Photographer Catherine Ledner’s latest book captures dogs’ fanciest moments

By Helin Jung
Updated December 17, 2009 03:19 PM

The thing about shooting a book full of dogs, according to Glamour Dogs photographer Catherine Ledner, is that you end up with a studio covered in dog pee, dog hair and “dog smell everywhere.” Yes, it’s ruff stuff!

Ledner got over 100 canine applicants for the book, which features teacup Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, Shiba Inus, as well as Ledner’s three dogs, lounging on tufted sofas and jumping in front of ornate Chinoiserie wallpaper.

The California-based photographer had always wanted to work with dogs and make them glamorous, she tells, and Glamour Dogs was a way to make the dogs look a little more proud. The subjects were shot from a low angle so that they would look larger than life.

Her one rule in the studio was that no two dogs would ever encounter each other.

“Dogs are territorial creatures and when they’re on unfamiliar turf, it takes them a little bit to be relaxed,” Ledner says. “We did that so the dogs could feel like everything’s okay here – it’s safe, there are good treats, good toys, and then we would start shooting.”

Ledner and her crew tried many types of treats, and discovered that boiled chicken worked the best. Though she primarily does portraits, lifestyle and travel photographs of people, Ledner changed her style for this project, barking and acting like a dog in order to get into her subjects’ world.

“The photos captured something different in them,” Ledner says, and she opens her book with the line, “I am a thing of beauty.”

Glamour Dogs ($30) is available for purchase online and at Anthropologie stores, and Ledner plans to offer prints of the dogs on her Web site and on Etsy.