Scottish portrait photography team Grahame and Allison Smith (who make up GWS Photography (opens in new tab)) have just been awarded the Scottish Pet Photographer of the Year accolade from The Master Photographers Association. They won with this brilliant shot of three cats poking through a paper roll.
The creative shot was captured using a Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and the Canon RF24-105mm F4 L IS USM (opens in new tab) lens, with an exposure of 1/200sec, f/10 and ISO400. Grahame has previously used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (opens in new tab) for similar photos.
At first you might think that this "paper poke" shot was accomplished with some Photoshop wizardry, but winner Grahame ensured us everything was done in camera. "There’s no trickery or fakery… we basically poke a hole in a paper roll," he explains. Makes sense, but how did the idea come about?
"We always get to the last 4 or 5 feet of the big studio paper rolls, and then one day we thought... “let’s not waste this!" It really is as simple as my wife Allison is behind the paper, and entices them to start looking through the hole we’ve made, then I'll be with a treat or toy in my left hand as I lie on the floor… enticing the pet out and capture them scampering forward. For the multiple pet pictures, like this award-winning cat one, the two owners got a cat each, and Allison the third. It works well with humans too!"
GWS Photography works with clients across Scotland, UK, and is a multiple award-winning provider of wedding and portrait photography. It recently opened a new studio at Wheatrig, Scotland in February 2022.
“Our pet photography has always been a huge part of the studio’s work” explains Grahame, “and we are always looking for something different to do. We even went on a dog first aid course recently. That’s how seriously we take it.”
The latest pet award will be added to the growing trophy cabinet of GWS Photography which, over the last few years has included Scottish Child Photographer of the Year and UK Children's Portrait Photographer of the Year.
Grahame and Allison expanded the GWS team in February by adding a studio baby photographer, and according to them, the bump, baby and cake-smash photos are already proving popular.
Find out more about GWS Photography and its work (opens in new tab).