Harry Giglio hails from Pittsburgh and is a photographer of both humans and animals alike. His images give a feeling of an expertly-crafted snapshot, finding that exact moment when personalities reveal themselves. He finds he gets the best results with “inspired spontaneity,” deciding what kinds of images to make only after he meets his subjects and reads their personality.
Working as a commercial photographer, Harry understands his main function is “making something look pretty so folks buy it”—but that doesn’t stop him from using his photography to help others. Shooting around Pittsburgh with various animal rescues and advocacy groups, Harry tries to be a voice for silent creatures. Recently, Harry was contacted by a fine art gallery in Pittsburgh to participate in a charity show of with his dog portraits. He agreed, and went one step further, deciding to create new images of rescued racing greyhounds, since a portion of the sales would benefit the Steel City Greyhound Rescue.
Once on board, Harry contacted Steel City, and arranged to have a dozen rescued racers pay a visit to his studio. Immediately upon meeting the dogs, Harry was taken by their gentleness and intimacies. “I had no plans,” Harry admits, but he jumped right into the shoot of these gentle creatures. Harry tried to play on the unexpected during a shoot, saying, “I’ve learned that creative planning only goes to a limited point, and that instead, it is the experience of creator to subject that drives creative vision.”
Harry has shot with a lot of animals in the past, with equally as many unique personalities, but found himself very drawn to the greyhounds’ trust and tenderness. They had a very unique talent of being able to open up completely, even with a stranger posing and prompting them while bright lights flash in their eyes.
The shoot went smoothly, although the high-energy dogs had not been exercised before coming to the studio, so they were very animated, and Harry went through a case of paper towels. It was then on to post, which consisted of playing with contrast and saturation, but leaving the rest as captured in-camera. He enjoyed the day so much that he ended up scheduling another round of greyhound sessions soon after. Harry printed and framed all the images and is now looking for more galleries to share the work.
Harry sums up his motivation for picture making as, “No matter how many shoots I do, I never fail to be taken by the beauty, interest and wonder for the people and creatures I meet.” And by the looks of the pooches hamming it up, they seem pretty happy about it too.
Do yourself a favor and check out more of Harry’s beautiful animal portraits here.