The Man in the Box
When I first started my pet portraiture business, I had to rely on friends and referrals for subjects. Many of my early images came about as the result of word-of-mouth recommendations, and a few from people who'd seen my work.
I was exceedingly fortunately that my quirky sense of humor seemed to resonate with people. And even more so that people did not seem to mind me asking them to do some truly odd things. That tells me a lot: that I have earned people's trust. And I am deeply grateful for - and humbled by - that trust. I always show my subjects what I am shooting, especially if it's something that makes them feel a bit silly. Not only does that reassure them, it always seems to give them license to loosen up and really commit to the concept.
One day I went into my local Box Bros. (now Goodman Shipping) where I do business, and David Goodman – the owner - commented on how much he liked my photography and would love to have his portrait done with his dog, Moose.
Yes, the owner of Box Bros. had a boxer. You can’t make this stuff up. Naturally, the only sensible thing for me to do was to put David in a box. David had zero qualms about getting into the box - I think we have very similar senses of humor. And he really did enjoy the session. Moose just sat there, perfectly.
Of course, now that the store's name has changed, the pun has been lost. But I will never forget the day I got a grown man to sit inside a cardboard box.