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Underwater Dog Photographer Helping Shelter Pets

  • August 20, 2012
  • 4:41 pm
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Underwater Dog Photographer Helping Shelter Pets

By Eve Becker, TAILS contributor

Pet photographer Seth Casteel enjoys the unexpected. And that’s a good thing, since his photos of dogs—taken as he plays underwater with them—have become a viral overnight success.

Casteel’s underwater photos reveal surprising emotions: a Labrador Retriever menacingly bares his teeth, a Bulldog looks wide-eyed in astonishment, and a Border Collie appears slightly goofy as she dives after a tennis ball. “I’m drawn to the emotions of dogs because they have a similar range of emotions as we do. It’s fun to see the exaggerated expressions from these dogs,” says Casteel, who splits his time between Chicago and Los Angeles.

“My whole thing is that I do what the pets like to do. I don’t put them in the studio. I do it on their terms and embrace what they like to do,” Casteel says.

Casteel first dove into a pool with a dog when he was taking photos of Buster, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Buster jumped into the water and Casteel wanted a better vantage point. So he excused himself from the photo shoot, bought a point-and-shoot underwater camera, and plunged into the pool with Buster.

Casteel started shooting more underwater photos of dogs and eventually splurged to buy an underwater housing for his camera. His friends thought he was crazy.

Fast forward to this past February when his underwater dog photos suddenly exploded online. Fans posted his photos to and Google+ and they literally took off overnight. The next morning, Casteel’s website hits jumped from 200 to 30,000, causing his site to crash.

Since then, Casteel has been running with the big dogs. He signed a book deal with top publishing house Little Brown for a book that will be out late October, featuring his underwater dog photos. He has been featured on CNN World Report, Good Morning America, and in newspapers and magazines across the world from The New York Times to the South China Morning Post and Vanity Fair Italy.

He’s had to turn down private clients through his pet photography company, Little Friends Photo. “I went from not having enough business to having too much business,” he says.

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Read more: Cute Pet Photos, Dogs, Humor & Inspiration, Pets, , , , ,

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TAILS is an interactive website, online community, and print magazine that celebrates the relationship between pets and their people. TAILS features expert knowledge, advice, pet product reviews, local resource guides, community event listings, and fun contests to promote and encourage people to live responsibly with their pets.


+ add your own
1:43PM PST on Nov 22, 2012

Thanks we need people helping animals.

9:13PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

great dog

6:35AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

What a wonderful and beautiful capture. That dog needs to teach me how to swim.

10:15AM PDT on Sep 11, 2012


10:28AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

Great post thanks! Love reading post that tell stories of the good that folks are doing, for themselves and for others, including the animal and wildlife worlds. This man is doing a great work! Thank you for what you do!

6:29AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

what an amazing guy

10:23PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Good on him turning his passion into a life saver.

3:26PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Very Cool!!

2:15PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

he is doing such a great thing!

11:53AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

very nice.

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