Spotlight on Smile for a Cure creator and coordinator, Nunthany Johnson
The Smile for the Cure fund raiser is the brain child of Nunthany Johnson. Two times a year, a group of photographers across the country donation 100% of their session fees to the NCCF. Since Smile for a Cure started in 2011 it has raised $12,756 to fight canine cancer!
I would like to introduce you to all the Smile for a Cure photographers so, I thought there was no better place to start than with the organizer of this great fund raiser, Nunthany!
Name of business: Nunthany Johnson Photography
Location: North Carolina
Favorite subjects to shoot; Dogs! (of course). Horses, Nature.
Are you exclusively a dog photographer or do you do other subjects? mainly dogs ( allow a few cats from time to time. )
How did you become interested in photography?
I was the photographer for my high school newspaper (yes, a very long time ago!) and ever since then I’ve been hooked! I’ve always been interested in people’s stories and I think that’s part of what appeals to me so much about photography. Its an opportunity to connect with someone (or something), learn about it, and then share it. Its all consuming and has always been a form of expression for me. I love that its an ever changing craft and there is always more to learn and master.
Why did you chose to include dogs/pets in your business / Or make it your exclusive business.
It sort of happened by accident. I started out using my own dog as a subject to practice different techniques or in different lighting situations. I ended up having so much fun with it that I decided to begin photographing dogs for other dog parents. It was like a whole new world opened up! I love that dogs are so open and real. Photographing dogs is challenging and super fun all at the same time. I love capturing how they just live in the moment and take things as they come. One of the things I enjoy the most is connecting with other dog parents who appreciate the canine species and want to celebrate everything that’s special about having a dog. It’s also very meaningful because I can combine my passion for photography with my love for animals and give people beautiful photographs that they are so grateful to have.
Why did you join Smile for a Cure?
Smile for a Cure is very near and dear to my heart because I started it in honor of our wonderful dog Max who passed away from cancer in 2009. Max was a wonderful dog, a good friend, and such an important part of our family. He had a contagious zest for life & taught us so much about living in the moment and really appreciating the simpler things in life. I think many people can relate to the fact that losing a pet is like losing a member of the family. I wanted to do something special not only to remember Max but also to raise awareness of cancer & better the odds for the other dogs and their families dealing with cancer. What’s so great about this effort is that I’m now joined by pet photographers nationwide & we are all working together to make a difference in the lives of dogs with cancer and the people who love them.
Tell us your favorite Smile for a Cure session story. ( Tell me about a dog that touched your heart, or a funny behind the scenes story…)
Solow was the first Smile for a Cure dog. He was a senior dog with lung disease and a pituitary tumor. I was expecting a pretty mellow shoot…but not this guy! You wouldn’t know he had any problems. He was happy as can be, just enjoying life in his great backyard with the rest of his pack (3 other dogs and 1 cat…who was a pack member but probably not by choice!:)). It brought home for me just how much we can learn from dogs and their great attitude about life. The other part that was so memorable was experiencing how Solow interacted with the kids in his family. He was so gentle and loving with them. He had several spots on his tummy, one of which was shaped like a heart. The kids told me that was there on purpose because Solow had such a big heart with lots of love to give. It was so touching and beautiful to see how much they loved and respected their dog Solow. After this first Smile shoot, I knew I could make a difference with Smile for a Cure!
Canon or Nikon? LOL
Nikon. I shoot with a Nikon D700. My go to lens is typically the 28-70/2.8 when shooting dogs. I also love to use my 50MM prime lens especially during closeup shots to get great shots of those expressive eyes!
Tell us about your dogs.
We have a wonderful family of rescued dogs that includes Scout, Toto, and Benji. We love our guys so much! They bring so much happiness and fun to our lives. Scout is our crazy little black poodle mix. He’s super high energy and obsessed with one thing and one thing only: THE BALL. Toto is a shitzu mix (we found him running for his life on the interstate!) who enjoys cuddling, chewing on his bone and roughhousing with his older brother Scout. Toto is a registered therapy dog with Therapy Dog International and Scout is working on his certification. We take both of them to visit with the elderly and children and we are so proud of their ability to bring a smile to everyone they meet. Benji is our older wheaten terrier mix who can be a little cranky at times but tries his best to keep up with the younger guys. When he’s not napping on his pet bed, he likes to run real fast from the top of the yard to the bottom. They are all great dogs and a big part of our family.
Contact information: www.nunthanyjohnson.com/blog