“Would you want to come by and take some pictures? You know, for printing, and the website…” Sounds easy enough…
This was actually my first “real” photo assignment: document “a day in the life” of my sister’s small animal vet clinic MojVet in Ljubljana. They would use the photos on their website and to decorate their walls. We decided to do the shooting in a documentary style, completely unposed, which suited me very well since I know nothing about proper studio work. It also meant, however, that it wasn’t obvious how long it should take, since we depended on “interesting” (and cooperative) clients to come in to the clinic with their small furry friends.
Normally, I shoot outdoor adventures where my subjects are my friends that are with me on the same trip. I don’t normally hang out in operating rooms, so shooting the work at the clinic was a completely different experience! Besides the challenges of shooting indoor with sub-optimal artificial lighting (I should have brought some lights!), it was fun to work out the angles and learn to anticipate the gestures and movements of the clinic team and their patients. I’m not normally a particularly outgoing person, but being in the role and getting into the flow of photographing there I felt really relaxed and confident.
Shooting in the operating room was pretty exciting! Here are a few that made the cut:
Photographing the pets and their owners in the checkup area and observing the effect that the animals have on people was really fun.
This was one of my favorites: three kids with their pet bunny… when I asked the father for permission to take photos, he pointed me to his daughter since she was obviously the one in command:
Sometimes the simultaneous presence of fear and deep care from both sides was very touching:
And, of course, the waiting room (with some unusual patients):
This guy is dog super-model material – he also ended up on a giant poster downstairs by the entrance. It’s cool to see a photo of mine be printed two meters wide!
Finally, after a few months the prints were made and during another one of my visits home we hung them up. There was some debate whether to use frames or not; in the end it was decided to frame them, though perhaps it would have been better without the glass to avoid reflections… maybe in the next iteration we’ll try something different.