There are few things in this world better than peanut butter and dogs – in my world at least. And when you put the combination together, you get a humorous effect that is perfect for a photo series.
Around two years ago, Cleveland area photographer, Greg Murray was photographing his rescue Mastiff, Bailey. The Mastiff breed is notorious for their mass quantities of drool, leaving ropes of slobber everywhere. Naturally, Greg loved to photograph his beloved pup with tongue out, drool pooling, and one of the best ways he found to do that was to give her a bit of peanut butter.
Sadly, Bailey passed away a few months after the above photo was taken, but her legacy lives on in Greg’s new photo series, “For the Love of Peanut Butter.”
Winter is typically a slower season for photographers in the Midwest, so early this year, Greg wanted to do a fun project to stay busy. Inspired by Bailey, he began giving a little bit of peanut butter to his client’s dogs during their shoots and the project took off. Honestly, who doesn’t smile when they see a picture of a dog with the look of complete bliss as their long tongues try to get every deliciously gooey smear of peanut butter off their noses?
To date, Greg has photographed 90 dogs for this project with about 20 more to go before it is complete. Greg plans to put together a photography book of the series through Kickstarter, dedicated to Bailey. Most of the canine models in the book are rescues, which Greg is very passionate about. As a rescue advocate, Greg volunteers at local dog rescues and is an advocate for the oft-misunderstood bully breeds. It is his goal of this project to make people, “happy, and laugh…As a photographer, my first job is to make my clients, and the people that like my work, happy. If I do that, everything else falls into place.”
Greg tells us that each session takes about ten minutes, and he emphasizes that only a small amount of peanut butter (without Xylitol, which can be unsafe for dogs) is used. The peanut butter will keep even the most fidgety dogs still for enough time to snap some great shots.
The project will conclude later this month, and Greg will turn his focus on working on the book layout, which will be completed by the end of summer. There are a few weeks left on the Kickstarter, which has already exeeded its goal. You can see that here. To see more of Greg’s work, check out his website here.