Liz Peters and Brooke Jacobs interview Bark producer, Lisa Kirshner.
We are so excited to be interviewing Lisa Kirshner, producer at BARK, the cutest dog toy and treat company ever! BARK launched in 2012 with BarkBox, a monthly themed subscription of all-natural treats and clever toys. The Stylist Coop members have the luxury of getting to work with this awesome client throughout the year and are thrilled when we get to spend a day creating delightfully cute images all based around PUPS! Today we spoke with Lisa to get some insight into what it’s like to work at BARK day to day, her love of dogs, and what BARK does to give back!
Brooke: What I admire about BarkBox is that they allow dogs to be dogs. They have a vision of what they want from the shoot but always allow the dogs to be themselves and don't push them in unnatural ways to get the shot. I've been on set when there are some challenges but everyone seems to go with it in a calm manner! As both a stylist and a pet photographer I love being on set with such professionals who give the pups room to be themselves.
Liz: Working with Lisa is always a blast. At BARK, the theme of each shoot is always cute and colorful, and right up my alley! They give me the freedom to be creative and bring my own perspective to the table, and playing with dogs all day is a nice bonus! The team at BARK is not only clever and creative, they are the sweetest people you’ll ever met.
As a producer what are your biggest rewards and challenges?
Being a producer can be extremely challenging at times, there are a lot of moving parts involved in photography and sometimes the smallest thing going wrong can set you back to square one. Pulling off an extra challenging shoot feels so incredibly rewarding especially when trying something new or different and realizing it works.
Have you always wanted to work in production?
Actually no! I really wanted to work as a fine artist (in photography) but it's a very challenging field to break into. When I graduated from college I had a few jobs in different areas of the industry and realized working in production was what I loved the most and I decided to actively pursue it.
Do you always get the shot? What are the benefits and disadvantages of working with dogs?
We definitely do not always get the shot! I think on any kind of shoot (dogs or people!) there are so many outtakes before you get THE shot. The outtakes and trying new techniques while shooting are part of the fun.
Working with dogs is so amazing, dogs have forever been my favorite animal so getting to meet and work with so many different kinds of dogs is amazing. They can really surprise you with how they photograph and what they do. Of course dogs can't talk so getting them to do what we want can be extremely challenging especially if we have not worked with the dog before, sometimes they can be afraid of the flash and we don't end up getting the shot, so we usually will cast back up dogs.
Has there been a shoot that is particularly memorable?
Yes! Recently we shot a camping themed collection called "Grrreat Outdoors" the budget was much lower than usual and we decided to shoot it with a set pretty last minute. We hired Liz Peters and she knocked it out of the park, the set came together so beautifully and really complimented the products. It felt like a huge accomplishment to pull it off so quickly as well.
Lisa, you went to Puerto Rico with BarkBox to help with a spay and neuter clinic there. Can you tell me about other activities that Barkbox is involved with that are extra unique?
Bark is such an incredible company to work for, everyone really truly cares about dogs and their well being. We volunteer quite a bit in NYC and different groups of employees take trips around the country a few times a year for different volunteer opportunities.
If there is a dog hair in a cookie, do you eat it or throw it away?
Is it just on top of it or baked in? That definitely changes my answer HAHA!
You’ve been with Bark for several years and have seen the company change and grow. What do you see in the future for Bark?
Bark has been growing so fast and working on tons of new and innovative products for dogs, I am looking forward to getting to work on larger photo and video campaigns as we grow.
Who is your favorite dog to work with?
Frank the bulldog!! (@frankiegoestowork) He is a superstar and he nails every shot. He's extremely versatile too, he swims, runs, jumps and chews on any toy that comes his way. He is also extremely cute.