Philly Creative Guide

Creative Personality

Lynnrae Fenimore | Artist /Printmaker/Photographer/Teacher

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore
by Juanita Berge, 1 Apr 2010

Lynn has been an accomplished photographer and printmaker for the past 30 years. She began as a photography teacher and medical illustrator in the department of Instructional Systems at Drexel University. Lynn is a 2 time graduate of Moore College of Art earning her degrees in printmaking and art education. In life she creates images that she loves and that include animals in particular. She is currently a pet portraitist in the Greater Philadelphia area. Use of great lighting, reflections and contrast are all elements in Lynnrae's photography. You can see her work at

PCG: What prompted your move into the world of pet photography?

LF: In today's world our pets have become a major source of comfort. More and more people own pets and experience them as part of the family. My love and connection to them have led me into this field.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: What has been your training for this career?

LF: I worked with trainers and dog behaviorists when I owned a very difficult blood hound that actually attacked me when greeting her one morning. The attack was so bad my nose needed to be reattached and I needed stitches on my face and arms from numerous puncture wounds. Working with these specialized trainers taught me how to approach the animals correctly and helped me overcome my trauma which then enabled me to work in a more professional way with pet photography while allowing my love for animals to be expressed.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: How long have you been an animal portraitist?

LF: I have used animals in my personal photos for many years, but I have actually specialized in pet photography for 7 years.

PCG: How many portrait subjects have you done over the years?

LF: In the 1000s as I also donate my time to many rescues shelters and animal causes.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: Do you ever have multiple pets in a portrait?

LF: I have multiple animals in portraits all the time. Most of my clients have more than 1 animal and request a pet family portrait.

PCG: How well behaved are your subjects? Do you ever have to have them sedated?

LF: Sedation would be counter productive to capturing the true essence of the pet's spirit, so it's not an option I would ever choose. Most of the time the animals are well behaved, and after they release their initial excitement and fears they listen and settle down.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: What's the technique to working with animals?

LF: I have the owner stand directly behind me to get direct eye contact with the pet. I also use squeaky toys, lots of treats, and have learned the art of speed in a shot while using tremendous patience.

PCG: Do your human clients ever dress up their pets?

LF: Some owners do like to use costumes for the shoot. However, most of my clients prefer shots without props and in a natural environment to bring out their pet's true nature.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: Have you ever had any surprises?

LF: No surprises I can think of.

PCG: What have been some of your more unusual animals?

LF: Aside from cats and dogs, which are the more typical pets, I have photographed Lamas, exotic birds (including luscious peacocks,) pigs, snakes, guinea pigs and horses.

PCG: What's more common, black & white or color?

LF: I specialize in B/W photography and that's what most people have requested. Then I create tonal differences printing on different surfaces, such as canvases, water color paper and other textured paper. However, there are times when color photography would be perfect. Then I will take that route.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

PCG: Why do you think this has been so successful for you?

LF: I have honed my photography skills in this particular field and expect good work from myself. But I also think that the pets sense when you love them and respond to that, creating a harmonious shoot.

PCG: I understand you have a line of accessories to go with your portraits. Tell us about that.

LF: I have a card line and an upcoming pet jewelry line. The pet jewelry is actually not for the pet, but the owner. It is charms of pet photos for necklaces and bracelets. The jewelry is made in silver with black & white photos; some pieces include diamonds.

PCG: What pets do you own?

LF: I have 2 Gordon Setters, Georgia and Nessa and lots of fish.

Interview :: Lynnrae Fenimore

Print Article