Pups of Primrose Hill: Building a digital community through dogs

Pups of Primrose Hill

Zavvy the chihuahua on Primrose Hill - Credit: Katy Ryder

Have you ever wondered about the stories behind the dogs and their owners at Primrose Hill? 

The @PupsofPrimroseHill Instagram account looks to answer that question. 

Katy Ryder, the Texas-born content marketer behind the account, told the Ham&High: “I spent a lot of time on Primrose Hill during lockdown, as there was nothing much else to do. One day I decided to stop someone randomly and ask to photograph their dog.” 

Having set up the page and accrued more than 1,600 followers, each post now features a photo of the dog, at play or posed regally for the camera, and its back story.

This ranges from a simple summary of the dog’s name, age and breed, to a humorous anecdote, to a deeper look at illness develop in an older dog.  

Katy has enjoyed photographing animals, especially horses, since her late teens.

Pups of Primrose Hill founder Katy Ryder

Pups of Primrose Hill founder Katy Ryder - Credit: Katy Ryder

“Animals were my only muse, I was so interested in capturing their movements and personalities,” she said.  

Her current project has a spur-of-the-moment quality.  

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“It’s so different to plan a photoshoot, I have about thirty seconds to assess whether a dog looks under control and friendly," Katy said.   

French bulldogs Dave, Arnold and Juno on Primrose Hill

French bulldogs Dave, Arnold and Juno on Primrose Hill - Credit: Katy Ryder

Katy feels a perfect connection to the neighbourhood.  

“It’s high end, but so homely, the best of both worlds in London,” she said.   

Katy's pride in the account’s success stems from how it has brought the local area together.  

“I really got addicted to it as the community grew, we’re so starved for community at the moment…it’s such a niche thing, and Primrose Hill is the brand, what makes it unique,” she said.   

Paraplegic dog Lulah on Primrose Hill

Paraplegic dog Lulah on Primrose Hill - Credit: Katy Ryder

The account’s “community” continues to grow. Katy is proud to say a photography GCSE student contacted her for advice on animal photography, and she has formed partnerships with like-minded organisations.  

These include the canine social enterprise Wagadoo and the Primrose Puppy Club, introduced to her by the owner of three French bulldogs she photographed.  

Primrose Hill’s reputation for celebrity spotting has also not disappointed.  

“I saw a well-known figure in a pub after photographing his dog, and he told me it was nice to be recognised for his dog for once," she said.