Artist/photographer William Wegman is well known for his portraits of generations of his Weimeraners in various positions and poses. His work is in all kinds of major museum collections and has been published in a lot of books, too. What may be less familiar is his commissioned work. I know one HUGE art collector whose friends got together and commissioned Wegman to make a portrait of her Bichon Frise puppy for example, which is cuter'n a kindergarten full of baby pandas.
Now Mr. Wegman has donated a photoshoot and a unique 20x24-inch Polaroid portrait to the Artists For Chinati auction, to benefit the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. The estimated value is $10,000-15,000 (a quick Googling shows that a Wegman portrait sitting in a 2002 benefit auction was also est. $10,000, just fyi), and judging by the example he included on the auction site, that may include the use of a dog or two.
Artists For Chinati benefit auction, Mar 13 at 7pm Phillips dePury [phillipsdepury.com]
[note: now that I realize what this format is, I remember reading somewhere recently that fashion photographer Matthew Hranek also shoots with this rare 20x24 Polaroid camera--which creates these huge, detailed, life-like, life-sized instant photographs--and that he has been known to let a bunch of families team up at his day rate [$5K] to shoot portraits of their kids. I'll put the "kick me" sign on my own back by saying it's the kind of info tidbit I'd expect to see in the Amex Platinum Card magazine...but I checked, and it wasn't there.]
[update: the portrait session went for $42,000, all proceeds to charity. ]