Dunked Daschunds, dripping Dobermans, moist Mastiffs, saturated Shih-Tzus, soaked & soggy Labradors, wet King Charles Spaniels…
What do they have in common? A pool, photographer Seth Casteel & a set of dunked doggie images that have gone madly viral – in the process, making Seth an instant celebrity much in demand by thousand of dog lovers who are banging down his door to have their pets’ pictures taken by him!
Our fluffy. cuddly, wide eyed best friends suddenly turn into terrifying shark-like predators. And all it really takes is changing the setting of land (normal) to water (abnormal & unusual). Plus of course the excitement and frenzy of the dogs performing under water.
– Howard Schatz (H20) was the pioneer in shooting women underwater.
– Seth Casteel has pioneered dunkin dogs.
As Stephen Hutcheon reports in the Sydney Morning Herald, … “At the start of February, Seth Casteel was an obscure pet photographer who was making ends meet. By March, his website had crashed under the weight of curiosity, the phone was running hot, his inbox was full to overflowing and a posse of publishers waving book deals was in hot pursuit.If there is such a thing as a celebrity pet photographer, then the 31-year-old from Los Angeles is it. A decade-long passion for animals and photography, that began during a seven-month-long sojourn in Townsville in 2002, has blossomed almost overnight into a viral success story. Today he is more commonly known as the “underwater dog guy”, the man who managed to turn pictures of submerged pets into a striking art form that left many scratching their heads and muttering “why didn’t I think of that”?
“..Today, he also runs a non-profit called Second Chance Photos, which aims to teach animal shelter staff and other volunteers how to take photographs of the shelter pets that give them the best possible chance of being re-homed.”
SEE WEBSITE HERE & BELOW
READ MORE – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: “A Soggy Dog Story“
Jakob Schiller covers the business & technology side of the story in WIRED Magazine: …“I could have never predicted anything like this,” says Casteel, who seems to have remained humble in the face of his newfound fame. While many viral stars have floundered under the attention, Casteel says he was actually well positioned to deal with the onslaught. His website crashed a couple times because of the hundreds of thousands of hits he continues to receive, but that seems to have been the only hiccup.
Where many internet stars fade away after a few days of intense popularity, his firm capitalized on the traffic by handling most of Casteel’s business transactions and press requests.
“The business side is so important because you can have something go viral and be silly about it and you won’t make a dollar off it,” Casteel says. “Without [Tandem Stills + Motion] it would have been a fail.”
The company’s smaller size and client focus was also instrumental. The only detail Casteel will reveal about his new financial situation is that he has gone from “a struggling entrepreneur to someone who is going to have a career.”
The most exciting part of the success for him, however, is how the attention has already helped his non-profit, Second Chance Photos, which aims to increase the quality of animal adoption photos at shelters across the country by providing photo equipment and technical training for shelter staff. Better photos, Casteel says, means increased adoption rates.
He got involved in helping animals after some kittens wandered onto a movie set he was working on and he agreed to do their adoption photos. From there he moved on to volunteering at the West Los Angeles animal shelter and then started Second Chance. ”
READ MORE – WIRED: “Diving Dogs Are Good Catch for Photographer“
Timothy Stenovec interviewed Seth Casteel for the Huffington Post “…Over the course of several thousands of years, we’ve taken wolves and made them Boston terriers,” Casteel told HuffPost. “But still, at the heart of it, dogs have wild instincts. For me, it’s all about seeing those wild instincts come through underwater. They’re getting back to being wild. They really love being wild. And under water, they have the best chance of doing that.”
“Whether it’s silly, whether it’s focused, whether it’s terrifying. You see that underwater,” he added.
Casteel thinks the photos have resonated so well because of the special relationship humans have with dogs. “People identify with dogs because they share a similar range of emotions that human beings do,” Casteel said. “They understand us, we understand them, and together we have this fantastic relationship.”
Despite the success of these photos, Casteel, who has a calendar, “Ruff,” coming out soon and is in talks with publishers and agents for a book, said that for him, it’s all about the artwork.”
Timothy Stenovec also details the power of Social Media and how it was integral to the overnight viral success of Seth Casteel’s unique images.
Jim Edwards has a different take in Business Insider:…” You think you know what a dog looks like when it dives into a swimming pool to fetch a ball. And then you see these astonishing underwater images by photographer Seth Casteel: It’s a startling frenzy of teeth, jowls, eyes and claws. The near-weightless conditions, coupled with the drag of the water, do odd things to a dog.
Lips go flying. Fur and ears lie flat. Eyelids are peeled back.
Most of all, they reveal the intense determination that dogs bring to having fun.”
SETH CASTEELS Contacts:
His Website: Little Friends Photo
His “Saving Pets” Website: SECOND CHANCE PHOTOS – Saving Pets Through Photography