Lucy Sewill has spent many years capturing famous faces but has turned her attention to dogs and their celebrity owners for her new book. Joanna Davis finds out more.

Celebrities can be seen in a different light in a Dorset photographer's new book.

Cheselbourne photographer Lucy Sewill has turned her lens to man's best friends and their celebrity owners in her collection of photographs Dogs and Their Humans.

Lucy’s intimate portraits give the reader a glimpse of some remarkable, and previously unseen, relationships between some well-known faces and their favourite pets. The result is a revealing series of photographs revealing some truly beautiful bonds.

Among the celebrities Lucy has photographed are BBC Radio DJ Sara Cox and her dog Dolly; Spandau Ballet musician and actor Gary Kemp and his dog Piper and BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin and her dog Waffle.

Heading to LA to do a photoshoot of singer Gary Numan with his dog was a real change of scenery for former endurance rider Lucy, who lives in the countryside near Dorchester with her family and clumber spaniel Beetle.

Lucy recalls: "Gary Numan's dog was really interesting - he has a rescue dog, a complete cross-breed and she was really timid, she must have had a terrible life. He was so gentle with her."

Dogs and Their Humans follows on from Lucy's previous book Horses and Humans, which took the observer on a fascinating journey exploring the connection a variety of people – from an equine vet to a jockey – have with their horses.

Lucy said: "This book seemed a natural progression. Over in America they can be quite eccentric and extreme about their dogs, over here they're really part of our families.

"If I knew a celebrity who had a dog I asked to go to their house to photograph them and their pet. It's not about the people at all. You have squeaky toys at the photoshoot and it becomes the dog's world and it's all about the dog."

Lucy, who has previously photographed politicians and rock stars, is quite unique in the world of celebrity photography in that she is a 'one woman band'.

She said: "All my photography is about connection. Most photographers at my level have a big team and make-up people but I just have me and I think you get an interesting connection with people one-on-one.

"It's really interesting when you talk to someone about an animal they care about because they then tell you about themselves and you forge a real connection with them. You end up with a very interesting one-to-one.

"I think I find when I'm talking to someone I will suddenly say 'Can we stop talking' and I will then take pictures, it's about the communication, I find something can happen in a few short moments and sometimes people come away from looking at my photos saying 'I've never seen that person looking like that'.

"It's wonderful when a person drops their guard and you see the real person, that's lovely."

And not only did Lucy see the people, she saw the dogs too. Her photoshoot with TV presenter Gok Wan and his dog Dolly Dishcloth was particularly memorable, she said.

"Gok's little French bulldog has so much personality and you can tell she's in charge.

"She has a lovely attitude that says 'This is my place'. I felt she was assessing me, which was quite funny. She had bags of personality!"

Lucy was similarly charmed by the Reverend Richard Coles' dog H, a dachshund, and the greyhounds of Annette Crosbie of One Foot in the Grave fame.

"Annette's really passionate about them being discarded after being used for racing. Her dog was a very timid dog finding huge security being with Annette," she said.

But for those who are curious about what it's like to enter the homes of the rich and famous, Lucy has some disappointing news.

"I hate to disappoint everyone but celebrities are just like everyone else. As soon as I arrive they offer me a cup of tea, it's the same wherever you go!"

Lucy took up photography after the death of her beloved horse and suffering from serious illness herself.

She remembers: "I thought 'I need to do something else now.' That was 12 years ago. It can either defeat you or it gives you some sort of energy to do something different, especially if you are a creative person you can turn that into something, it starts to take on its own life and the next thing I know I submitted a picture to the National Portrait Gallery in London and it was used in an exhibition."

The portrait photo was of newscaster Fiona Bruce and was quickly followed up by another photo of Dame Edna Everage.

Lucy's rise was stratospheric and she soon found herself taking photos of broadcasting legend the late Sir Terry Wogan.

Lucy said: "I went to see the picture on the wall of the National Portrait Gallery and that was quite strange and after that I was photographing Terry Wogan at the end of his career, it's been wonderful.

"It's lovely to do something you feel passionately about and to meet all these interesting people.

"I had some training technically but no-one has ever taught me how to deal with a person and how to compose the photo. I never ask anyone to sit in a certain way.

"Shoots can vary in length, sometimes they don't take very long, about half an hour, other times the shoots had extended lengths and I have forged friendships with people and kept up some really good links, although I can't really say who with!"

A particular bond Lucy has with a music idol can't be kept quiet.

She was one of the first photographers to take pictures of Ed Sheeran - in the days when he was an unknown artist performing at Dorset's Camp Bestival.

Lucy remembers: "I photographed Ed twice at Bestival. No-one knew who he was. I was there with a producer and she said 'he's doing a gig in the woods I think he's going to be really huge, can you go to it?'

"There were about 30 people in the woods at Lulworth and I took my son who was 12. I remember talking to this family of four and I asked them if they wanted to come to his gig in the woods. I always think of them and wonder if they remember it. It was very intimate - just him and his guitar with stickers on it and he was just used to playing in his bedroom at that stage. I've met him twice since.

"It would be interesting to photograph him again and see how things have changed, it was a very private moment that first time at Lulworth - and it's strange to think he was on the brink of something incredible."

Lucy's new book was launched in London with a red carpet laid on for the canine companions that appeared in the book.

*Dogs and Their Humans by Lucy Sewill is available now in hardback from all good book shops.