The classic cop story: a devious crime, a detailed investigation, an exciting high-speed chase, an intense interrogation, a news conference with flashing popping as the police show off their impressive bust. Except this one involves more drool, flying fur, and a gruesome pile of bones. Dog bones that is.
The Waterloo Region Police approached me with a very unique task – to create a kickass K9 Calendar to raise serious funds for Special Olympics Ontario. I needed to keep the guns to a minimum and limit the donut jokes, but apart from that, I was free to do as I liked with the project.
It’s rare to be given create carte-blanche on an assignment, so I put my thinking cap on. I could keep things simple – a dozen ‘hero dog’ photos at locations around the Waterloo region, shot from below to make our K9s look mighty? Naah – too easy! How about highlighting the dogs’ unique talents of tracking down missing people and suspects? Hmm getting warmer. Maybe I can get my dog into the photos somehow? True to character, maybe she can be a criminal? Got it! Photograph iconic police movie scenes as a 12 image story where the dogs are the cops and incorporate as many humorous doggy and police stereotypes as possible. Now, this was a cool idea!
The images I wanted to create were really specific and I had to be sure that I wasn’t taking up too much time of the in-demand police pups, so I needed to plan these photos out in a big way. My drawing skills don’t compare to my photoshop skills, so with the inspiration of Brooklyn 99 reruns, I morphed hundreds of objects into each month’s mockup, paying special attention to perspective, storytelling, and where each subject would be placed. As I specialize in photographing animals, I wanted to incorporate little jokes that dog owners would get – a police chase through an agility course, chewed up pencils, barking at a squirrel up a tree, hiding bones in a big hole.
With the Chief’s rubber stamp, we were off to the races. Location scouting, prop sourcing, and dog trick training – I needed those guilty criminal dog eyes on cue!
The commanding inspector, inquisitive detective, goofy desk officer, good cop, bad cop and a pointed hot pursuit, the K9 unit dogs and their handlers were great sports and models, pulling off dynamic expressions like pros. From a pet store crime scene to patrolling Waterloo Region in a vintage cruiser, this calendar tells the story of Ranger, Grim, Chase, and Tracker, as they work to solve a case of stolen dog bones – with a little help from their two-legged handlers. Check out the photos below and please purchase your copy to help support the Special Olympics.
Thanks to everyone involved for helping me pull off this incredible awesome project.