Hats & Thais
There has been so much support for the 2023 Haute Dogs Calendar, that I thought it would be great to share some of the behind the scenes footage and show the work that goes into bringing it all to life.
So, a little bit of Haute Dogs history for those of you new to the calendar!
Haute Dogs is the brainchild of London based milliner, Awon Golding. As well as being an ardent hat lover, Awon is also deeply passionate about dogs and dog rescuing. In 2018, inspired by her own rescue dog Stevie, she set up her unique charity project Haute Dogs Calendar, showcasing the best of the millinery world modelled by some of the cutest rescue pups around.
Past calendars have supported charities working both here in the UK and overseas, and have included Dogs on the Streets, All Dogs Matter, Wild at Heart and Desperate Greekies. This year Jai Dog Rescue in Thailand is the chosen charity and I was lucky enough to be asked to be the photographer to help bring this to life.
Little did I know when Awon got in touch, that this year, instead of photographing dogs that had already been rescued and based in the UK, the plan was to head out to Thailand and feature dogs that were still looking for a forever home. It probably took me all of 5 seconds to say “yes” and have my bags packed.....
Fast forward a few months after our initial meeting, and a small team and some wonderful hats were on a flight to Bangkok, then headed north to the foothills of Khao Yai National Park to the amazing Farm that is Jai Dog Rescue.
(all travel expenses were kindly covered by The Ministry of Sound who were one of the main sponsors, meaning all the proceeds of the sale of the calendar go directly to the charity)
And it’s a little wonder why. Jai Dog Rescue Sanctuary, affectionately know as The Farm, is a truly magical place with an amazing dedicated team that go the extra mile to ensure that all the dogs in their care are well looked after, safe and above all happy. Don’t take my word for it - take a look for yourself
With 12 hats to feature, we had a shortlist of dogs to choose from. Just like any shoot, you never really know how the model is going to be on the day and if the dog being photographed was uncomfortable in the situation, didn’t want to wear a hat, or was just a little camera shy, we simply stopped the shoot and moved on to the next one (after much fussing and treats for giving it a go!). We had many wannabe stars waiting in the wings, ready to try their paw at a spot of modelling if called upon!
Thai dogs are no less treat driven than our own pooches, and with patience, steady reassuring human hands and lots of yummy treats, we had a hugely successful shoot!
It’s fair to say we had our share of bloopers! I tried not to take it personally……