Aleksandra and Luna: A tail of perfect paw-traits leading to a dream job as a professional pet photographer

Post by
Marisa Young
Aleksandra and Luna: A tail of perfect paw-traits leading to a dream job as a professional pet photographer

Meet Aleksandra Kalenik, a talented pet photographer living in Warsaw, Poland. She's had a passion for photography since her early days, but that interest was rekindled when she got her first dog, Luna. Her furry friend inspired her to pick up her camera again.

Aleksandra’s natural talent led to opportunities to photograph other people's dogs and she quickly realised pet photography was her calling. She made the leap, leaving her UX Design job behind to become a full-time pet photographer and content creator.

Since making that career switch, Aleksandra has mastered the art of pet photography and hasn’t looked back. She has learnt the patience and the tricks—like keeping a bag of treats on hand!—that allow her to capture perfect pet portraits. Affectionately know as our ‘pet queen’, we are so glad some of these have been for our biggest pet brand customers like Pedigree, James Wellbeloved and Whiskas.

Let's take a creative walk and get to know more about Aleksandra, her approach to pet photography, and how she captures those perfect, paw-some moments.

Let’s chat with Aleksandra

Hey, I’m Aleksandra! Photography has been with me since childhood. I will never forget the feeling when I grabbed the camera for the first time and let my imagination run wild. I was a teenager then.

From that moment on, I dreamed of becoming a photographer. I took hundreds of photos of everything around me, friends, and nature. Unfortunately, self-doubt led me to abandon this dream.

In the meantime, I started working as a UX Designer, and I only took out my camera during holidays. Everything changed when Luna, my first ever dog, appeared in my house. She became my inspiration. I started to post photos of her on Instagram and my passion for photography quickly revived. It turned out that people liked what I do, and started asking me to take photos of their dogs.

From that moment it snowballed - I discovered that dog photography is something I want to do in my life. Soon after, Creatively Squared reached out to me (fun fact - it was on my birthday!) and I also started creating product photos with pets. I quickly expanded my portfolio and started doing more and more projects for such photos. Two years later I took a bold step, resigning from my full-time UX job to become a full-time content creator!

Thanks to Creatively Squared, I discovered the belief in myself that I never knew I had! Now I work as a pet photographer and I couldn't envision a more fulfilling and rewarding profession.
Aleksandra has captured delightful feeding moments for Cesar. Source: Creatively Squared

Journey with Creatively Squared

Creatively Squared reached out to me! It was the day of my 28th birthday when I was offered a project. Every project I worked on was unique and wonderful.

My best memory is the content I created for James Wellbeloved during my trip to Italy. It was a combination of everything I love - beautiful views, travel, and animal photography.

The brief was to create a set of photos and video clips showing the dog with its owner on a trip accompanied by James Wellbeloved food. I had to focus on the dog-human relationship and showing the deliciousness of the food.

Aleksandra’s content for James Wellbeloved shows the fun of traveling and creating content with her pet, Luna. Source: Creatively Squared.

Tools of the Trade

I use a Canon R6 Mark II + Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 135 1.8, Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 85mm 1.8. For editing, I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. But the best creative tool I use would be a lot of delicious treats 🤣

In terms of shooting locations, my favourite would be nature and beautiful houses full of light. Indoors I usually shoot in the kitchen and living room, and outside - in the forest, at the lake, in the park. Whatever the project requires 😉

Aleksandra beautifully captured this adorable feeding moment in a kitchen setting for MyPerfectFit. Source: Creatively Squared


Aleksandra’s creative process

When working with animals, it is difficult to stick to a previously established plan - they are living creatures and very often have their own ideas for everything 🤣 Very often you have to improvise and adapt to the model's humor and temperament.

In my bag, there are always several types of treats, toys, and catnip for the moodiest cat models. Sometimes you have to try hard to get a furry model to do what you want.

I am thankful that I usually have my partner help me with the photos. He entertains furry models and makes strange noises to get them to look at the camera. His help is invaluable!

Finding inspiration

When it comes to inspiration, I love looking up to @thegoodmuttphotography, @anne.geier.fotografie, and @audreybellotphotos.

Top creative tip

Just follow your heart 😊

What’s next for you?

I would like to improve my skills in studio photography and setting beautiful lighting.

Thank you Aleksandra for sharing your incredible journey towards becoming a full-time pet photographer with us. Your stunning pet paw-traits are a real treat for the eyes, and we are so lucky Creatively Squared has helped you make your dreams a reality!

Don't miss out on Aleksandra work and her pet Luna's captivating adventures – follow them on Instagram at @the.moony.luna.

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