ANN ARBOR - You might think that Instagram is only photos of food and “life-hack" videos, but it’s not. There is an entire subculture of Instagram accounts run by and for dogs. These cute canines and their human companions are on the rise, just like their hoards of followers.
Meet Ladiesman.Leo, a 6-month-old, sassy Samoyed puppy who can be seen roaming the streets of Ann Arbor with his humans. With over 7,000 Instagram followers, the local ladies man is a regular celebrity with pet product partnerships, Leo-themed discount codes and pawesome pictures.
We interviewed Leo and his human Olivia, who, along with her fiance Nick, occasionally star in Leo’s Instagram adventures.
A4: Leo’s Instagram starts with a photo of him in the womb. What inspired you to start an Instagram for-your-soon-to-be puppy?
Haha yes, it's a little ridiculous, I know. We [Olivia and Nick] anticipated getting a Samoyed for over a year so when we received the first ultrasound photo from our breeder, our dream turned into a reality and I wanted to share my excitement in some way. I considered pranking my family by claiming the ultrasound as my own but eventually decided to make an Instagram account dedicated to our future pup.
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A4: Leo has quite a large following. Did you ever anticipate that? Are you often recognized and stopped while walking around?
I never gave it much thought until we hit 1,000 followers and realized how popular dog accounts on Instagram can get. Leo eats up all the attention he gets when we go out and even seems confused if someone passes us without paying attention to him. One time we were having dinner on a sidewalk in downtown Ann Arbor and someone came up to us and said, "Is that ladies’ man Leo?" and we couldn't help but laugh.
A4: Every photo on your account is fantastic. How do you get Leo to hold still long enough to take photos? How many do you have to take before you get the “perfect” shot?
Posting high-quality photos is definitely a priority for Leo's page since I have a background in photography and design. I use a DSLR camera for the majority of Leo's photos but will not pass up an opportunity to snap and share a memorable moment captured on an iPhone when my camera is not accessible. Getting that "perfect shot" definitely requires a lot of patience and a lot of treats when working with a puppy. Sometimes he is just not in the mood to take photos and that’s OK. He is our pet first and an Instagram model second ;)
A4: You have a lot of cool pet product partners that offer discount codes. How did those partnerships happen?
Some of these partnership opportunities have presented themselves and others have required an application process. We love to spoil Leo with treats and accessories regardless so it's even more fun if we get to support and promote a brand we love at the same time.
A4: What’s would you like to see happen in the future for Leo’s pupstagram?
We definitely want to continue creating fun, high-quality content for Leo’s account. We are very excited for some upcoming holiday-themed photos and of course his first birthday! We would love to reach 10,000 followers but are more focused on having fun and celebrating the bond we have with our (very) furry friend.
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