Day school instructor Katie McHugh pulls double duty at My Dogs Mind. She is equally talented behind the lens or at the end of a leash. Katie is the creative eye behind many of our great Facebook and website photos.
When did you develop an interest in working with animals?
I started working with horses when I was 8 years old at The Hair of The Dog Farm in New Ipswich, NH. I helped out as a barn hand in exchange for riding lessons. My horse trainer, Karen Miller, also trained black German Shepard Dogs for Search and Rescue, which always fascinated me. About a year ago in March of 2012, I starting working with dogs here at My Dogs Mind.
When did you become interested in photography?
I’ve been in love with photography for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I constantly shot pictures of flowers, trees, animals, and nature in general. Since I’ve been at MDM, I’ve taken well over 6,000 pictures and 1,000 videos at work. Doing photography here has allowed me to refine my skills and expand my horizons, for which I am extremely grateful.
Many of your photos involve unusual points of view, can you explain?
I am continually trying to convey the emotions and personalities of my subjects. I think getting up-close and right down at their level is important to capture genuine emotion. Even if it means constantly wiping nose prints off my lens.
Sounds like playtime could be rough on your gear?
It can be. I use an SLR Canon PowerShot for distance shots or anything I need complete control over. To get right in the action, I have been experimenting with a GoPro camera. The weatherproof build stands up to licks and bumps and the wide-angle lens draws attention to my subject. Still looking for the perfect “dog-proof” camera.
What’s the future hold?
I’d like to pursue more education on animal behavior and psychology. I’m really enjoying the dog training and day school activities at MDM. Of course I’ll keep up with my photography.