Your story matters.
Your story is interesting.
These are statements that took a long time for me to realize about my own story. As I learned more about why my story matters, it drove me further to telling yours.
I am so incredibly proud to launch my new Journeys session for dogs of Spokane and North Idaho.
Together, we will create a gorgeous book that tells the story of you and your dog on adventure in the Inland Northwest.
It’s more than a photo album.
It’s your story.
How I got here
It’s absolutely a coincidence that October is Bullying Prevention Month and the campaign color is always orange.
I only realized that last week as I was putting together the webpages to launch the Journeys session.
My story is rooted in bullying.
My color is orange.
I remember being a quiet kid when I was younger, but always yearning to tell a story. My grandfather, who lived next door, very much lived by the philosophy that children were to be seen and not heard — and that girls were valued far less than boys.
I was the youngest in my classes in school, thanks to being promoted from Grade Primary to Grade 1 midway through the school year. When we graduated to junior high, our classes merged with a new group of students from another elementary school.
Suddenly, I was “too young to know that” and “too young to do that” and I got left out.
I had no friends.
I quit soccer.
I became even more quiet.
I lost myself in reading and music and started to imagine myself leaving this town behind to travel the concert circuit and write for industry mags like Circus, Hit Parader and Rolling Stone.
In Grade 8, our teacher went around the class, asking what we all wanted to be when we grow up.
I said simply, “A journalist.”
I was mocked.
I was told I was never going to leave my hometown, I was never going to do anything, I was never going to be anyone.
No such word as “can’t” or “never”
I hate the word “never.”
I hate the word “can’t.”
When I hear them, my mind shifts to “get the hell out of my way.”
Because you know what I did? I grew up and became a journalist.
I started telling the stories of athletes and coaches and parents. I’ve covered wins and losses, I’ve been to world figure skating championships and I was a national-level curling columnist for a few years in Calgary.
I met Wayne Gretzky.
I went to the NHL All-star game in Vancouver in 1998.
I’ve done a lot of cool shit, met a lot of incredible people and written a lot of amazing stories.
None of them were my own.
Turning to dog photography has unleashed me to tell my own story, to share with you my experiences, my wins, my losses, my journey.
Shep and Bella have taught me to see that my own voice, my own story is important.
And it makes me realize that there are so many people out there who don’t believe their story matters or that their story is interesting. They’re wrong.
Your story matters.
Our journeys with the dogs of Spokane and North Idaho
Our pets bring to our lives an unconditional love and joy and responsibility and sense of being and worth.
They make our lives more interesting.
For many of us — I know I can’t be alone in this — they are such a big part of our stories, central figures in the narrative of our lives.
I became so very inspired by the people I met during the Paws of the Panhandle project, a book that raised $5,000 for the Better Together Animal Alliance in Sandpoint, Idaho. In the book, 45 people or families trusted me with their stories.
I want to tell that story for you and the dogs of Spokane, North Idaho and beyond … just in a bigger way.
I want you to hold in your hand a book that is the story of you and your journey together with your dog. I want for you to have a book that you will read over and over and over again and that becomes an heirloom piece for the generations you create to remember you by.
Imagine passing a copy of your book onto your grandkids for them to have and teach their children and grandchildren about you.
It’s the story of you and your dog.
It’s your legacy.
Gotta limit how many Journeys I take with you
Because of the amount of work involved, I can take only four Journeys sessions for 2022.
Two will be taken up by the promo I launch on Monday, giving away one basic Journeys session, valued at $3900, and one grand-prize Journeys experience, valued at $5000, that includes three full portrait sessions.
I’m so incredibly thrilled to put these packages together for the dogs of Spokane and North Idaho. It is truly bringing all the pieces of me together to tell your story — writing, photography and the part that matters the most, our dogs.
All around the circle
Yeah, OK, so I cried writing this. That’s how much these Journeys sessions mean to me. My photography business with dogs of Spokane and North Idaho has been so much a part of my healing from, well, so much. And I’m grateful that for so many of the people who have become a part of that journey, from my every single one of my clients to my collection of dog photographer friends.
And speaking of whom, enough about me. It’s time to launch into the weekly pet photographers blog circle where this week everyone is writing about whatever the hell they want to write about.
When you get to the bottom of Elaine’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going until you find yourself back here to telling the stories of dogs of Spokane and North Idaho. That’s when you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.