We are absolutely thrilled to welcome award-winning photographer Seth Casteel, also known as “The Underwater Dogs Guy”, as our Guest Photographer Judge for this month’s “Pet Faces” Photo Challenge! Seth has been featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, The New York Times, TIME Magazine and on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, EXTRA, CNN WORLD REPORT, THE TODAY SHOW and JEOPARDY! As one of the most published pet photographers in the world, his work can be seen in hundreds of magazines, calendars, posters, books and TV shows.
Based in Los Angeles and Chicago and available nation-wide, his business vacuum cleaner for pet reviews Little Friends Photo specializes in lifestyle pet photography, embracing the at-ease mentality of pets on-location in their natural surroundings.
His passion for working with animals shines through in his craftsmanship, whether he’s on location in Beverly Hills photographing a pampered pooch or volunteering at the local shelter taking pictures of dogs and cats to help find them forever homes.
Seth’s Photography Journey
Wild and crazy! I got started with photography in 2002 while living in Australia. I became obsessed with photographing the amazing wildlife there. Back in the US, I started volunteering to photograph homeless pets to help them find loving families. I was so excited that the photos made such a difference! One day, someone asked if they could hire me to photograph their dog. I said sure! One of the resulting photos was chosen for the cover of a magazine, which then led to more opportunities. I would have never guessed I would become a pet photographer, but I’m definitely not surprised. I’ve always loved animals!
Fun Q&A with Seth
What was your favorite photography moment from the past year?
Every single moment.
What inspires your photography the most?
Dogs and their winning attitude about life!
Do you have a “most embarrassing” photography moment you can share?
At the beginning of a super important underwater photo shoot with three dogs, one of the dogs decided to have an “accident” in the pool. Oh no! I had no time to reschedule the shoot, so just had to stay in the water!
What is your favorite quote?
“It’s not my fault, but it is my problem.”
“We’ve been to the past. We’ve been to the future. The best place to be… is here. The best time to be… is now. And alls we can say is.. LET’S ROCK!” – Bill & Ted
What lens can’t you live without?
How do you promote your business?
Snap photos of underwater dogs and watch them fly around the world-wide web! These days, I honestly don’t have to do a whole lot actually! The PR hits continue to alert people of my photos. Of course, it’s not always been like that! I used to do tack up fliers at pet boutiques, roam dog parks and hand out business cards and even pay for advertising at L.A. Car Washes. I wouldn’t recommend the last one unless you love car washes and watching money swirl down the drain. ha!
What do you love to do in your free time?
Hang out with my dogs. Ride around on my bike and ding my bell. Rock out to 80’s smash hits. Get on an airplane and go somewhere. Collect stuffed animals that look like my pound-puppy min-labradoodle, Nala.
What do you love best about photographing pets?
You have a book coming out soon. Can you tell us about that?
My calendar, Underwater Dogs, is already out and about. And the book, Underwater Dogs will be out October 23! The book is a collection of photos of underwater dogs. Some of the photos you may have seen before, but there are dozens of never-before-seen photos starring a variety of new “underwater models” including a Pug, 12 week-old Puppies and a Wolf!
Where would you like to see your business in five years?
I’d love to see my non-profit, SecondChancePhotos.org, expand efforts domestically and internationally!
What is the best photography advice you have ever received?
“You should do weddings.” Actually, it wasn’t the best advice, but it was the most frequent. Everybody always told me to photograph weddings so that I could succeed financially as a photographer. But weddings are not my passion. Animals are.
Is there one tip you would like to share with our fans?
For me, photography is all about taking chances. It’s always fun to try something new – maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but that’s part of the fun! Have an idea? Try it! Can’t afford to pull it off? Get a credit card!
Connect with Seth
We are so thankful for the time that Seth is spending with us here at I Heart Faces this week. Be sure to check out his website for more inspiration. And we’d especially love it if our community could stop by his Facebook Fan Page to leave a kind comment or share a shout-out on Twitter. And please visit SecondChancePhotos.org to learn more about Seth’s dedication to helping pets through photography.
There’s still time to enter this month’s photo challenge. Submit your “Pet Faces” entry by 12:00 Noon EST on Friday!