‘The dog days are never over’
In light of graduation season, we celebrate Mickey Grebe who started his own dog photography business, The Phodografur. He has gotten to photograph many Aggie dogs, including Reveille IX.
By Hannah Falcon ‘21
On March 25, 2018, economics senior Mickey Grebe created the Instagram account The Phodografur. In a little over a year, the account has gained nearly 12,000 followers.
Grebe was exposed to photography at an early age because his mom is a family photographer, but he had little desire to take up the craft. But, as a long-time dog-lover, he began photographing them while working at Waggie Pet Zone in College Station.
“I actually never liked photography,” Grebe said. “I got annoyed by my mom, because she always wanted to take pictures of me. But I really love dogs, so that’s how I started getting into it. I really like taking pictures of animals.”
Grebe’s dog photography business took off in College Station when he started taking pictures of people’s dogs on the Texas A&M campus in popular spots for senior portraits. He said his favorite place to take pictures of dogs is on Military Walk when the street lights are on.
“Being at A&M really helps, because a lot of college students and alumni have dogs,” Grebe said. “People enjoy doing photo shoots on campus because of our traditions. There’s different settings, like graduations and bluebonnets, and people love pictures in front of Kyle Field.”
About a week before Spring Break, Texas A&M’s social media team reached out to Grebe about doing a photo shoot with Reveille. On March 28, Texas A&M tweeted out Grebe’s pictures of Reveille, giving him a little taste of Aggie-fame.
“I was really excited to shoot with Reveille; I’d never even met her before,” Grebe said. “That was a really cool experience.”
With every dog photo shoot, Grebe provides a free photo of the owner and their dog. He said his favorite part of every shoot is seeing the dog interact with their owner.
“I don’t like doing pictures of people unless they’re with their dog,” Grebe said. “If there’s not an animal around, I won’t do it. But I enjoy taking pictures of people with their pets.”
Grebe has his own dog, a dalmatian named Louie. He said Louie is excellent at posing for the camera, but he has to use a few of his tricks to get Louis to look at the camera.
“There’s a lot of things I’ll do to get dogs to look at the camera,” Grebe said. “I’ll make really weird noises—anything from cat noises to high-pitched sounds. I use tennis balls, squeaker balls, treats, hand movements, running…just a load of different distractions that I’ve learned from working with dogs for so long.”
Besides dogs, Grebe has photographed cats, falcons, tigers, leopards, horses, and more. Although dogs are his favorite, he loves to photograph all animals and likes the variety it brings to his page.
“Every year, I either go once or twice to a big cat sanctuary in Wiley, Texas,” Grebe said. “I’ll take pictures of upwards of 50 big cats: tigers, leopards, lions, and some other small animals.”
When Grebe graduates in December, he plans on moving to Dallas to expand his photography business. He’s excited to be his own boss and do what he loves: chase around dogs all day.
“I didn’t want to do a desk job after I graduate, but now I’ll get to do this instead,” Grebe said. “It’s been really fun, because I get to do what I love to do already. I didn’t really expect that to be so soon. And I just like running around with dogs; it’s a dream come true on that part.”
Original story posted here.