My name is Tracy Willis, and I’m a newborn photographer and digital artist based in Dorset, UK. For my personal project titled “Animal Antics,” I create composite photos of my dogs doing various human activities.
I photograph every single element of my images — nothing is stock. The images are built purely out of elements which I photograph myself using either with my Canon 5D Mark III or my iPhone 6S, and each item in an image is only a small part of the final piece of work.
I am always on the lookout for different items that can be added to an image, and I use Lightroom collections to catalog any elements I have photographed so they are easy to find when building an art piece.
I have 5 dogs, 3 mice and 2 rabbits, and the former feature heavily in my work — luckily my dogs are happy to wear clothes and sit in chairs!
Sometimes I begin with an idea of the overall finished picture, other times I may see an element, which would look great in an image, and I build the image around that. As items can be resized to suit it is more about what the item looks like as opposed to the size and position, etc.
I take pictures at antique shops, pet shops, music shops, and more to allow me to add new and fun items to my work. For example, if there is an ornament I see in a shop that would be suitable to use, I ask permission to take some pictures and then I photograph it from all angles to make sure it will work in the final layout with whatever perspective I choose.
When photographing animals for the pictures I try to look for expression and the direction of the look, as these all help to add character to the animal and add more of a storytelling look to the image.
About the author: Tracy Willis is a newborn photographer and retoucher based in Dorset, UK. You can find more of her work on her website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, 500px, and Instagram.