Seth Casteel’s Underwater Dog Photography
Award-winning photographer Seth Casteel has been featured on Good Morning America, Extra, CNN World Report, The Today Show, JEOPARDY! and in Time Magazine. As one of the most published pet photographers in the world, his work can be seen in hundreds of magazines, calendars, posters, books, and TV shows. Seth has also had the privilege of working with and photographing a variety of celebrities including Cesar Millan, Ellen DeGeneres, Amy Smart, Denise Richards, Perez Hilton, the cast of “Twilight”, and the cast of GLEE. His passion for working with animals shines through in his craftsmanship, whether he’s on location in Beverly Hills photographing a pampered pooch or volunteering at the local shelter taking pictures of dogs and cats to help find them forever homes. Please visit SecondChancePhotos.org to learn more about Seth’s dedication to helping pets through photography. Pictureline asked him a few questions about a recent series of images of underwater shots taken of dogs diving for their balls.
Seth Casteel: “I got into pet photography through volunteer work – photographing homeless dogs and cats in Los Angeles to help get them adopted. Through these efforts, a dog owner commissioned me to photograph his dog, which led to a magazine cover, which led to the next step. Here we are a few years later! The underwater photography was a happy accident at a lifestyle photo shoot with a Cavalier King Charles named Buster. The shoot was meant to be “on-land”, but Buster decided he would spend the entire time in the pool. As he was diving in after his mini tennis ball, I thought “Hmmmm, I wonder what he looks like UNDER the water??”
When I first started shooting underwater, I could only afford a point-and-shoot underwater camera, which surprisingly worked pretty well! At the time, I was working with a Sony point-and-shoot. Now I am using a Canon 7D with underwater housing.Working with dogs in the water and underwater is unpredictable, so the biggest challenge was learning their behavior, their movements, their motivation. The learning process is never-ending. Every single dog is unique, but I have developed a series of “games” that I play with the dogs to help create opportunities and moments. There are certain breeds that are more apt to jump in the water: definitely, the hard-wired retrievers.
My forthcoming book, “Underwater Dogs,” will be released this October. The book will feature dozens of never-before-seen photos starring new “underwater models.” I will be accepting commercial work and commissioned work from private clients this May once I finish the photography for my book. I’ve been traveling all over the place in pursuit of pets – apparently there are pets everywhere!! In the past year, I’ve been to 15 cities in the US, and Australia, Indonesia, Fiji and Italy. My clientele is coming more and more from a very diverse group of people. The common thread, however, is that everyone loves their pets!