PORTSMOUTH – As a young girl, Kim Buccheri’s first love in life was her family’s gentle German Shepherd named Baron.
Aided by the current love of her life and love for photography, Buccheri transformed a long-standing appreciation for dogs into a fledgling company specializing in canine portraiture.
Buccheri and her fiance, Bud Thorpe, are the owners of Kimberly Sarah Photography, a company founded in 2016 in Manchester that recently moved to 40 Pleasant St. under the quaint Book & Bar. Buccheri turned to photography, a passion since her early years, as a full-time job after losing her job at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, which she had held for 15 years.
“I said, ‘You know what? Now is the time to try this full time and give it a shot. And it was scary, ”she said.
Buccheri met Thorpe, a longtime photographer, in 2008, leading to a friendship and eventual partnership. First a side job for Buccheri when she worked at the hospital, she loved taking dog photos whenever possible, and she and Thorpe made it a full time business.
In their Pleasant Street studio and 2,500 square foot gallery, where the couple claim dogs are greeted with their “well-behaved humans,” Buccheri and Thorpe will photograph any breed of dog and work with dogs of all kinds. temperament and of any age.
Having received no formal training in how to work with dogs, Buccheri and Thorpe relied on their mutual affection for man’s best friend, as well as several of their dog training friends and their portrait process. intimate to work with every dog that comes along.
“Learning to read a dog is worth its weight in gold, and we don’t push them at all,” Buccheri said.
Ranging from miniature breeds like the Dachshund, stockier types like the Corgi to larger dogs like Mastiffs and Barzans, Kimberly Sarah Photography has captured photos of around more than 400 dogs since its founding, Thorpe estimated.
“We see dogs as an art. They are each beautiful in their own way, ”Buccheri said.
Spanning multiple meetings, Thorpe said he and Buccheri, the only employees in their company, spent over 20 hours with each client and their dog, never commissioning more than six dogs per month to ensure a personalized process with each customer.
After an introductory phone call with the client, Buccheri and Thorpe have a design consultation session with the client and bring the client’s dog into the studio to get used to the space. The canine subject and his human companions then return for the photoshoot, completed by the command session, where a slideshow of the photos is presented to clients. At this last meeting, food is served on fine china and champagne is opened to commemorate the end of the road.
A fixed photo shoot costs $ 350 and the purchase of artwork starts at $ 1,600, and the finished products can be enlarged to a six-foot portrait or a more modest 24-inch by 36-inch piece. , among other sizes.
“Not being in a rush creates a familiarity that goes a long way in creating the art we want to create for our client,” Thorpe said.
Settled in Portsmouth in June, the soft opening of Kimberly Sarah Photography took place on Thursday, July 15, the start of a relationship with a town Buccheri and Thorpe have grown to love.
Anticipating a certain clientele and their furry friends commuting for over an hour for their session, Buccheri and Thorpe wanted their business to be somewhere they could recommend their guests to visit their restaurants, shops, and other unique attractions. favorite. Portsmouth was that place.
“Portsmouth offers an in-depth experience which is very adamant with who we are, and Portsmouth is a very dog friendly city,” Thorpe said.
Still images produced by Kimberly Sarah Photography vary in style, background, and prop work. Some portraits on the company’s website show dogs sitting with their best-dressed Sunday owners, one shows a bulldog wearing aviator goggles and a puffy scarf sitting in front of a bright yellow model airplane, and another shows a wide-eyed French Bulldog floating in the distance. in a basket carried by green and blue balloons.
Kimberly Sarah Photography’s goal is to create works of art that will be on display in family homes for generations. They pride themselves on the portraits celebrating the animals that constantly come running happily towards their owners, much like Buccheri and Thorpe’s last dog, Winston, who died last fall.
“To be a dog photographer you have to have some of that understanding and making it art, for me, is the ultimate expression of love for your pet,” Buccheri said.