|Years active||2006 to Present|
|Known for||Animal Photography|
|Website||Official Website of Houndstooth Studio|
Alex Cearns OAM is an Australian photographer who is known for her pet, animal, and wildlife photography. She is the founder of Houndstooth Studio and has won more than 250 awards for business, philanthropy and animal photography, including the Best Canine Photographer in Australia in 2011 and 2013. She is the official photographer for the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA and has been featured in numerous books and magazines as well as the television show The Couch.
Cearns grew up in South Australia, before moving to Western Australia when she was aged 11. She worked as a police officer, then a crime analyst with the Western Australian Police Service for 14 years. She then spent 5 years auditing airports for the Federal Australian Government. Her photography career started in 2006 after being inspired a year prior on a trip to Tasmania with a friend. She saw her friend using an SLR camera while she was using a film camera. When she returned from her trip, she purchased an SLR camera and multiple lenses. In an interview with Photo Review Magazine, she stated that she planned to photograph many different niches, but found herself taking more photographs of animals than anything else. During a trip to the Cocos Islands in 2007, Cearns took images of blue clams at a breeding facility. She entered the images into different state and national photo contests and won 2 of the contests while placing in 2 others. She opened Houndstooth Studio in 2008 which was named a finalist in the Telstra Business Awards in 2012 and 2013.
Cearns' work has been featured in numerous exhibits. One of the most notable was Look Twice, an exhibit featuring 60 photographs of 50 species of animals that she took while on a trip to Bali. The photos included dogs, cats, turtles, snakes, and piglets from the island. In an interview, Cearns stated she became overwhelmed at the neglected animals since she first visited the island in 2010. The exhibit was held on Swan, Alfred Cove in 2012, with proceeds of the sale of the photos going to support the Bali Animal Welfare Association. In 2013, Cearns held another solo exhibit to benefit wildlife, this time in Cambodia. The exhibit, Cambodia Wild, was photographed in Cambodia and included photos of Asian elephants, Indochinese tigers, Sun and Moon bears, and rare otters. The profits from the exhibit went to benefit Free the Bears Fund and Wildlife Alliance.
Cearns has appeared in numerous publications and also on television regarding her work. Most notably she has been a regular guest on The Couch, a television show broadcast in Australia and New Zealand. She has been interviewed on the show numerous times, including being a panelist on the show's BitchN segment. In 2013 she conducted a live pet photo session on the show and also was an interviewer herself when she hosted Mary Hutton from Free the Bears Fund. Cearns released her first photo book in 2014. Titled Mother Knows Best: Life Lessons From the Animal World, it featured photos of various animals capturing each one's character.
Since the release of her first book, Cearns has gone on to publish 3 more, Joy: A Celebration of the Animal Kingdom (2014), Zen Dogs (2016) and her latest release in 2018, Perfect Imperfection: Dog Portraits of Resilience and Love. She also contributed photographs to the book "Things Your Dog Wants You to Know" by Laura Vissaritis.
Awards and exhibitions
Cearns has won numerous awards for her photography. Her first award-winning photograph "Blue Clams" also received a High Commendation in the ANZANG Nature and Landscape Photographer of the Year Competition and was displayed at the Western Australian Museum in Perth. The photograph was also part of a travelling ANZANG exhibition Australia from December 2008 to February 2009. Cearns was also chosen as a photo contributor for the 2012 book The Divinity of Dogs: True Stories of Miracles Inspired by Man's Best Friend, written by Jennifer Skiff, which has been published in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Italy.
- 2019 Recipient - Order of Australia Medal - For services to the community through charitable organisations.
- 2013 Finalist - Pride of Australia Medal 2013
- 2013, 2012 Australian Business Excellence Awards Australia Day Honours List
- 2013, 2011 Best Canine Photographer /Artist in Australia – National Annual Master Dog Breeders and Associates Dog Owners Choice Awards
- 2012, Australian Business Excellence Awards Top 3
- 2012, Australian Business Excellence Awards Top 40
- 2012, Australian Telstra Business Awards Finalist, Micro Business
- 2012, Australian Telstra Business Awards Finalist, Peoples Choice
- 2012, 10 x BRONZE AWARDS – International Aperture Awards Science and Nature Category
- 2012, Australian Business Excellence Award – Women in Business
- 2012, Australian Business Excellence Award – Customer Service Excellence
- 2011, Australian Telstra Business Awards Finalist, Peoples Choice
- 2011, 5 x BRONZE AWARDS – International Aperture Awards Science and Nature Category
- 2010, Finalist – Dogs Life People Pet Awards – Outstanding Innovation category
- 2009, Highly Commended – York Society Photographic Awards, Open Colour Category, Western Australia.
- 2009, Winner – Fuji Film Showcase, Camera Magazine, Mar–Apr issue
- 2008, Winner – Expose Your World Photography Awards, Wildlife Category
- 2008, Runner-up – Expose Your World Photography Awards, Single Shot Overall
- 2008, 3 x BRONZE AWARDS – International Aperture Awards Nature Category
- 2008, Highly Commended – ANZANG (Australia, New Zealand, Antarctic, New Guinea) "Underwater" category. Image chosen for national exhibition and ANZANG Awards 2008 book "Australasian Nature Photography ANZANG Fifth Edition", published by CSIRO WA.
- 2008, Winner – York Society Photographic Awards, Open Colour Category, Western Australia for Blue Clams.
- 2008, 8 x SEMI FINALS – Wildlife Photographer of the Year, run by BBC and Natural History Museum, United Kingdom.
- 2007, Winner – People & Pets Section, DOTARS Photography Competition, Canberra, ACT.
- 2013 Cambodia Wild (solo exhibit)
- 2012 Look Twice – the animals of Bali as never seen before (Solo Exhibition)
- 2012 Silvery Gibbon Art Auction
- 2012 Sentience Hidden Lives
- 2011 Sentience
- 2009 Western Australia Professional Photography Awards (WAPPA), Central Park, Perth.
- 2009 RovingEye Expose Your World Photography Awards, Blue Hotel Woolloomooloo, NSW.
- 2008 Animal Art Awards, Claremont, Western Australia.
- 2009, 2008 Smiles with Centro Photography Awards, Morley, Western Australia.
- 2008 Creating for Conservation Exhibition, Adelaide Zoo & Monarto Zoo, Belair, South Australia.
- 2008 ANZANG Nature Photography Awards, National exhibition commencing in Perth, Western Australia.
- 2008 Vincent Art Awards, Leederville, Western Australia.
- 2009, 2008 Melville City Art Awards, Melville, Western Australia.
- 2008 China-Australia Image Exchange, Australian Photographic Society.
- 2008 Canning Art Awards, Canning, Western Australia.
- 2008 RSPCA Helping the Homeless Exhibition, Central TAFE, Northbridge, Western Australia
- 2009, 2008, 2007 York Society Photographic Awards, York, Western Australia.
- 2007 DOTARS Photography Awards, Canberra, ACT.
- 2014 - Mother Knows Best: Life Lessons from the Animal World
- 2014 - Joy: A Celebration of the Animal Kingdom
- 2015 - Things Your Dog Wants You to Know - Laura Vissaritis (Photographic Credits)
- 2016 - Zen Dogs
- 2018 - Perfect Imperfection: Dog Portraits of Resilience and Love
Cearns is involved with numerous charities, which, in 2019, amounted to her being awarded the Order of Australia medal. In addition to her work with the RSPCA, she has provided pro-bono work for other charities such as Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Animal Aid Abroad, Animals Australia, Free the Bears Inc, Dogs Refuge Home, Stop Live Exports, Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE), World Animal Protection, Wildlife Alliance (Cambodia), Evolve! (UK), Sea Shepherd and the WA Dingo Association. Cearns is also a member of HeARTs Speak and has partnered with the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) to bring awareness to abandoned street animals in Bali. It was reported that in 2012, Cearns donated more than $500,000 worth of photography services that included images, vouchers, and sponsorship of more than 40 animal related charitable organizations.
- Marnie Giroud & Alex Cearns (4 April 2012). Wild Things: Meet Animal Photographer Alex Cearns (Television). Australia: The Couch. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013.
- "Alex Cearns Rises From Student To Award-Winner". Perth Now. Australia: The Sunday Times. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Butler, Steve (2 June 2013). "Alex lets sleeping dogs lie". Yahoo News. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Packer, Steve (March – May 2012). "Alex Cearns: Diversity in the Workplace". Photo Review Magazine. Australia.
- "Speaker Bios". Australian Photographic Society. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Fulwood, Anne (2 September 2012). "Pets in the Picture". Australian Business Intelligence. Australia.
- "2013 Telstra Western Australian Business Women's Awards finalist named". Perth Now. 2 September 2013. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Kohlbacher, Sonia (8 June 2012). "Bali's street animals deserve a second look". Perth Now. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Kylie (22 November 2013). "Houndstooth Studio and their love for animals". Dogs Life. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- "Houndstooth Studio - Local Love". Where The Styled Things Are. 12 February 2014. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- Vranjes, Emilia (6 April 2013). "Captivating Wildlife Up Close" (PDF). Lifestyle. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- "The BitchN team are back with another awesome segment". The Couch. 30 June 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "bitch'n! Bouncers, Dutch ovens, naughty Rudd and lab made meat". The Couch via YouTube. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "How To Take Photos of Animals". The Couch via YouTube. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "The Free the Bears Fund". The Couch via YouTube. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Cearns, Alex (2014). Mother Knows Best: Life Lessons From the Animal World. Penguin UK. ISBN 9780857976932.
- Dean, Sarah (17 May 2014). "Super-cute animal photos that are guaranteed to make you go 'awwww'". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Cearns, Alex. Joy : A Celebration of the Animal Kingdom. Scoresby: Penguin Group Australia. ISBN 9781760140120. OCLC 979991141.
- Cearns, Alex. Zen dogs. New York, NY. ISBN 9780062459374. OCLC 938360883.
- Cearns, Alex. "Perfect Imperfection: Dog Portraits Of Resilience And Love - Alex Cearns - E-book". HarperCollins US. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- Laura,, Vissaritis,. Things your dog wants you to know. Melbourne, Vic. ISBN 9780143573364. OCLC 905087504.
- Skiff, Jennifer (2012). The Divinity of Dogs: True Stores of Miracles Inspired by Man’s Best Friend. Simon & Schuster. pp. Photo Credits. ISBN 1451621604.
- "WA Environment Finalists". Pride of Australia Medal 2013. Archived from the original on 28 January 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "2012 Top 3 Finalists – Houndstooth Studio". Australian Excellence Awards. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- Sara (30 May 2012). "Alex Cearns". Paws For Charity. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "6th Annual Dog Owners Choice Award Winners". Master Dog Breeders Association. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
- "WA Finalists Announced". Telstra Business Awards. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "People's Choice Award". Telstra Business Awards. Archived from the original on 24 November 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
- "Art for the Ocean". Sea Shepherd. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Kohlbacher, Sonia (8 June 2012). "Bali's Street Animals Deserve A Second Look". News Australia. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Chantelle, Leigh (6 January 2012). "Sentience: Hidden Lives Exhibition in Perth". Viva La Vegan. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "Mother Knows Best - Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns". Houndstooth Studio. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018.
- "Joy - Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns". Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- "Things Your Dog Wants You to Know - Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns". Houndstooth Studio.
- "Zen Dogs - Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns". Houndstooth Studio. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018.
- "Perfect Imperfection - Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns". Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
- "Perth Advocates Join The Human Chain". Perth Advocates for the Earth. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
- Fusaro, Lori (17 March 2012). "Bali Streets Dogs Find A Guardian Angel". Culver City News. Retrieved 18 January 2013.