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The Magic of Animal Photography

My main photographic subjects are Equine and Canine & Pets, animals that people hold dear to their hearts, accepting them almost as family members, whose unique personalities, traits and loyalties never cease to amaze.

I love observing how my clients and their animals bond and respect one another, whether its a walk in the park, running around their back garden or accompanying and observing them at a formal event or show. Where they display their routines and talents working as a team is a privilege for me to see.

I strongly believe that animals need to be in their own familiar surrounds to feel at ease, in order to get the best shots. Whilst this can be challenging especially with the British climate, patience and persistence normal pays dividends. (I am not saying that studio shots are wrong, its just my preference to shoot outside or in arenas.)

Contrary to the old adage of never working with children or animals these are some of the most rewarding moments, and you need to learn the skill of understanding nature and the ways of your subjects.
I always start my sessions by getting to know both the client and subject, not only to understand what the clients expectations and aspirations are from the session, but how the animals are behaving on the day. Just like humans they have mood swings and off days.

Apart from working with clients and their animals I love going out on walks with my camera to capture the natural world on display, sometimes even the common sparrows in my garden can be inspiring, although I would not consider my self a wildlife expert in any sense, seeing them in their natural habitat carrying out their daily routines is a blessing, but capturing those special moments on camera is magic.

About Me

My Name is James McHugh, I am based in York, North Yorkshire, England. I have been a keen photographer since childhood, in those days it was film. I loved my black bodied Olympus OM1n, and still get it out on occasion, but digital is the way now.

My passion is the Natural World, I love animals and have always had pets and felt a respect and admiration to all types of wildlife. Living in the beautiful city of York with all its historic buildings and architecture makes a very tempting subject. But I am also blessed in living in the majestic county of North Yorkshire with its vast diversity of countryside and wildlife. And of course the northern weather, where sometimes the climate feels like its multiple seasons in the same day and which so often plays tricks with the light. ( apart for also getting wet from time to time).
I am always looking to learn and improve my craft and welcome any feedback and comments which may help.