Landscapes and portraits are usually the subjects of professional photographers. At Kiki’s Pet Photography, the lenses aim at a different subject.
Kiki’s has been centering its focus on the local pets of Long Island City, particularly LIC’s precious pooches.
The company is owned by two photographers, Junenoire Mitchell, 27, and Arianys Wilson, 32, who began their business together more than a year-and-a-half ago.
Mitchell and Wilson met while photographing an event at Brooklyn’s Third Ward. The duo admired each other’s work and decided to partner up.
“[Long Island City] is where we started. We wanted to come together and do something together. We saw so many dogs in Long Island City and it’s such a dog friendly neighborhood, we thought it would be really fun,” said Mitchell.
The pair initially wanted to photograph children and their pets, as Mitchell has a background in shooting models and Wilson has experience photographing families. As their business grew, their specialty shifted into solely shooting pets, partnering with dog day cares and other local pet businesses. However, he photographers don’t rule out snapping people with their beloved pets.
“We’d like to photograph cats and other pets but it’s primarily dogs in Long Island City,” Mitchell said of the neighborhood’s canine-crazy mentality.
The duo uses the streets of LIC, dog parks and homes of clients as their studio, working on every shoot together — Mitchell situating the doggy models and Wilson taking the shot.
“It’s definitely a two person job. You can ask anybody who has taken a picture of a dog, it isn’t the easiest thing to do,” said Mitchell. “Arianys focuses on the pictures and I focus on the creative direction. Arianys has great timing to catch a lot of the great expressions.”
During shoots, Mitchell and Wilson go back and forth between posed photos and candid shots, doling out treats to keep the pups pleased.
The photographers said filling a niche, even in a neighborhood as dog friendly as Long Island City, isn’t always easy.
“We don’t have tons of business but the few people we have, we really work for their needs,” said Wilson.
The team is hoping to eventually expand the business throughout Queens, snapping puppy portraits all over the borough.