Ex-Olympian who now earns a living making dogs 'fly'

Darcy the collie, who inspired her owner Nigel Wallace to take up dog photography

Darcy the collie, who inspired her owner Nigel Wallace to take up dog photography - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

Woodland in and around Ely, Mildenhall and Thetford have become a photographic wonderland for Nigel Wallace, 

He is a full-time dog photographer and carries out most of his photoshoots in these areas. 

“One of the images that is particularly popular with my clients is the 'flying dog' shot,” he says. 

Nigel Wallace, who has carved a niche as a dog photographer

Nigel Wallace, who has carved a niche as a dog photographer - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

“This is where I take fantastic action shots of the dogs jumping over logs; capturing them mid-flight to make them look like they are flying - little canine super heroes!” 

Nigel, now living in Mildenhall, has an interesting “back story” as he likes to call it.  

Cooper the spaniel takes off for dog photographer Nigel Wallace's camera

Cooper the spaniel takes off for dog photographer Nigel Wallace's camera - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

“I am an ex- Olympian (1992 games), my sport being target rifle shooting,” he says. 

“I also won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia.   

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“I am now retired from the sport but still enjoy shooting, only now it's with a camera” 

His dog photography business started in April 2019.  Previous to starting the business, he had worked for BT for 35 years.  

Beanz, the dachshund gets airborne in one of Nigel Wallace's flying dog portraits

Beanz, the dachshund gets airborne in one of Nigel Wallace's flying dog portraits - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

“I took early retirement following successfully beating cancer, and decided to combine my love of dogs with my passion for photography,” he says.  

“I absolutely love being able to capture the character of the dogs I photograph.   

“The photoshoots are always fun and I am able to produce images that really put smiles on the owners' faces.  

Nigel Wallace checks dogs have no health issues before a photoshoot begins

Nigel Wallace checks dogs have no health issues before a photoshoot begins - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

“Sometimes the owners don't see the many different expressions that the dog makes when jumping and running, and I capture these wonderful moments with my camera.” 

He added: “The look of pure joy when my clients see the finished edited photos is simply brilliant; often resulting in lots of laughter, and happy tears.” 

Darcy the collie, who inspired her owner Nigel Wallace to take up dog photography

Darcy the collie, who inspired her owner Nigel Wallace to take up dog photography - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

Nigel eschews studio portraiture of his subjects, preferring to head outdoors. 

The woods provide a perfect backdrop for his trademark picture of a dog appearing to fly as he captures it jumping, lit by just the light through the trees. 

Despite the natural look of the images, they require careful preparation. 

Mr Wallace positions a branch at what he considers the dog's safe jumping height - which varies according to the animal.  

He then has to make sure the dog does not make the leap until he is in position to capture the moment. 

Nigel Wallace's speciality has become the 'flying dog'' picture

Nigel Wallace's speciality has become the 'flying dog'' picture - Credit: www.nigelwallacephotography.co.u

His collie Darcy provided the early inspiration for what would go on to become his living. 

"I did photography when I was at school but then my sport took over," he said. "I didn't really pick up a camera until we got her eight years ago.”