BAWA’s mission statement is to ‘work to relieve the suffering of the animals of Bali’ – an onerous task indeed and not one that we could even begin to make headway with if not for the support of people like Alex Cearns and her business Houndstooth Studio. Alex is a true philanthropist – she does not simply make a donation to BAWA she truly immerses herself in our work, she understands what we do, the challenges we face and she offers her support in a myriad of ways.
When Alex travels to Bali to spend time with us (at her own expense) she works with us, she stands alongside myself and our staff in the field rescuing puppies and kittens from trash dumps, taking part in informal animal welfare education sessions with local people and she sheds tears with us when one of our animals doesn’t make it.
The way in which Alex truly understands our work and the world in which we operate speaks volumes, for her integrity both as a human being and as a business woman. Alex does not choose to adopt an animal charity in order to promote the social conscience of her business – she is the social conscience of her business. Her actions are living proof of this. To all of us at BAWA Alex’s support is invaluable, she has taken remarkable photographic images of the animals of Bali which she then freely provides us to use as we wish for marketing and promotional purposes. As a not for profit struggling to survive in a developing country we would never be able to obtain images of such quality, that tell the true story of the animals of Bali without Alex and Houndstooth Studio. In June 2012 Houndstooth Studio arranged a photographic exhibition of the animals of Bali, encompassing images that Alex captured during 2012 last trip to Bali. Not only was the exhibition highly successful, with more than 500 people attending, over $22,000 was raised and donated directly to BAWA.
Aside from the financial and in kind support provided Alex is also an active advocate of our work, she maximises every opportunity to promote BAWA and we are fortunate indeed to have received the exposure she has provided to us.
Janice Girardi, Founder - Bali Animal Welfare Association
The WA Dingo Association wanted to create a calendar for 2011, featuring our member’s Dingoes. We needed to find a professional animal photographer who could capture the true ‘essence’ of a Dingo, who could create a pictorial representation of what we see every day, the animals we strive to create an awareness of; A beautiful creature, sentient, aware, gentle, loving and empathetic – A magnificent, athletic, native Australian wolf with inherent instincts that show in their character, a sometimes detached condescending aloofness, and an independence from need of human care, but a proud and regular humorous ‘larrikin’ when raised in a domestic environ with the right people. That was the brief. BIG expectations of any photographer. But Alex and her team transformed those expectations into a reality. She nailed the brief. We had 11 dingoes photographed in one day, no mean feat considering it was coming into breeding season and many of the Dingoes were female, of age and affected by seasonal hormones. “Sisters” can be a tab grumpy when chasing the same boyfriend! Alex and her team are true ‘animal people’. Aboriginal Dreamtime legends depict the Dingo as an all seeing, all aware being, that can see into the soul of a person and make judgement of their true character. Many feared rejection from Dingoes in the camp as it was mark against them. Dingoes know instinctively if you are a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person. Alex and her team all passed with flying colours. All the Dingoes loved them! The photo sessions were relaxed, the Dingoes were at ease and comfortable, allowing them to show their true nature and allow Alex to capture that as an image for all to see, Alex’s photographic style us unique in the market. The animal is the focus and there are no distractions. The images are exactly what you want of your best friend, and exactly ‘who and what’ they are, captured in a millisecond. If you want a ‘living memory’ and a true representation of your furred, feathered, fanged or finned friend, Alex and her team will deliver.
Leigh Mullan, President West Australian Dingo Association – Loxie & Wylie the Dingoes
Houndstooth Studio has consistently provided us with excellent images that greatly enhance the look and feel of Dogs Life magazine. Alex has met all our image requests, supplying pictures that meet all our needs, involve our readers in the story and simply look fantastic. On top of that, she is a pleasure to deal with. I would not hesitate to recommend her services to anyone.
Tim Falk - Editor, Dogs Life magazine
I recently had the most beautiful photographs done of our beloved and soppy Doberman Thor. I was a little worried at first as I know he is a little ‘shy’ to say the least and I figured Alex would have a bit of trouble, but from the first moment she had won his confidence and was able to take the most beautiful photographs and capture his true personality which we can now treasure forever. Alex was so professional at all times and the whole experience was a pleasure. Many thanks.
Linda and Alastair Clark - Thor the dobermann
From start to finish, Alex you have been an absolute treasure. Ash the ridgeback staffy cross came to us from a neglected home. Alex was warned that Ash is very wary with strangers and can be both frightened and aggressive with new people. Within 30 seconds of meeting Alex, she was accepted by Ash as a member of the pack and the Schmackos that followed helped cement a life-long friendship. Our baby Mohini was dumped as a very young puppy in a small country town and was saved from certain euthanasia through the actions of two amazing people. She's always been a little shy but Alex's photo shoot helped Mohini realise what we always knew - she is a STAR! Alex, you are a modern day St Francis of Assisi. Your passion for your work and love of animals shines through in your beautiful pictures. The giant canvas showcasing out old battleaxe and her adoring little sister is a prime example - and never fails to bring a smile to our faces. With much love. xxx
Jan and Lora - Ash and Mohini
The photos Alex took of our geriatric 3 boys, ranging from 13 to 16, really captured the essence of who they are. The portraits of them are so life-like and we will be a wonderful reminder to us of they are when they move on to greener pastures. Alex never got flustered and remained calm throughout the shoot despite our two cats not wanting to play along with us. The passion Alex has for her work definitely came through in all our dealings with her including the final product. Only someone who truly loves what they do can capture the personalities of animals in photos. George, Porridge and Fluke would really like to thank for the wonderful photos you took of them. Thanks Alex the experience was great from start to finish and we are really thrilled with the final product!
Michelle and Paul Kalkwarf - Fluke the cocker spaniel and George and Porridge the cats
Both Shane and I have been so impressed we\'ve been organising to have everyone come over for dinners and lunches and whatever occasion we can think of to show off your AMAZING work. The Ice Block had a place on my desk, but I couldn\'t help bringing it home every day to sit in front of my bedside lamp (which I might add illuminates it quite nicely) and to show EVERYONE our official first family photo. So if your ears have been burning you know why, Thank-you!!! The individuals of the kids (fur babies) are just perfect and so far NO ONE has picked each puppy incorrectly. You have truly captured the spirit and vibrant personality of both Jordi and Zeus and considering they are polar opposites we are beyond delighted over our purchases and forever grateful that you do the brilliant job you do....or we would not have the perfect pictures we always dreamed of hanging on our walls, placing on my desk/bedside table, tucking away in our wallets for strangers to comment on at the shops when paying for the most simple groceries. You are a brilliant woman Alex and we look forward to working with you again very very soon. Hopefully we can pursue our tricks pics, which we could add to your already wonderful collection. Thanks so much again Alex, you are very gifted and truly appreciated.
Brooke and Shane - Zeus and Jordi the great danes
Dear Alex, I came across your site today and just wanted to tell you how awesome I think your photography is!
Kim Cooney - Editor & Publisher, The Pet Directory
Houndstooth Studio has been a fantastic experience for me – In the past I have had beautiful pet’s that I had no decent photographs of to remember them by. My pet’s, Charlie, Lucy & Tilly are a part of the family and I wanted some prints to display around the house that would blend in as artwork. The quality is excellent and Alex was great by making sure it all came together effortlessly and without complication. Everyone that has seen the Houndstooth artwork has been blown away as Alex has captured them in their unique little ways that showcases their individual personalities and the group photo is priceless! Fantastic job Houndstooth and I’ll be sure to pass on your details without hesitation to family and friends – I even bought a gift voucher for my Aunty for Christmas.
Amanda Kennedy - Charlie, Lucy and Tilley
I love my dog Bella and when I saw Alex’s work on the Houndstooth Studio Facebook site, I couldn’t resist booking her in for a photoshoot. The shoot was great fun – the studio is set up for a dog with lots of toys and treats for them to choose from! Alex “gets” dogs – Bella was certainly comfortable with her and inquisitive, alert and bright-eyed for the whole shoot. As for me – I loved it! Alex was warm and welcoming to me and I felt like a proud Mum of my beautiful girl! The proof as they say is in the pudding – I was stunned by how lovely and impactful the photos were. There is one photo that I just keep on wanting to touch as it is so Bella! I can’t recommend Alex highly enough.
Moira Clay - Bella the jack russell
Hi Alex, Just a short note to say thanks for the images. The photo session went very well. I really appreciated the friendly guidance that you gave me and my team which made us feel right at home. Our images were more along the lines of marketing images for our website and brochures. They turned out great and are being featured in our Blogs and web pages to give us that friendly family image that we are so well known for. You managed to capture some really fantastic looks and expressions in both our doggy subjects and us.
Thanks again and I will no hesitation in referring you to people I know.
Colin Seal - The Dog Line
We brought our 2 much loved princes into the studio. Our 3 month old cavoodle Henry VIII was a star but our 2 year old standard poodle Louis XVI was extremely nervous and camera shy. He’d been rescued at 12 months from a breeder who’d neglected him – he’d never been groomed or socialised with people. It’s taken 6 months for him to be completely comfortable with us and he’s now the most beautiful and loving boy, yet still timid in new places. Alex made him feel safe in the studio and while he wasn’t as willing as the puppy, each photo of Louis was spot on. Thanks Alex!
Narelda Jacobs – Louie XVI the poodle and Henry VIII the cavoodle
I first met Alex when my gorgeous boy Stan was selected to participate in an advertising campaign. The pictures taken by Alex were of such wonderful quality that we decided a portrait session was definitely in order. Alex managed to bring out an essence of Stan that I have not seen before, and I am in awe of both of them. Alex has abundant patience and an amazing talent for capturing the personality of her subjects, keeping it fun and fresh all the way through. Stan’s stunning portrait takes pride of place in the lounge room, and I am only too happy to recommend Houndstooth Studio to our visitors.
Emma - Stan the greyhound
Hi Alex, We’d like to thank you for the amazing job you did shooting our 3 furry kids recently. Anyone can point and shoot a camera and call themselves a photographer, not many people can do what you are able to do though- capture the very essence of your subjects. All done with great patience and humour. We’re lucky to have found you, and you’re just as lucky to have found a career that you truly love, and are clearly gifted in! The canvas’ look awesome on the wall, we’d rather them than a Van Gogh!
Nat and Chris - Mogwai, Shadow and Jaffa
Our photo session for Benny and Bart was a fabulous experience we will never forget. Our dogs were constantly smiling for the whole shoot and they absolutely loved all the special attention they received! I would definitely recommend Houndstooth Studio’s to any pet-lover who is interested in having photographs done. Alex was professional and worked so well with the dogs - she knew exactly how to get the perfect pic! We almost lost one of our pup’s not long after our photo session and it was very comforting knowing Alex was supportive of our situation and that we could access all of the shots that were taken if we wanted any more photos of her. Thanks to Alex and her team for the entire experience and the final products! We are extremely happy with the quality of the photos and the service we received.
Emily and Ian - Benny and Bart
My dog is my pride and joy and I wanted to capture his personality in a photograph, so when I saw an article in the newspaper about Alex and her work with the RSPCA I looked up her website… I simply loved what I saw. My initial email correspondence with Alex was incredibly professional, and after asking a few questions I decided to go ahead and book a session at Houndstooth Studio. Doug the Pug and I arrived at the studio on a Saturday morning and I was impressed with the relaxed yet professional feel of the studio. Our session was fun for both myself and my beloved Doug, who was made to feel like a king! I was very excited when I went back to view the photos and choose which ones I wanted to purchase, and after initially planning to only get a couple, I ended up getting 8 photos printed because they were all so good! To sum my experience up I would describe Alex and Houndstooth Studio as: Flexible, patient, professional, friendly and incredibly talented with a special eye for detail. I would highly recommend it to all pet owners.
Aleysha Knowles, On-air announcer 96fm – Doug the Pug
We recently took our two beautiful dogs, Arthur & Daley to see Alex at Houndstooth studio. The fact that she could manage to get the Jack Russell to sit still was an amazing accomplishment in itself. We were very impressed with the whole process from the actual shoot through to selecting our photos and then the amazing finished product. Alex is a natural and you can generally see that her true passion in life is animals and capturing them at their best. Thanks Alex, we are getting so many comments about the photos and we will definitely be recommending you to all our friends and family.
Jayne & Josh - Arthur and Daley
Molly is my special girl because she has a serious heart problem and will only live a short life. I wanted to get something special done so she could be with me forever. I'm so glad I found Houndstooth Studio, the photos are beautiful and capture my dog's personalities perfectly. Alex really cares about animals and knows how to get the best out of them.
Sharon - Molly the rottweiller and Tasha the border collie
Alex did a professional and amazing job with my puppy Bella. The photos capture Bella's beauty and personality. Bella is like a child to me and to have a photo here and there so she is with me wherever I go and to look at is priceless! I was so impressed with Alex’s interaction with playful Bella & her patience! I highly recommend a photoshoot to anyone who loves their pet just as much as I do.
Love Tasha & Bella the Malteze x Shih tzu xoxo woof woof
Tasha - Bella the malteze x shih tzu
Wombat is special to us, and many that meet her fall in love with her too. She's in her twilight years and I wanted a photo that captures Wombat’s true personality to keep for many years to come. My own photography attempts had failed miserably. I had seen Alex's work on display at the RSCPA Million Paws Walk so I approached Houndstooth Studio to see if a professional would have any more luck. Wombat was kept amused during her photo shoot with toys and treats, and Alex was unbelievably patient; I was amazed that she had Wombat staring into the camera for so long. A few sample snaps were available to view on-line in just a couple of hours after the session and they brought a small tear to my eye.
A studio session is an absolute must-do for anyone who holds an animal close to their heart. The only hard thing about the entire process was deciding which of the photos to choose! Thanks Alex, from all of us and Wombat
Sam - Wombat the staffy
Dear Alex, I’d like to express to you just how thrilled Lily and I are with the Portraits of Gentleman Jake! You’ve captured the quintessential character of our beloved hound. I was fascinated with the rapport you developed with him in just seconds when we came for the sitting, you had him literally eating out of your hand – liver treats or no liver treats!!
I really appreciated the patience you had with him, especially given his advanced years. Thank you so much. The photographs will be treasured forever. Mine is in pride of place and is the first thing to be seen when anyone comes in to my home. He looks such a character in them, you’ve really captured the many faces of Jake! The service you provide is professional, friendly and very efficient and of the highest quality. I have no hesitation in recommending Houndstooth Studios to all my friends and colleagues.
Deborah Fleming-Prins - Jake the pitbull ridgeback cross
Our dog Harley has a very serious heart condition and we aren’t sure how much longer he will be around. We emailed Alex on the Friday night and she responded immediately with an appointment late Saturday afternoon. We were delighted, to say the least. Unknown to Alex, we had another dog, Millie, who is the biggest poser in the business. So we brought her along too. Alex was happy to take shots of both of them.
Alex, we can’t thank you enough for capturing the character of both dogs, especially Harley in the “head’ shot! It is truly fantastic and looks amazing on the wall. We really appreciate the way you handled our dogs with so much care and concern (and a generous supply of smackos). From our first sitting to the time we left with our purchases, we felt like we had made a new friend in you, which demonstrates just how much we enjoyed the whole experience.
Loraine and Martin - Harley and Millie the cocker spaniels
Hi Alex, Was THRILLED to see your album of the Aussie animal pics! Wow, you truly have a gift with the camera - I'm impressed! I love too, that I just got to learn a whole lot more about animals we don't have here in the US (though some of our lizards here in the desert - I'm in Tucson, Arizona - are right up there with yours).
I have many friends in Oz (Brisbane and Tasmania), thanks to Facebook, who keep bugging me to come visit so I've been enjoying learning a lot about all things Aussie over the past 2 years, including my love of animals and wild growing things. Have to say, you truly are gifted with that lens. Wow...I'm an avid fan of yours now! And I want to see all these Aussie animals in person even more!
So, thanks for such lovely photos. Hope you're having a lovely day! Peace.
Julie Nicolay – USA (via Facebook)
Caleb the Pekingese and Roz would like to let you all know what a wonderful experience it was having Caleb's photos taken with Alex and Houndstooth studio.
Caleb was 15 months old when I adopted him in 2001. He was a scared and timid little dog after some bad experiences at his former home. I have always realized that he would be standoffish and a bit scared of being out of his comfort zone at home. Understanding his fragility over the years I have tended to put in the back of my mind the idea of having his photos taken professionally until I found Houndstooth at the Million Paws Walk this year.
Alex was so very gentle and loving with Caleb and therefore Caleb's photo shoot was an easier experience for him than I could ever imagine it would be. We were both amazed at his ability to cope with the away from home experience and I am so very happy with the photos Alex took of him. Thank you Alex for helping Caleb and I have something we never thought was possible.
Roz Reynolds - Caleb the pekingese
Alex just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for the amazing pictures I just picked up of Angus. We just got home and unwrapped the canvas WOW WOW WOW. “Oh my gosh oh my gosh” - I could keep saying that! What an awesome, beautiful, gorgeous picture … it’s beyond belief. Silly as this sounds but that picture you took of my little man brought a tear to my eyes - and all of the pictures are absolutely stunning. You have done a brilliant job and I can’t thank you enough. I love how you have managed to capture Angus's personality in every different photo you have taken. They’re awesome. You more than likely here this all the time but we will defiantly be recommending you for people wanting to get pet portraits done. Thanks again!
Christine - Angus the shih tzu
Hi Alex, Just wanted to thank you so much for the photos of our boys Benson and Jake, they take pride of place in our home. We would like to thank you for the patience you took to get these shots. You obviously love animals because they loved you. Your professionalism is a credit to you and we can’t wait to have more photos of the rest of our furry kids.
Julie and Robbie - Benson and Jake the rottie x brothers
Like many people we’ve got plenty of “snapshots” of our two dogs but to be honest, our pics really aren’t that good. We contacted Alex for some professional photos because our older dog is unwell and were not sure how long she’ll be with us. Both Gilly (6) and Jasper (12) are so precious to us we really wanted to make sure we had some proper photos of them at their best. Alex was fantastic; she booked the session, met the dogs, totally captivated and connected with them. She kept them focused and happy, and even though Gilly wriggled the whole time, it didn’t faze or hinder Alex in the slightest. She is a complete professional – calm, precise, intuitive, warm, patient, engaging, creative and obviously loves her job. I was really impressed with the raw preview shots she showed us and the finished product is outstanding. There was no hard sell either. We picked a good range of photos without any pressure because when you see them, her pictures sell themselves. We couldn’t be happier or more thankful. The photos are crisp, clear, candid, super-high quality shots that remind us of Gilly and Jaspers typical expressions. Alex really did capture them at their best and well be forever thankful that we saw her as we definitely got pictures we will (and already) treasure. Thanks Alex.
Louise and Narelle – Gilly the cavalier x papillion & Jasper the maltese shih tzu
Alex we are so happy with the awesome photos you took of our baby Fonzy. We were amazed at how relaxed he was with you and how patient you were with him. We look forward to another photo session with you in sometime in the future when we move back to WA. I recommend you to all my friends with furry children.
Karen and Billy Felton - Fonzy the rottweiller
Dear Alex, Just wanted to write and say how pleased we are with Satchmo's and Toby's photographs. They are all of stunning quality. Thank you. We were also very impressed with the way you guided us through the culling process so we could arrive at the very best of so many excellent shots. It was truly a delightful experience watching the dogs perform for you - you certainly have a way of coaxing them into the most adorable poses. We have recommended you to several dog lovers already.
All the best.
Frank and Joyce Aquino - Satchmo and Toby
I have to say I am incredibly impressed with the beautiful cat images you have installed at Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital. They are breath taking - especially the little grey cat. I was out there last Friday and most people in the waiting area were admiring them.
Gaye - Animal Aid Abroad Member
I initially learnt about Alex and Houndstooth Studio when I saw some of the photographs she took for the RSPCA and I immediately became a huge fan of Houndstooth Studio’s work. My Jet-Dog and I were both very excited to meet Alex and spend some time getting Jet-Dog’s glamour shots done in the studio, and we are both incredibly pleased with the results. I gladly recommend Houndstooth Studio to all the pet owners I know. Having memories of your animals captured and immortalised in the beautiful work that Alex is able to produce is honestly priceless. I can’t imagine ever regretting capturing my beautiful puppy the pictures Alex took, but I know I would definitely regret not doing it! Our session was lots of fun: Jet-Dog really enjoyed posing and interacting with Alex, and Alex didn’t even mind the annoying stage-mum rushing in with nail polish remover every now and again (as Jet-Dog was still glammed up with her xmas clawpolish on). I ended up ordering more pictures than I had initially planned, as it was almost impossible to choose between them – although Alex was very helpful and never pushy about purchasing the prints. The canvas portrait I bought is the first thing you see when you walk in our house, and everyone compliments it. Big Thanks to Alex for such a fun, professional, memorable and rewarding experience.
Kendal – Jet Dog the black lab
We just wanted to say a BIG thank you for taking such wonderful photos of our precious four legged children, Titan and Chloe. You did a great job keeping them interested during the photo shoot (despite their dislike to most treats) and we were very pleased to see that the photos captured their friendly, playful and sometimes mischievous personalities perfectly. We have received lots of compliments about the framed photos, which are hanging proudly on our wall. The quality and finish of the photos are simply flawless – you have a great attention to detail.
Georgie & Ben – proud parents of Titan and Chloe the kittens
I was lucky enough to book the last Vetwest portrait photo session of the day at 4pm. I have two dogs – a 17yr old who is stiff, pants a lot (hard to get photo’s of as he moves so much), is quite deaf and doesn’t see very well anymore; and a 5yr old who doesn’t like his picture taken and hates loud noises. I thought that by the end of the day Alex’s patience might be a little thin and was therefore a little apprehensive about how things would go! I couldn’t have been happier!!! She was extremely patient with both of my dogs and they loved the treats. think my younger dog Benson, thought it was a big game. The hardest part of the day, was which photo’s to pick! I would highly recommend Alex Cearns as a dog photographer. I love my dogs and the way in which Alex treated them says a lot about the type of person she is. Good on you Vetwest for providing the opportunity to have beautiful photographs of my dogs taken, which we can keep forever. It was especially important to me to get shots of my older dog Oscar who might not be with me for much longer. Thanks so much to you both.
Angela – Benson & Oscar
We always knew we had the most gorgeous dog in the world, and now, thanks to Alex, everyone can see that he is a work of art! Sadly, I have had a few friends and family lose their very much loved companions recently, and this was the main reason why I chose to get Schnapps’ portrait taken. Hopefully he will be a part of our family for a long, long time to come, but now we will always have a reminder of him as a naughty, clever, loyal and loving 2-year-old. Alex was a pleasure to meet and to deal with. She is patient, professional, and obviously has a great love of animals and an enormous amount of talent. Narrowing down our choices to a selection we could afford was hard, but we never felt pressured to hurry or to buy more. We love our prints, and are proud to have them on display in our home.
Andrea & Matt – Schnapps the miniature schnauzer x poodle
Alex is one of the most warm, generous people I have ever met. Coupled with her obvious love for animals this makes for an ideal pet photographer. Alex is extremely talented and goes out of her way to ensure perfection. The enthusiasm, dedication and care that was put into both my experience and photos is unparalleled. I could not recommend Alex highly enough, and wish to thank her for all the effort and help. I have never encountered a business where people are so willing to go that ‘extra mile.’ I will definitely be using her services again and again and again.
Angela – Darcy the Chinchilla
It is so wonderful of you to support the Penguin Centre – you really are very kind. Thank you very much for the photographs. All of them are supreme – It’s hard to choose a favourite one as they are all so good. We especially liked the feather shot. It’s brilliant and would look good enlarged in a big frame – It’s so different. Thank you so much for the cheque too, it really is very kind of you. Your generosity overwhelms us. We look forward to seeing you again in the new year.
Dorothy & Staff at the Penguin Centre, South Australia
I was just reading an article written about you and am totally inspired. Your photographs are simply beautiful and imaginative, each one a masterpiece. Animals are my favorite subjects and after reading your story, I want to go and volunteer at our local animal services group. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story.
Marjorie Wallace – Lacey, USA