Yesterday I found the artist behind a couple of my favorite Bulldog Photos. Katie McNaughton Rapp is behind the photos of Sullybrate. She and her husband have a 4 year old Bulldog named Sully. Sully is the model for all the cute photos. The Story behind Sullybrate my Katie McNaughton: A little background on Sully…My husband grew up with english bulldogs but Sully is my first… and I’m completely in love with the breed! He is 4 yrs old. He was “repo-ed” from his original owners and then given to us as a gift from my mother an father-in-law. I love all dogs, but just like other bulldog owners say, there is something special and different about Sully. I’m completely hooked and will always have Bully.
We named him Sully before we ever put him in costume and took his picture, or even had the idea for sullybrate. So we just got lucky with the name. Despite being relatively easy to train for photo shoots, he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed..not many thoughts running through his big head. And like most bullys, he’s a big ol’ softie!
A little background on sullybrate….sullybrate happened unintentionally. A couple years ago, my husband and I wanted to make a funny Xmas card. So, dressed Sully as an Orthodox Jew and sent “happy hanukkah or whatever holiday” cards to our family and friends. We were surprised how many people called to say they thought the card was hilarious. And, I was equally surprised how Sully didn’t seem to mind being in costume and getting his picture taken. So just as a hobby (I have no official training in photography), I continued to dressed Sully as different people and send cards to family/friends “sully”brating different holidays and occasions (like black history month, cinco de mayo, asian american heritage month, etc.)
From day one, my intention for the cards has always been to bring a little light and humor to someone’s day. About a month into this, it dawned on me sullybate is an example/metaphor for a deeper message…Sully is one dog coming in many forms just as we are one life coming in different forms. I thought, “how cool would it be if sullybrate could not only bring a laugh but also send the message of not taking our race, appearance, or outer form so seriously, and remind us we are all the same behind the surface?” The company motto- “different forms. one dog.” – is meant communicate this point.
Sullybrate donates a portion of sales to charities that either 1) help dogs, 2) help strengthen the human/dog bond (non-profits for service/therapy dogs or 3) support tolerance and love of ALL PEOPLE. Although our charity endeavors are just getting off the ground, I hope this aspect becomes a key component of sullybrate in the future. And speaking of future goals, I would also like to expand the product line to include t-shirts, photo book, etc.