C/O Geoff Fitzgerald
Fetching Studios is Hamilton’s premier professional dog portrait studio and the hottest new place to photograph your pet
Ideally located near Gage Parkan ideal location for a walk with your doggie, pick up studios opened its doors last December as the first professional dog portrait studio in Hamilton. Using fun sets, themes and props, Geoff Fitzgerald and vanessa Marion Merritthusband and wife and company founders, aim to capture your dog’s charm and personality.
Fetching Studios began as the couple’s passion project. They had just adopted their Old English Bulldog, Taffy Lee Fubbinsor Taffy for short, and as new dog owners, the idea was born out of their own interest in taking pictures of their dog and their love for her.
With over 20 years of photography experience, Fitzgerald is an award-winning commercial and editorial photographer and videographer. He shoots and edits the portraits, while Marion-Merritt, who has extensive technology experience and currently works in product management at Shopifymanages the website and manages the company’s other backends.
“We started to realize how much a dog in someone’s life is a member of the family and how much people love their pets,” Fitzgerald said.
He also didn’t want to go into people’s backyards to take pictures of their pets; he wanted to create a professional space that people normally don’t have access to or can’t recreate. Thus, the idea of a studio eventually formed to provide dog owners with not only the images, but also the experience associated with the process and working in the studio.
They offer 60-90 minute sessions with five to six slots available one weekend per month. Reservations for Fetching Studios can be made on their website where you can also find other items including tote bags and t-shirts. Guests will have access to a chest filled with various props, dog costumes, and props for filming their dog as part of the experience.
“The real meat and potatoes for us is the real experience you have while you’re in the studio… Those are the pictures at the end, but what we’re really selling is a really engaging and really fun experience for the animal and for its owners,” Fitzgerald explained.
At the end of the studio session, clients will receive 15 fully retouched images. If desired, prints are also available in other sizes, such as a larger poster. Fitzgerald and Marion-Merritt are very flexible about the products they can offer.
Besides Taffy, the couple have a tabby cat named Pepperoni, or Pepper for short, and two hairless rats named Finster and Heiter. Although the studio is focusing on dog portraits at the moment, in the future they hope to expand their services to other animals and pets as well. Eventually, the couple also hopes to offer more logins per month as the business continues to grow.
In terms of reception of this new activity, the reactions to the opening of the studio are unanimously positive.
“I think having these beautiful high-end photos of our pets is such a great memory to have. So overall the response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Fitzgerald said.
On May 29, Grain & Grit Beer Co. will host Summer Dog Days, a dog-focused patio event featuring a variety of local vendors. Fetching Studios will have a booth there and offer 5-10 minute dog portrait sessions. Visitors will also receive a discount coupon for a regular session at the studio.
“Other local businesses see what we offer, see the products we have and want to get involved. They want to connect with other local businesses, support and help each other,” Fitzgerald said.
Going forward, they look forward to integrating and connecting with more businesses, local animal shelters, charities, and pet adoption agencies.
“Not only do we want to offer service, product, photos and experience, but we also want to make sure we are doing our part by helping out whenever we can and helping the canine community to try and give back as much as we can. we can too,” Fitzgerald said.