Good things come from sweaty palms

Good things come from sweaty palms

Fact: Good things come from sweaty palms

Last year, I made the decision to invest in myself, heavily. I am so grateful that the universe kicked me in the pants to go to an incredible pet photography retreat in the south of France. One of the biggest aha moments that I took away from the experience, is the fact that if I’m going to be successful, I need to shake things up. I was stuck in a safe zone and clearly I was going to have to start to look for and embrace photographic opportunities that made my palms sweat.

Welcome to the Year of the Sweaty Palms

This year, I’ve taken on several jobs that made me step waaaay outside of my comfort zone. No longer am I saying to myself, “yeah, a big no on that job. That sounds scary and complicated and like someone else should do it”. If I let that crazy lady hold me back, I won’t grow as a photographer and that, my friends, is my never ending objective. I was blessed to have found a path into pet photography and I will throw my heart and soul into it until I breathe my last breath.

Just this past week, I stepped further out of the old comfort zone than I ever have before. I had a pro bono photo shoot for a social impact company called Mother Erth. They upcycle discarded plastic materials, keeping them out of landfill… aaaaand, wait for it… they work with artisan mothers in third world countries to create gorgeous fashion accessories. Thus enabling them to become financially independent! I love that!

We are creating a movement of people wearing our bright bags as a statement of their commitment to care for others and the Earth.

It came together like it was meant to be

I was contacted by Co-Founder Sean Kelly and asked to create images that would appeal to Mother Erth’s hip, youthful, stylish customer and promote their line of pet carriers and beds. Pet photography has created a vehicle for me to give back, so when a good fit comes along, I’m all over it.

I reached out to friends, clients and colleagues to pull this shoot together and I have to say, that it all came together beautifully because of their generosity and kindness. The shoot took place in the ever gorgeous surroundings at The Good Earth Food and Wine Co.  My canine models were a breathtaking Papillon named Betsy (thank you so much Kait Ripley) and the fluffiest most adorable little Pomeranian Kismet aka Kitty Kat (can’t thank you enough Nikki Fowler). The dogs interacted beautifully together and with my stunning, stylin’ hoomans Eva and Loire, who along with Eva’s mom, coordinated their own hair, makeup and wardrobe selections. EEEEK, you girls ROCKED it!!!

For someone who works almost exclusively with four-leggeds, this really was a big stretch for me creatively and I’m proud of the final product. Even more importantly, my clients and models all had a great time and love the images. The feeling of accomplishment that comes along with doing something that literally gives you sweaty palms is so immense! I gotta say… I like it!!

Here are a handful of the final images, enjoy!

Niagara Pet Photography On-Location: Snow!

Niagara Pet Photography On-Location: Snow!

Pet photography, on-location, is not for the feint of heart, nor the Winter Wuss.

Who is MacLean’s Magazine calling a Wuss? Well, okay, probably me. I’m not much of a “freeze my butt off” girl at the best of times. Going for a walk and losing all feeling in my thighs isn’t exactly my favourite thing to do. That being said, my specialty is pet photography, on-location, and I will suck it up for the sake of a spectacular session.

Last week we got some snow, so it seemed the ideal time to get out and play. I have coats for my boys but they usually don’t come out until the windchill makes it a less that -10° excursion. For Indy maybe a little sooner. Lucca, my little Texan rescue, has taken to the Canadian Winter like a duck to water.

After the first real snowfall he walked tentatively out the door and took it all in like he was analyzing the situation. His assessment must have been good because in the next moment he was dashing through the snow like the proverbial one horse open sleigh. So, as soon as I could ask Siri what the wind chill was and we both didn’t freak out, I bundled myself up, left the boys’ coats at home and off we went for a snowy photographic romp in the gorgeous setting of Cave Spring Vineyard.

Pet photography: shooting from the hip

Shooting pet photography on-location like this, telling a visual story of four-legged adventures in a natural, whimsical way. I have to work fast and at their level for much of the time. But the proof is in the pudding – it allows me to deliver fun, fresh images that translate to gorgeous wall art or spectacular keepsake albums.

We may not have a lot more snow than Toronto, but here in Niagara, it’s easier to find vast pristine areas of the white stuff … and watching a dog play in fresh snow is way better than anything HBO can throw at you!

If you would like to book a Winter session I promise not to be a wuss, and I will wear my long johns. Please send me an email or give me a call and we’ll set something up with the weather man in mind!

Here are my top 5 from last week!