This week, we spoke to pet photographer Rachel Oates and learnt how her Insta-famous Corgi Winny inspired Rachel to begin solely shooting our four-legged friends…
What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m having a great time working in the Pet Photography industry, collaborating with fun and interesting brands, dog charities and other people’s pets. Also watch this space for a range of @Winnythecorgi products soon! My other work can be seen on my website.
What breed is your dogs and why did you choose this breed?
Winny is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. My partner and I choose this breed because having a large dog while living in an apartment in London was not going to work for us, but we knew we wanted an intelligent trainable dog, so after a lot of research we found out Corgis were the smallest smartest dog you could get. Often described as big dogs in small stumpy legged bodies! Absolutely full of character, loving and adorable as well.
How do your friends get on with your dogs?
All of our friends absolutely love Winny, most of the time he is on the invite list for dinner or drinks before we are!
How long have you had Winny?
We have had Winny since he was a puppy.
Does he come with you to work?
I feel so lucky to be a freelancer working from home because I get to spend most of the day with him and then he occasionally joins me for shoots.
What difference has he made to your life?
Winny has totally changed my life in ways I could’ve never thought possible! He made me realise I could combine both my passion for animals and my photography business, before him I was shooting a mix of fashion, editorial and events, and I couldn’t be happier with the direction my life has taken me now.
Another funny thing that I didn’t expect as I have always been a city girl is now I actually own a pair of serious walking boots!
Do you take him on holiday with you and if so where?
My boyfriend and I love bringing him along on holidays with us. So far we have done the Lake District, a couple of country cottages and a road trip to the French Alps, we have yet to find a holiday he has not enjoyed!
Does Winny have any funny ways or have there been any funny incidents?
Definitely, he’s such a little character! In the morning he jumps onto bed and while demanding neck scratches and belly rubs, he starts singing! Also Corgis were originally herding dogs and the instinct is definitely alive and well in Winny, he hates when the pact is separated and will occasionally walk in between rooms until we’re all in the same area again. And he’s hilarious around water, at the beach he’ll run up and down chasing waves, barking and trying to catch them.
Is there any reason you feel strongly about regarding pet welfare?
Pets have no voice of their own so I strongly believe it’s our duty to watch, look after them and speak on their behalf. We often attend charity and fundraising events for dog charities and I do often promote them on Instagram too.
Do you take him with you to restaurants or pubs? Any favourites?
I definitely love bringing him with us to restaurants and pubs, some of our favourite locals include The Star of Bethnal Green, Old George, Mother Kellys and of course the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
Where do you exercise Winny? Any favourite parks or places?
Luckily we live right on a park so often we pop quickly there in mornings, but for longer walks I either love going to Victoria Park, Clissold Park and Kensington Gardens, or it’s a 20-minute train journey from ours to Epping Forest which is great when I fancy something a lot longer.