September 21, 2018 | Over the last decade, I have worked hard to keep my service and product rates affordable. So the question I have is: Can you afford NOT to commission custom photos of your beloved pets?
Your pet is young and healthy. They have been with you for a few years now, maybe since they were a puppy. You didn’t seek out professional photos when they were a pup so you have missed capturing that stage in anything more than cell phone quality. You can’t turn back that clock - and maybe you feel that’s fine for now. But those fuzzy selfies may not be enough in a few years when you are missing your furry BFF. Will the martian-eyed photos taken with a cell phone flash allow you to really remember how deep and soulful your pet’s eyes were? Would you rather have a beautiful album made that allows you to honor their time with you with every flip of a page? Would you like to enjoy your morning coffee looking over a gorgeous piece of wall art that depicts a very special day when you and your pet had a fun photo session together – moments seized by a professional, someone skilled at capturing that connection, and then having a high quality output to back it up?
I don’t dispute the value of spontaneous cell phone photos – I do it myself (and truth be told, I delete most of them because of their limited quality). I don’t rely SOLELY on them to document my pets’ lives and my journey with them. If you value the time with your pets, by all means, please have it documented (or “dog”umented) properly. If it feels like you can’t afford it, call me or email me and let me walk you through it and then decide. I bet you’ll be surprised how much it DOESN’T cost once you really look at numbers.
August 6, 2018 | With local shelters and rescues over capacity and having to run fee-waived adoptions just to save these animals' lives, I urge you to please #adoptdontshop. On August 18, there is a nationwide Clear the Shelters event. Please check it out -- you don't have to wait until the 18th to adopt though :)
July 19, 2018 | In just a couple of weeks, Roux and Gracie are both turning four! Where does the time go?! We'll be celebrating all month really, including our own "par-tay for the pups" as well as special offers for clients, starting with a mini-session offer on August 26. Watch for other specials throughout August!
April 2, 2018 | I, like many other photographers, choose to NOT post my print/product rates on my site and I do this purposefully, for two reasons:
1. I use third party pro labs and rates are subject to change from time to time. Clients are given rate sheets at their session and current rates are available in the proof gallery menu. Scheduled clients who, after reviewing site and Guide info, further inquire specifics for their own estimating purposes are provided additional info as well. But as a rule, no, I do not publish print/product rates (but my session fee, any related trip charge and the ordering minimum are published and easily accessible).
2. While I understand being budget-conscious, custom pet photography (or any custom photography!) is not a decision that should be based on price alone and publishing rates encourages some folks to simply price shop - that is NOT how the decision should be made. You can certainly find a shoot-and-burn photographer (usually newcomers) who will give you a batch of “edited” images for a small fee (and that may be good enough for you), but that isn’t how I work. In the comparatively nominal session fee that I charge, my time, years of studies and practice, my experience and talent, over a decade in business – these are the pieces the session fee covers and the value of time invested in each session far outweighs the fee. I develop ongoing relationships with clients because I am genuinely interested in them and their pets. It isn’t just a work task to me. It’s a passion. If you decide you want to work with me, base it on my my style and because it's a good match for what you envision for your session.
My rates for prints are products are very affordable. I also offer rescue, military and LEO discounts. If you have booked or are thinking of scheduling, for goodness sakes, don’t be shy. If you have a question, ASK ME!
March 3, 2018 | I like to promote the benefits of custom pet photography whenever I have a forum. Recently the publisher for MPM asked if I would be interested in writing a "Day in the Life" type of article. Um ... OF COURSE! (Click here or click the image below to view the article.)
MPM, thank you for understanding the value and the importance of documenting our pets' journeys!
March 2, 2018 | Yesterday, I had an awesome morning beach session with two gorgeous golden retrievers and their humans. The dad contacted me with a requirement that the session be held within three days (it would seem an odd request if they were local but, they were visiting from Pennsylvania and their six-week stay here was coming to a close). When I asked where they learned about me, they said they had picked up a copy of the Mount Pleasant Magazine (the 2018 “Best Of” edition ) and voila! There I was! So for those who voted me into this award, thank you - because of you, I had a fantastic morning with two beautiful and friendly dogs, two lovely humans, and perfect lighting for my taste!
The dogs gave me so much personality that their session yielded over 120 rough proofs! Full-size copies of these images can be viewed on Facebook.
January 18, 2018 | This new year is off to a great start! We had SNOW (which meant some awesome and unexpected photo opps). I was also honored to learn that I was voted Best Pet Photographer in the 2018 Best of Mount Pleasant (see sidebar for link). And I am happy to launch my Puppy "Grow With Me" photo packages, which should be an easy commitment for EVERY puppy parent! Please click here for details.
December 31, 2017 | As this year comes to a close, I think back over my first full year as a SC resident, my different successes and lessons learned navigating a new market area, the people and pets I worked with, the adoptables I met, and the new relationships made with other pet-related businesses. It all has me excited to think about what 2018 may have in store. I resolve to:
- continue doing what I love;
- put only the best images forward for clients;
- only compete with myself; and
- keep honing my craft.
I will continue to focus on pets (and their people), thereby ensuring I don't dilute the special services I offer, or turn into a "shop". I love what I do!! I love that it's a specialty and not something that everyone can or does offer. (Including a pet in a photo or two simply isn't the same as a dedicated pet session.) Happy New Year to all of you readers! The best part is 2018 is the YEAR OF THE DOG!
September 10, 2017 | I continue to preach the benefits of custom pet photography. I see folks claiming to be pet photographers posting enormous galleries of blurry images and, because most people don't know that custom pet photography is "a thing", they assume those are the only type of photos available and they accept that as industry quality. I am here to tell you, that is NOT the case. Some of us have worked for years to hone this skillset, to ensure only true quality images survive the cut (technically correct images that show your pet's personality and make you FEEL something), and to prepare for our clients the best possible images of their beloved companions. Don't settle for less. Owning a camera (or a dog) does not make someone a pet photographer any more than owning a stove makes you a chef. Think about it.
August 25, 2017 | Those who know or have worked with me in the past will tell you I will always lend a hand to a rescue group if they ask. This year, I drove myself a little bananas with several photo projects all at once though: 2018 calendar for local rescue My Name is Milk; the 2018 10th anniversary calendar shoot for Carolina ACD Rescue & Rebound; and a 2018 calendar shoot for Lagunitas Brewing Company, where they will be identifying a rescue beneficiary for calendar sales. All in, these projects took about 80+ donated hours between travel, shooting, editing, final production and, for Milk Paws, additional coordinating and correspondence time with participants. I knew it was time consuming but until I saw my timesheets, it hadn't occurred to me just how much! Through each process, I met some awesome people and a bunch of beautiful dogs and I hope each effort proves to be a successful fundraiser for the individual rescues. So if you are looking for a 2018 calendar, I can certainly direct you toward some options!
June 26, 2017 | Why Pet Photos?
If you believe your pet is a member of the family, why would you NOT want to have beautiful photos? Sure, cell phone photos will work in a pinch when your dog is doing something goofy – I do it with my own dog - but when you someday want to print a nice piece for your wall, you will be sorely disappointed in the quality your cell phone photo will provide - and the opportunity is lost. Cell phones may allow you to take selfies with your pet, but how will you properly catch that moment where your dog is looking at you with the most amazing eyes, where you can feel them burning into your soul? Or where you are playing ball, or laughing at how they perceive bubbles? While animals don’t have the same life milestones as children (recitals, graduations), they do have birthdays and even adoptaversaries. They sometimes come to you as puppies and, in the blink of an eye, you realize you have an adult dog. Then you look back and all you have are low-resolution cell phone snaps. Maybe they have come to you as a shy, rescued pet and you want to remember how far they have come. Their lives are so much shorter than humans, why would you NOT want professional photos, documenting their journey with you? Pet photography is a specialty – there is a way to communicate with - and an energy that works well around - animals and it is not a skill everyone has. It requires patience and calm, and a physical presence that allows you to get down on the ground and roll around and be jumped and licked and body slammed and take it in stride. It requires a desire to be friends with the animal and not just photo them from a distance. As you consider having photos of and with your pet, this is critical to keep in mind to ensure the most genuine photos result from your session. They really are not "just photos". They are memories you are making and when memories fade, photos will remain as a beautiful reminder.
June 8, 2017 | It’s time for some looking ahead and adjusting. Being in a new geo-market for just about the last year, I can now better assess the differences between this area and the Northern VA client base I enjoyed for almost ten years. Changes are coming. Stay tuned and wish me luck!
March 2, 2017
| When you are getting married, you interview wedding photographers
- you want to know if you connect with them. Does their style suit
yours for this important day? For me, it's the same with pets (and
any specialty area, really). Do you want a commercial/food photographer
snapping your precious Fido? Or do you want someone who is experienced
working with and bringing out the best in your pet?
Do you want someone who focuses on your pet, or considers
them more of an afterthought? And most importantly, do you want someone
who lives and breathes pets?! (This is especially
important for shy pets or those who are a little weary of strangers.)
And these should be key questions if you are considering professional
photos of your pet. There is so much more to "pet photography"
than asking a pet to sit with their family for a posed photo (although
this is, indeed, a part). There is interaction, and documenting a
genuine love that exists between people and their pets. There is catching
a particular look that is meaningful to the pet parents, and grabbing
a piece of the pet's personality in a photo. Look at sample photos.
A huge, beautiful body of work with a couple of dogs sprinkled in
the mix over a several month period of time just doesn't say "pet
photographer" ... at least not to me.
February 19, 2017
| I do believe I have a new obsession: dock diving! And I think Roux
could excel at this. He loves the water, he is over the moon about
his toys and he can jump like a kangaroo! A few photos from the 2017
Wildlife Exposition (1st day, Qualifying Round) so you can see
where/why I got the bug.
January 1, 2017
| Happy new year to all, human and furry!
December 8, 2016 |
From Roux and me -- Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays
... whatever brings joy to your ears and heart!
October 1, 2016
| To commit to a specialty area in photography, you have to focus
(no pun intended). Mine is primarily pets and their people. Of course,
I can and have done other forms of photography – portraits,
family, fine art, events, weddings and commercial. And I will make
exceptions for prior clients, for example, who are maybe getting married,
and are incorporating their pets in the ceremony! I think you have
to work at everything to see where your passion lies, and, in my heart,
I do believe capturing the beauty of our pets (and adoptables) and
their relationships with their people is my purpose. So when you are
considering photos of (and with) your pet, keep that in mind. Does
the photographer you are considering specialize in pets or are they
a wedding photographer that will take a pet gig? Are they primarily
a family photographer that will let the pet participate in a few photos?
That’s not my style. If, instead, you want someone who
knows how to really interact with animals so they are comfortable,
who will ensure the shots represent your pet’s personality,
and will focus on your pet (and your relationship together), then
July 25, 2016
| When we are in the middle of your session and I encourage you to
be photographed with your pet even for just a few images, please trust
me. I don't want to hear you are not photogenic (let me decide that!),
or that you didn't do your hair or make-up (your pet won't care about
that either). Years from now, I promise, you will be glad you conceded
to my request as you look back lovingly on your photos from our time
July 2, 2016 |
Moving means no file access to prep orders until the week of July
19. Thank you for your understanding.
April 28, 2016
| I've noticed recently when I meet new dogs either at sessions, or
dog parks, or events, so many owners seem compelled to say "He/She
is a rescue" as if it's a bad thing, a reason or an excuse of
some sort for a dog's insecurity or shyness, for example. How about
we try this spin -- if your dog is a rescue, tell people but tell
them PROUDLY! Educate them if they aren't on the Adopt-Don't-Shop
bandwagon. Explain how saving a life is really saving two because
you make room for another animal in need to enter a shelter and have
a chance at adoption. Maybe your pet has issues - so what? Purebreds
and show pets do too! No need to advertise what doesn't matter, when
what DOES matter is that you cared enough to give them a chance at
a loving family. And in the end, that is ALL that matters to the animal.
January 30, 2016 |
Things to not ask me, because they are basically
"What kind of camera
do you use?" and "What settings did you
use for that [particular] photo?"
My gear works for me but it
may not be suitable for you. I don't debate brands. During sessions
or personal projects, I tweak my settings to suit the occasion and
I look for moments. For those hoping to replicate or reproduce an
image, and thinking that mirroring the settings or equipment used
will do the trick, it isn't going to happen because a moment is
unique. I follow the images of people whose work I admire, and if
I see a feature I like or am drawn to, I try to find my own way
to design an image that may elicit a similar response. But I don't
want to copy the work of another. Photography is, after all, a creative
And the cringeworthy "Do
you think you got some good shots?" The short answer
to this is "OF COURSE!!!" And this will always be the answer
because I will shoot until I am satisfied with the images we create
during our time together.
January 1, 2016 |
Resolve to be your best self.
December 18, 2015 |
Merry Christmas to all and an abundance of good wishes for 2016, from
my favorite reindeer and me!
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