Scotland's Pet Photographer
Ayrshire based Paul Walker's passion for photographing pets goes back to his early childhood in Yorkshire. All the family pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and his pet duck were frequently the target of those young watchful eyes and his trusty camera.
The pets' enthusiasm for smiling didn't always match that of the young photographer yet in his mission to capture the perfect pet photograph many learning curves and bridges were crossed in an effort to gain a greater understanding of pet behaviour. He still remembers his first dog, a miniature Yorkshire Terrier and her reaction when the ice cream van's siren could be heard entering his local street. The two of them regularly raced to the ice cream van with the dog knowing she didn't have to pay for her mini cone and that chocolate flake.
Although Paul continued with his other studies, many years later, spurred on and inspired by photographers such as John Drysdale and Elliott Erwitt he was determined to produce something different than the typical photography so often seen either involving conventional studio sets or white/black backgrounds.
The photography press regularly feature his work and following many early awards, in 2008, he gained the attention of the Ilex Press and was commissioned to write the title "Pet Photography Now".
A year later in 2009, he became the first photographer in the UK to ever receive a Fellowship Distinction in "Environmental Pet Portraiture" from the Master Photographers Association. Notably this was achieved using truly commissioned work from his day to day assignments. In the same year, he gained the accolade of Scottish Master Photographer of the Year from the MPA. In 2013, the Royal Photographic Society awarded him the Bill Wisden "Fellowship of the Year" for his panel of pet portrait. The Fellowship distinction is the highest qualification level of the main photography institutions.
Since turning professional in 2004, his pet photography skills have regularly been rewarded from various photography institutions. In 2020 he was awarded the Scottish Master Pet Photographer of the Year for a record 9 times and has twice being awarded UK Pet Photographer of the Year (MPA & SWPP).
This was on the back of obtaining Fellowships with both the Royal Photographic Society and the British Institute of Professional Photography in the same year. He has also been featured on Scottish Television's "The Hour" and the BBC's "One Show" and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Scotland to discuss pet related topics. His work has also been featured in magazines/publications based in China, Israel, Peru, Brazil, Germany and India.
From time to time he also probably delivers one of the most different pet photography training workshops around. These have taken him to the USA, Italy and Qatar along with UK based workshops based in Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.
"At the lowest end of pet photography are the hordes of high street studios churning out very similar pictures to make you yawn and forget. At the very top end is Paul Walker, a highly talented 'one off' original who squeezes every last drop of talent and effort into his pictures which are alive, exciting, memorable, and as good as you get." John Drysdale, author of "Our Peaceable Kingdom"
"Love your site, keep up the good work" US soul singer, Billy Paul
"Paul captured the individual characters of Molly and Matilda perfectly. He has a real understanding of dogs, and knows how to get the most dramatic action shots ever!" Jo Good and Anna Webb, Barking at the Moon, BBC London & Stars of Sky Television's "A Different Breed"
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