Austin-based photographer highlights dogs in new book; proceeds benefit local nonprofit

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — “In ways, it’s challenging. In ways, it’s rewarding,” fine art photographer Randal Ford said.

Taking portraits of dogs wasn’t as easy as he thought it’d be, but with the help of a couple trainers and noisemakers, he achieved his goal:

(Courtesy: Nick Cabrera © 2020)

“Capture the essence and soul of our dogs through the lens of portraiture.”

Ford shot and compiled 150 dog portraits for his latest photography book, “Good Dog: A Collection of Portraits,” officially published Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Ford hopes to bring out the emotions we feel for our furry, four-legged friends every day.

“There’s no animal on the planet we’re more emotionally connected to than dogs, and so what I’m trying to with this book is try to capture that emotional connection and that look that a dog gives you, you know, at the end of the day when you come home or when it’s waiting for you at the door, when it’s ready to go on a walk.”

Ford is currently based in Austin, only hours from where his roots began: Dallas. He graduated from Texas A&M and started off his career shooting for the school newspaper.

His dog Rosie is featured in the book.

“She was by my side during this whole time creating this book so that felt really kind of special to include her.”

A reminder of what dogs’ companionship means to us during these times.

Rosie, Ford’s dog, is featured in the book (Courtesy: Randal Ford © 2020)

Pandemic pooch

With an everchanging pandemic playing field, dogs remain a constant in the chaos.

‘I certainly didn’t realize the relevance the book has this year because as we’ve been isolated in quarantine and, whatnot, our dogs have been our faithful companions by our side the whole time. And so, I think in that regard, this book kind of highlights that faithful companionship they’ve given us during this challenging year,” Ford said.

He hopes his dog book is a “warm welcome” while we navigate the future of COVID-19 in our daily lives.

Good dogs for a good cause

(Courtesy: Nick Cabrera © 2020)

“It’s great to be able to rescue a dog, but then if you can’t care for that dog when [it’s] sick or needs veterinarian care, it’s hard to keep that dog,” Ford said.

He hopes to change that outcome with his book. Portions of its proceeds support Emancipet, a local nonprofit organization that operates low-cost veterinarian care clinics in and around Austin. They’ve also expanded to major cities like Houston and Philadelphia.

“Emancipet is honored and so very grateful to Randal Ford for choosing us as the beneficiary of donations from this magnificent book. Randal shares our love of animals in such a beautiful way,” Director of Major Gifts Missy McCullough said in a press release.

The nonprofit pet clinic’s mission is to make veterinary care affordable and accessible to everyone. They offer customized training and consulting programs to animal welfare organizations nationwide, while also serving as advocates for strategies and public policy to improve the lives of pets in underserved communities. You can learn more about them on their website.

If you’d like to learn more about Ford, his books or his photography, you can visit his website. You can view some of the dog portraits, including pictures of the book, in the slideshow below.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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