What do you get when you combine slobbery jowls, flying tongues and the delectable whiff of peanut butter? An unintentional international sensation, according to professional pet photographer Greg Murray.
“It wasn’t my intention to publish a book when this started a few months back. My friends and social media followers were really reacting positively to the series so I thought why not get a Kickstarter going to raise some money so that a book could get printed. The photos were making people happy and that made me feel great inside. And that’s my reason for doing this. To make people happy and laugh. A few days after the Kickstarter went live, things really blew up. The series and book went national and international.”
Greg, the creator of the photo series and upcoming book, “For the Love of Peanut Butter: A Photo Book,” thought of the idea for this photo series over two years ago, inspired by his and his fiancée’s late rescue Mastiff, Bailey.
“I loved getting pictures of [Bailey] with her tongue out and her typical drool. I found the best way to do that was to give her a little bit of peanut butter….She unfortunately passed a few months after that photo was taken. A 2′ x 2′ canvas print of that photo is on our living room wall and welcomes visitors to our home.”
It was Bailey’s drool that led the way for Greg’s idea to actually take form this past January.
“January and February are typically my slower months, as they are for many Midwest photographers….I found myself getting a bit bored in late January this year and figured it would be fun to start a series. I started asking my studio pet clients if they would let me take photos of their dogs eating peanut butter. I also called past clients to bring their dogs in to participate.”
Finding eager subjects for his photo series has been very easy, with Greg having currently photographed 97 dogs with about 15 to go. The only request that Greg had of his potential clients?
“The only requirement is that they have had peanut butter and liked it. I have no requirements for the dogs other than that.”
Greg told BarkPost that over 75 percent of the dogs in this photo series are rescues and mixes, something that he’s very proud of being a rescue advocate. And while there were no requirements for the dogs besides loving peanut butter, Greg does have a soft spot for a particular kind of dog.
“When someone contacts me about getting one of their [Pit Bulls] in the book, I immediately schedule them. Along with being a rescue advocate, I’m also a Pit advocate. I hope that people see the Pits in this book and realize they’re great dogs, just like the others. Even if one person is swayed to get to know a Pit or pet one for the first time after laughing at one of their photos in the book, then that’s great. I will let my feelings about Pits be known in the book’s introduction. I love them. I can’t own one because the city I reside in has breed specific legislation and I would love to one day legally own a Pit here.”
The Kickstarter campaign for “For the Love of Peanut Butter: A Photo Book” ends on April 29th and is currently the only way to reserve a copy of Greg’s upcoming drool–worthy book. If you happen to miss the deadline on Kickstarter, you will still have a chance to get your paws on this book, although you will have to wait until this summer to purchase a copy. Greg told BarkPost:
“It will be for sale on my website and Amazon. I’ll be printing 500–1000 as part of the first run….Many small boutique stores in the Northeast Ohio area are very eager to have the books on their shelves. It’s very exciting!”
In a book that is sure to be full of surprises (have you ever seen a dog in mid–peanut butter licking bliss?), there is one thing that doesn’t come as a surprise — what this photo series and book means to Greg.
“The best part of this personally is that my photos have made people smile. That’s the goal and it [has] worked. People around the world have laughed and smiled at these funny looking dogs. What an honor! I feel so lucky to be able to have done that. I think about this on a daily basis and it’s what drives me.”
To reserve a copy of “For the Love of Peanut Butter: A Photo Book,” click here to visit Greg’s Kickstarter campaign. If you’d like to contact Greg about photographing your pet (and yes, you can bring peanut butter), you can reach out to him via his website.