It’s been a big year in the Big White Dog Photography world and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an even bigger 2022.
After taking the time to rebrand in 2020 from Noses & Toes Pet Photography, everything seems to fit better. Bella, my 7-year-old Maremma sheepdog, is the face of my business (literally … my friend Mandy used her face to create my logo), people are loving the adventure sessions, and the new name and approach allows me to be more me.
“Big White Dog Photography” is a lot easier to say, too.
A glimpse into my pet photography
“Do you just do dogs?”
It’s a pretty common question I hear. And the answer is simple: no. I welcome the opportunity to photograph every pet that matters to you.
The name of my business may be a bit misleading in that respect but it’s just because the big white dog is such an integral part of my life.
Since launching my pet photography business four years ago, I’ve had in my lens:
1. A pig
And of course many many many dogs.
It led to a big 2021
I got a hair-brained idea in my head last winter. I’ll do a book!
It wasn’t a novel thought. Most of my friends in the pet photography realm have done or are doing a book that raises money for nonprofits in their area.
They just put a lot more planning into theirs. I approached my nonprofit a choice, the Better Together Animal Alliance in Sandpoint, and the development director, Paige McGowan, was all on board.
She said, “Do you think we could have it ready by our big auction at the end of August?”
Me: Yes, absolutely.
Shit. That meant booking and arranging 45 sessions in North Idaho and getting them all shot, edited and designed into a book in four months.
Shit, shit, shit.
Well, I thought, if I could write my 45-page senior thesis on dream analogies in Shakespeare in two days, I can do this.
Except I was 19 then and had a lot more energy.
I did it. It got done and the Paws of the Panhandle is a pretty neat book of memories for the 45 families who participated and helped me raise $5,000 for the Better Together Animal Alliance.
I am ever so grateful to each one of them.
I am also quite thankful to:
- John Hatcher and the team at EzyDog for sponsoring five Adventure Day sessions at $200 each, allowing our total to get to $5,000.
- Paige for her incredible support of the project from Day One.
- My friend Cat and her dog Newt for being the first to dive in and say “fuck yeah, this is awesome.”
- My business coach and friend Chris Wooley at Heads and Tails Photography for helping me be organized enough to pull this off.
- My husband for putting up with long absences and dinners alone while I drove around North Idaho.
And I am super grateful to the whole project for pushing me and inspiring me to come up with the idea for the Journey sessions, which create your own book about your adventures with your dog.
So many people have entered the promotion to launch this project, where I’m giving away one deluxe Journey session at $4550 and one standard Journey session at $3900.
I also cannot wait to sit down and read every single story. I’m also anxious to see which stories touch the hearts of my two judges.
In other pet photography news …
The biggest hurdle is over.
Two weeks ago, I started a new journey for myself, to build my pet photography skills and improve the variety of images we create during your sessions.
I joined a challenge called Embark, sponsored by Unleashed Education and led by two master-level pet photographers, Charlotte Reeves of Australia and Craig Turner-Bullock of New Zealand.
We’re given a different topic every two weeks and then we submit our images for critique. I was so stressed about the first week, Colouriffic. I had to find a very colorful background and make it work for a beautiful portrait.
Not nature? Not an epic landscape from the world surrounding Spokane and North Idaho?
My friend Jolene told me about this little park at a children’s school in Coeur d’Alene. We loaded her husky-shepherd mix up with treats and …
Top 10. Out of 68 images submitted.
And in keeping with the theme of today’s blog post, I’m super grateful to all the volunteers who’ve joined me on this pet photography challenge, offering their pups up as models for the topics which will feature us hiking to cool spots, me rolling around on the ground and everybody having a lot of fun.
So yeah … life as usual.
All around the circle
Our pet photography blog circle is a small one this week. Likely many of our usual bloggers are busy with the holiday.
We’re all spending some time writing with gratitude for the incredible things our businesses bring us.
Let’s head to Las Vegas and start with Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole, sharing what she is grateful for.
When you get to the bottom of Nicole’s post, click the next link in the circle and then keep going until you find yourself back here to my thankfulness with pet photography in Spokane and North Idaho. That’s when you know you’re home.
Right where you belong.