It’s a Hawaii Dog’s Life – Dog Portraits in Hawaii


It’s a Hawaii Dog’s Life – Dog Portraits in Hawaii


I don’t know what you have heard, but the real beach boys (and girls) are not a band from California, but the canines of Hawai’i!


It’s so much fun to be a dog in Hawai’i: you get to jump into the ocean, chase sticks, roll in the sand, explore the jungle, sniff all the tropical flowers, ride in cool convertible cars, and sometimes even surf boards. Talk about a dog’s life! Where’s the contract?



A couple of months ago I was asked by a publisher to photograph a series of dogs for a Paws in Paradise calendar. Of course, the images were needed in a rush (what’s new?), so I did a two-day dog-a-thon around O’ahu, snapping pics as fast as I could before driving off to the next randez vous. The weather held, in spite of the gloomy forecast, and we never got rained on, just very windblown. With lots of beach time, that meant lots of sand… everywhere! It was the exhausting kind of fun, and I got to photograph 21 super cute dogs and meet their wonderful humans. Dog people are the best, don’t you think? Or maybe I should say animal people.



This is just a selection of the over 500 images I captured. The calendar should be out in a couple of months. Only five out of twelve images in the calendar will be mine as, apparently, my dogs were not humanized (read: dressed and set up with cheesy props) enough, but it is still a fun project to have been part of.



I will be announcing the availability of the calendar through my Facebook page and Twitter account, so, if you are interested, you can follow me on either of those, or even on my blog, and get updates.



A quick tip on photographing dogs:

Unless you are photographing a mellow dog in an indoor setting, move away from Manual mode (M) on your camera and use Aperture priority (A) setting instead. That way you will be able to quickly choose the depth of field desired depending on light and circumstance, and the shutter speed will be automatically optimized for you. This is very helpful when you are chasing after dogs that move about a lot – as most dogs do when out of doors – and in strong and ever changing lighting conditions like you get in Hawai’i. You don’t want to miss any of those cute antics and hilarious expressions!




By the way: in Hawai’i, a dog of mixed breeds is called a Poi Dog. )~


Guest blogger: Monica Schwartz


About Monica Schwartz:

Monica Schwartz is an Italian expat and professional photographer living in Hawai’i. She specializes in portrait, food and travel photography and shares her work, explorations and passions through her website and three blogs which all interlink with one another. You can start from any one and you will find the rest. 

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