On location in Suffolk with award-winning dog photographer

PUBLISHED: 09:01 14 October 2020

The woodland setting near Nigel's base at Mildenhall  is perfect for action shots. Image:  Nigel Wallace

The woodland setting near Nigel's base at Mildenhall is perfect for action shots. Image: Nigel Wallace

Archant

Nigel Wallace loves photographing dogs and their owners doing what they love most – having fun in the Suffolk countryside

Location shots enable Nigel to capture a dog's true personality. Image:  Nigel WallaceLocation shots enable Nigel to capture a dog's true personality. Image: Nigel Wallace

Nigel Wallace enjoys shooting – once, he was an Olympic and Commonwealth Games medal rifle shooter. But these days, the only shooting he does is from behind the lens of a camera.

Nigel, who lives at Mildenhall, in Suffolk, represented England at three consecutive Commonwealth Games, winning bronze and silver (pairs) in 1994 in Canada, gold (pairs) in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, and bronze (pairs) in 2002 in Manchester. He also represented Great Britain at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and has been English and British champion several times, holding many Great British records.

His shooting career, combined with a busy job at BT meant long hours, lots of travel, excitement and adrenalin-filled competition. He found time for photography – a life-long passion that started in school – but there was no room for another of his loves, dogs. His hectic lifestyle meant there was no time to devote to the needs of a family pet.

But with his days of competitive shooting over, Nigel and the Wallace family acquired a three-month-old Border Collie called Darcy. He found himself out and about on walks with her, almost always with a camera, taking pictures and capturing memories of their time together.

The woodland setting lends itself to character shots of dogs having fun. Charlie and Mila photographed by location dog photographer, Nigel Wallace. Image: Nigel WallaceThe woodland setting lends itself to character shots of dogs having fun. Charlie and Mila photographed by location dog photographer, Nigel Wallace. Image: Nigel Wallace

Nigel had been taking photographs all his life, more recently honing his skills on motor sport and weddings. Now he realised that what he really wanted to do was specialise in dog photography. So, in December 2018 he took early retirement from BT and started his own business as an ‘on location’ dog photographer.

“What appeals to me about location photography is that you’re outdoors with the dog in their natural environment,” he says. “They’re running, playing and having fun, just like they do when they’re with their owners every day. It’s the best way to capture a dog’s true personality, rather than in an unfamiliar studio with lights and props.”

For most people, a portrait of their dog starts with a scroll through Nigel’s online gallery, where they can get some idea of what’s possible on location.

Chewie, photographed in the woods near Mildenhall. Image:  Nigel WallaceChewie, photographed in the woods near Mildenhall. Image: Nigel Wallace

Follow this walk on the trail of the Red Barn Murder

You may also want to watch:

Being based in Mildenhall Nigel has some outstanding Suffolk countryside on his doorstep which he can explore with dogs and their owners. “It’s a heavily wooded area and lots of people like that as a setting,” he says. “It lends itself to great shots of dogs sitting on tree stumps, peering around trees, jumping over logs and so on.”

Nigel and friend on location, Nigel Wallace. Image: Nigel WallaceNigel and friend on location, Nigel Wallace. Image: Nigel Wallace

Photographing on location is a very relaxed occasion. “Once I’ve discussed with the owner what they’re looking for in a portrait, we simply take the dog for a walk,” says Nigel. “I work around what the dog is doing, so the result is very natural.”

A member of the Guild of Photographers, Nigel has won awards for his dog photography. He describes it as a passion, rather than a job, and says concentrating solely on photographing dogs and their owners enables him to continually develop his skills. Indeed, it’s clear from the selection of superb shots on his website that Nigel has a real talent for capturing dogs simply doing what they like best – having fun off the leash.

Find out more

Nigel's dog, Darcy, the inspiration for his new career as a lcation dog photographer. Image: Nigel WallaceNigel's dog, Darcy, the inspiration for his new career as a lcation dog photographer. Image: Nigel Wallace

Nigel offers various photoshoot packages and wall mounted products so you can display your much loved dog for everyone to see in the home or office. As a guide, photoshoots generally last between one or two hours depending on the energy of the dog being photographed, the location and customer requirements.

Nigel also offers ‘watch me grow’ puppy packages and has several seasonal promotions running through out the year.

Dog photoshoot experiences make ideal gifts for dog lovers and gift vouchers are available.

Contact Nigel via the website nigelwallacephotography.co.uk or call 07720 834868

Make more Suffolk connection with our Facebook group

Latest from the EADT Suffolk Magazine