Archive for January, 2010


Beautiful Tessa

Earlier this month a magnificent german shepherd called Tessa came to the studio. Tessa was impeccably trained, having spent many years participating in obedience and agility training through the German Shepherd Dog Association of WA. Here are two pics from her photo session. Isn’t she beautiful!



The Animals of Bali

My holiday to Bali was filled with an abundance of adventure and creatures – the perfect getaway. Candi Dasa is a beautiful, serene village, with great snorkelling and picturesque traditional countryside. I trekked through rice paddies, crossed home-made bamboo bridges over raging rivers, discovered an array of weird and wonderful bugs, frogs and reptiles to photograph, and spent time with Mr D, the coolest Bali macaque monkey you could ever meet. 

The state of the animals in Bali is exactly what I expected, having heard the horror stories from past Bali visitors. Many of the dogs on the street are skinny and are ridden with mange, yet still wear collars so must have homes somewhere. The cats are friendly but have the tips of their tails docked, and are small in size and looking for a feed. The Balinese are gentle people, but some (not all!) seem nonchalant when it comes to pet ownership.  I don’t think the neglect occurs out of deliberate intent but more so from not understanding what an animal requires as far as care goes – they tend to think an animal can be responsible for itself and that it doesn’t need a secure yard, regular meals, or a comfortable bed.

On the other hand, something I found quite shocking and deliberate was number of roosters held in small upside down basket cages, to be later used for cockfighting. The sport is illegal in Bali but the authorities don’t enforce the laws in relation to it – so basically it’s a cockfighting free-for-all. I visited one village of a few hundred people and there were over 60 cock fighting roosters sitting in their cages scattered throughout the main street. One local became suspicious of my interest in them and the fact that I was taking so many photographs, so I had to pretend I was excited about their colouring – some were dyed fluoro pink and bright yellow. Several had cuts healing on their feet, and some had bands around their legs to which the razor blades are attached…

On a positive note, there are a number of worthy animal charity organisations in Bali, particularly Bali Street Dogs and the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA). Both groups work together to run sterilisation clinics, re-home stray puppies and provide vet care and daily food for older dogs living on the streets. So it’s good to know that people are working to effect change, and give the animals of Bali a better life.

Now, I mentioned Mr D the Bali macaque monkey earlier! Orphaned at a month old, Mr D lives at the Bayshore Villas with surrogate-Dad Brad (owner of the Bayshore).  He is now 11 months old and is the smartest, cutest, most playful and naughtiest (in a good way) animal I have ever met! He loves nothing more than jumping onto people’s heads (he thinks the shock value is awesome!), having a swing in his tree, and eating his fruit – watermelon, papaya, and bananas are favourites. 

To be so close to a monkey was an amazing experience and unlike the monkey forest, I wasn’t concerned about being bitten – as a side note, I wasn’t bitten in the monkey forest either, but one cheeky macaque did pitch a seed pod at me, hitting me on the elbow! Mr D was eager to learn and was highly intelligent. When I switched a rock from one hand to the other, hiding it from him,  he would tell me where it was.  The first time he picked the wrong hand, but after that I couldn’t trick him! He communicated with me via a wide range of facial expressions and chatted away in happy monkey squeaks. He was infatuated with my Canon point and shoot camera too, and several times he put it on the grass so he could jump on it with all four feet! Thank goodness it’s the shock proof model! At one point I set it to video mode and pressed ‘record’ – Mr D then dragged it around with him and made a blurry video! 

He is an adorable, spoilt little guy and I look forward to seeing him on my next visit to Bali. 

Enjoy the pics.

Mr D eats breakfast

A surprise for puppy!

The charming Mr D

3 week old macaque 

Finger Food



Turtle (From Safari Park)

 Gecko on the roof

Roosters in their cages


Fundraiser for prostate cancer

In May 2010, my good friend Neil Trethewey is participating in the Pedal for Prostate cycling challenge, which involves riding from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise money in for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA). He is completing the challenge in support of his father Graham, who is currently battling the disease. Neil is aiming to raise $6500 which qualifies him for the ride and provides a chunk of cash to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Prostate cancer has affected several people close to me, including a dear friend and a family member – as well as the loved ones of many other people I know. The PCFA is the national body for prostate cancer in Australia and receives less than 1% of its income from government funding. They rely on corporate and public donations to conduct research into prostate cancer and raise awareness about prostate cancer.

Neil’s first fundraising event is a quiz night extravaganza held on 24th February at the Tompkins Park Function Centre, corner Canning Highway and Dunkley Avenue, Alfred Cove. The night will be hosted by Mark Readings from Channel 9, and there will be free wine and cheese tasting and food platters, prizes, raffles and an auction, including a $595 Houndstooth Studio Pet Photo Session up for grabs to a lucky bidder. Plus there’s also a full bar!

So why not get a table of eight to ten friends together and participate in a fun, action packed evening, whilst helping a worthy cause as well. Doors open at 6:30pm (for a 7pm start).

Tickets are $25 and available direct from Neil at

If you can’t attend the quiz night, or would like to make an online donation, please click on Neil’s fundraising page here.


Hera the survivor

We had a very special visitor the studio on Saturday 23rd January. Five week old Hera came in with her foster carer Richard Barry from the RSPCA, to have some puppy portrait photographs taken.

One week ago, tiny Hera was dumped in a box and left in a park on a day where the temperature reached over 38 degrees. She would have perished in the heat she not been discovered by a caring member of the public, and taken to the RSPCA for emergency treatment.

Her situation is a timely reminder of what can happen to pets if they are left without shelter or water. It also highlights the disgusting practice of animal dumping.

Further, with the hot weather now upon us, the RSPCA has received dozens of reports about dogs who are left in locked vehicles during the heat of the day. Even opening the car windows does not bring relief against the interior heat of a vehicle, where the temperature can reach as high as 73 degrees celsius. Strong penalties exist for irresponsible and negligible pet owners who think it is acceptable to leave dogs in hot vehicles.

Hera‘s portrait photos will be used in RSPCA marketing and media campaigns to raise awareness on dog dumping and the lack of care for pets in hot weather.  

Read the RSPCA online news article “Stupidity risks lives as owners leave dogs in hot cars” for more information, or an article on Hera from the RSPCA WA Website here.

How could anyone ever dump an animal?!




York Society Photographic Awards – Open for entries

Entries are invited from Western Australian residents for the annual York Society Photographic Awards, run by the York Society. The exhibition of entered works will be open 10am-4pm daily, from 27th March 2010 to 5th April 2010 in the Sandalwood Gallery, Avon Terrace, York.  

As the Open Colour Category winner in 2008, I can vouch for  the value in participating this competition, as it kick-started my gallery representation and “Blue Clams” print sales. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to have your photography exhibited and recognised by your peers on a state level.

Awards are offered in the following categories:

 1. Open Colour: $400

2. Creative Photography: $400

3. Monochromatic: $400

York Subject (In any of the above categories): $500 

Viewers’ Choice (In any of the above categories): $100 

 To download a copy of the Entry Form or for Conditions of Entry, click here. Entries close 1st March 2010.

All other enquiries can be directed to (08) 96411339, 0428 322 167  or via email to


Good news & bad news

Hi All,

We have some news – both good and bad!

The good news is that on Sunday 31st January we are hosting our second Vetwest “Pet Portrait Day” with the wonderful team at Vetwest Whitfords. The mini-photo sessions and are an opportunity for pet owners to have stunning professional pet portraits taken of their beloved fur kids. 

The bad news is that the day is already fully booked, with a waiting list also filled.

But despair not – we have more good news!! We will be running another Vetwest Pet Portrait Day in the near future, so those people who missed out on a session this time will be first in line for the next one.

We love these mini-studio photo sessions and working from the Vetwest clinics.

For more information on the Vetwest Pet Portrait Day’s click here, or for information on other services provided by Vetwest click here


A must-see exhibition!

In March 2009, Perth photographer C.A.Miller travelled to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, assisting at bear rescue centres established by animal charity organisation, Free the Bears.  He documented his travels on camera, and the awe-inspiring photographic exhibition titled “Safe From Harm” showcases his stunning photography and the marvell0us work of Free the Bears.

All of the images are available for sale with 100% of proceeds going to the Free the Bears Fund. 

WHEN: 11 January 2010 to 26 February, 2010 from 7:30am – 7:30pm (closes later on some evenings)

WHERE:  University of WA Club, Hackett Drive, Crawley, Entrance #1, Carpark #3

To read about the exhibition,view page 4 of  The Club’s Magazine – Summer Edition  here.



Tomorrow I head off to spend 7 days in Candi Dasa, a tranquil village with white sandy beaches in north-eastern Bali. I’ll be using some of my time away to work on a personal photography project – involving animals of course! I’ll upload some pics when I’m back so you can see what I got up to, and which creatures I discovered along the way. 

At Houndstooth Studio, we have several overseas photography projects penciled in for the coming year, with four countries on the books to visit. Plus we have some local and interstate travel locked in as well, with all of our trips featuring some form of animal photography – either through commissioned work, our partnerships and associations with overseas animal welfare organisations, or personal projects.  It makes for a busy but exciting time, and I can’t wait for the trips to come to fruition.

Watch this space for future details!

In the meantime, kicking it off with a week in Bali is a great way to start 2010!


Grand Old Ladies

Two recent notable visitors to the studio were Dash, owned by Di and Clare, and Jo-Jo, owned by Eric and Joan. Dash, aged 12, has an in-operable brain tumour, and Jo-Jo, aged 13, has oral cancer. Both dogs were spritely at heart and were interested in the goings-on of the studio.

Dash was a gentle subject, smiling and alert in her photographs.  I uploaded one of her portrait pics (see below) to my Red Bubble gallery to create a greeting card, and the image had a record number of views in a very short period of time. I think her happy smile and sparking eyes resonated with the Red Bubble members.  

Jo-Jo attended the studio with her best friend, Bear the cat. In JoJo’s individual portrait shots, Bear could be seen in the corner of each one peeking out from behind the backdrop to check that Jo-Jo was ok. The friendship between this sweet elderly dog and chilled-out cat was touching to witness.

I wish Dash and Jo-Jo strength in their health struggles, and am honoured to have been chosen by Di, Clare, Eric and Joan to capture their grand old ladies’ personalities on camera.

Smiling Dash

Happy Jo-Jo


Fabulous Ferrets

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring…

…except for Shane and Carmen the fabulous silvermit and polecat ferrets who had a photo session at the studio! 

Ferrets are fun loving, curious pets who enjoy pouncing, jumping and investigating their surroundings – I know this because I used to have one! Or maybe one used to have me? Her name was Stinky and she delighted in attacking pillows and terrorising my cat Kasey.

Shane  and Carmen were equally as energetic  and they photographed beautifully, putting on a range of expressions and quirky poses.

Want to know more about ferrets?  Here is some info courtesy of  Wikipedia: Ferrets sleep 14-16 hours a day and when awake often actively solicit play with humans, in the form of hide-and-seek games, or through a predator and prey game in which either the human attempts to catch the ferret or the ferret attempts to catch the human. They will repeatedly carry small objects or food to secluded locations (like their bed or ‘nest’) and they form attachments to certain objects and will seek out and “steal” the same object and bring it to their hiding place.

When ferrets are excited, they perform a frenzied series of sideways hops, commonly referred to as the “Weasel War Dance”. It is an invitation to play or an expression of happy excitement and is not threatening. The ferret’s posture may become rigid with wide open jaws, momentary eye contact followed by thrashing or turning of the head from side to side, arching the back, and hopping to the side or backwards while facing the intended playmate. Often, this behaviour will break into a game of chase, pounce and wrestle.

“The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston, originally published in 1823 as “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.