|Ashok Chintala with Jazz and Luffy|
It was love at first sight for Ashok Chintala. He first met Lucky when the latter was getting ready to be sold in a flea market. Ashok took Lucky home. The duo became BFFs. “He was my friend, confident and champion,” says Ashok of the mutt that pulled him out of some really “dark periods in life”. After Lucky, Ashok couldn’t help himself. He brought home Bruno, Jazz and Luffy – all adopted from CUPA.
Ashok, a Bengalurian, is a software engineer in Chennai. His passion for dogs and photography brings him back to Bangalore every weekend where he gets to play pet-portrait photographer.
Ashok founded Paws for a Picture – Pet Photography in November 2015. It was the mammoth Chennai floods that turned his hobby into a profession. He raised funds for the Chennai floods by shooting pet portraits and one thing led to another and soon pet-parents began approaching him.
“I love dogs because they make me happy,” says Ashok who never had a pet growing up.“No matter how hard and bad my day has been, my pets can make me smile. They love me unconditionally and are great teachers – if we let them be. Each of my dogs represent a part of my life. I am grateful to have them in my life.”
A single portrait shoot usually takes Ashok 2-3 hours. He prefers shooting candid photos over “posed studio portraits”. Ashok charges Rs.5000 for 15 best photos “regardless of the number of pets and humans in it”.
Now for the all-important question: How does one get a dog to say ‘cheese’?
Toys and treats usually do the trick. Especially squeeze toys and rope toys – dogs love them, says Ashok. “But cats are stubbon. Nothing interests them.” Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all, right?
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