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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Interview: Mardo El-Noor talks about Dogs with Stories

Mardo El-Noor is a hybrid creative who makes a living off creating stuff he likes, such as directing and animating commercial ads, music videos, and branding content. When he’s home, he keeps himself busy with projects that involve interior design, upcycling, and heaps of dust. He’s German-born and Middle East-raised and has called New Zealand home for 20 years.

Dogs With Stories is his first foray into staged photography and writing, and hopefully won’t be his last. Not a dog owner himself, Mardo hopes he will have taken the leap of becoming one by the time you read this. Mardo talks to NZ Booklovers.

Tell us a little about Dogs with Stories.

It's a coffee table book if you happen to have a coffee table in need of a book. It's a vanity project involving two things I hardly ever do (writing & taking pictures) about a subject I know nothing about (dogs).

What inspired you to write this book?

I initially considered it as a research project on whether we should get a dog or not.

What research was involved?

None whatsoever. By the end of the book I ended up learning so much about dogs, yet so little since I'm not a dog owner.

What was your routine or process when creating this book?

Booking shoots with dog owners, visiting their homes, meeting their dog, doging the shoot, interviewing them, doing post production for images, repeat 74 times.

If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

I'd suggest something a bit background-ish, like Nick Drake.

If you had to choose your favourite Dog and Story, what would it be and why? (Or if you can’t choose just one, let us know your top three!)

I have a few favourites. A favourite photoshoot is Leda & Camille with their 6 dogs, & a favourite story is Tui & Zena (who was afraid of dogs for most of her adult life).

What did you enjoy the most about creating Dogs with Stories?

Presenting the finished artworks to people. Sometimes that was in person, just to see the reaction in their faces. That was priceless. It didn't happen often enough though due to COVID.

What’s next on the agenda for you?

Definitely NOT a book titled Cats With Stories.


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