Classic lighting and clean, simple shots define Mancuso's popular portraiture.
"I use four or five Chimera Lightbank softboxes to spread out the light and give the photos more of a classy, fine art look. Occasionally, I'll try angling the lights, because it sculpts the fur. I use baffles to focus light and spotlights, as well."
For one of his favorite shots, Mancuso focused a spotlight well above his German shepherd subject. "Pierce (p. 32, middle), the dog, was looking up at it [in the shot] like he was talking to God or something."
One memorable session with a dancing poodle showed you don't always know what you're getting into until you know the subject better. When Arthur, a poodle from the neighborhood, was brought in for photos, no one—including the owner—had any idea he could do tricks. When Arthur's skill became obvious, the owner ran home and came back with a hoop. Arthur jumped right through it.
As Mancuso clicked away, the poodle danced to Beatles music. To capture the dog's vivacious personality, he put glowing red, orange, and yellow lights around the poodle. So there was nothing for Arthur to trip over, he used wireless remote devices, such as an infrared trigger.
Mancuso plans to compile a book some day about people and their dogs, stories of heroism, and the special bonds they share.
You just know that Enzo will play a leading role…
For more Mancuso images, visit www.gregorymancuso.com.