Brixton photographer Fiona Freund has an exhibition of her work opening in the Lounge on Atlantic Road on Monday (14 May). It’s based on a book that is full of portraits by her. And this, Fiona explains, is how it came about …
The nice people from Freight Books got in touch in 2015.
“We need portraits.”
“That’s what I do.”
“In London Pubs”
“When do I start?”
I have been a portrait photographer for over 25 years shooting the great, good and glittery for magazines, books and illustrious clients around the world. Hounds in hostelries is a first!
My lovely local, The Elm Park Tavern in Brixton, near the fabulous Brockwell Park, was my first stop. The wonderful landlord Matt and a few well placed posters worked a treat and within 20 minutes I was knee deep in man’s best friends.
Without Victoria Stilwell as an assistant, getting the pampered pouches to pose and pout was going to require some serious doggie diplomacy.
And I was going to spend a lot of time crawling around on the floor making a twit of myself to entertain my sitters (which I usually do a fair bit), and getting sniffed and licked by them (which I usually don’t).
Although I am dogless I do have two small boys who respond best to firm monosyllabic commands and lots of food and exercise – so I have the necessary transferable skills. Isn’t there something they say about children and animals?
With some smashing snaps – Dougie the dachshund-cross who likes frankfurters, Danny Boy who does Elvis impersonations and Dallas the heavyweight boxer who wouldn’t come out from under the table – my test shoot was a success and I was ready to fully immerse myself in the weird and wonderful world of London dogs – and their owners.
I plumped for other poochie pubs around Brockwell Park and then aimed for other areas of London with a park at their heart.
As I scoured the capital for suitable establishments – having lots of slightly confused conversations with bemused landlords – I realised I had drunk and even performed (don’t ask) in most of the 20 or so pubs I had pinpointed for their canine clientele in my 30+ years as a Londoner.
The wonderful pubs of London didn’t disappoint.
From Hackney to Hampstead, Notting Hill to Norwood there are puggles and zuchons and sproillies and cockapoos.
I met some wonderful dogs with their adoring owners who were all great fun and very game to do whatever was necessary to get the shot.
I am delighted to now be collaborating with Clover Eziashi proud owner of The Lounge and Remi the Boston terrier, in presenting Pub Dogs of London – The Exhibition. Come and see the doggies up close and personal, buy a book, or a portrait session for the dog in your life.’
WHAT: Pub Dogs of London photography exhibition
WHERE: The Lounge, 56–58 Atlantic Road SW9
WHEN: Monday 14 May to Saturday 30 June 2018
TIMES: Noon to 10pm, Monday to Saturday, 11am to 5pm Sunday