Last March photographer Kelly Pratt Kreidich came up with an idea: to photograph dancers and dogs...together. "It all came to me," she says. "I wanted the images to look really clean, simple and lighthearted. And obviously, because it's dogs, kind of silly." And thus, Dancers & Dogs was born.
Based in St. Louis, MO Kreidich and her husband Ian are a husband-and-wife photography team known as Pratt and Kreidich Photography. Four years ago, just for fun, they started taking pictures of a couple of the dancers in the Saint Louis Ballet, and when the company was in need of a Nutcracker photographer, they were hired. Now the duo is responsible for all of SLB's marketing and performance photography. So when Kreidich came up with her vision, she naturally reached out to SLB for dancers. "The company was really receptive to it," she says. "They've even been letting us use their studios."
Finding dogs wasn't quite so easy. "We have certain requirements. They have to be able to sit and stay and behave nicely indoors," says Kreidich. She put out a call to all of her canine-loving friends, promising fine art portraits of the dogs alone if their owners let them pose with the dancers.
SLB dancers Elizabeth Lloyd with Lola and Trooper. Photo Courtesy Dancers & Dogs.
At shoots, the dogs end up leading the show. "We really work with their personalities," says Kreidich. "We go along with what the dogs are able to do and what they like to do. One was able to wear sunglasses, so we were like, 'well we've get to use that.'"
While this is just a pet project (no pun intended) for the Kreidich's, they're working to expand. While much of their following is on Instagram, they have prints are available for sale on their website, as is a 2018 calendar created in collaboration with SLB. But that's not at all. Next they're focused on photographing 100 dancers with 100 dogs, with the goal of creating a book a few years down the road. "We're hoping to expand to other companies in other cities, and also into other types of dance from contemporary to hip hop."
The Dancers & Dogs 2018 calendar. Photo Courtesy Dancers & Dogs.