please take a moment to view the campaign and if you can spare a few dollars, please make a pledge, every little bit helps to get this great project off the ground. http://igg.me/p/304538/x/2010186

The beautiful Cali in Central Park