Have you found yourself in a place where everything starts to feel right?
Like you’re having one of those days where your hair looks good, your socks match and your underwear isn’t digging into your butt all day long?
But that day is every day?
That’s what Spokane dog photography has done for me. OK, well, North Idaho dog photography, too. All the places dog photography.
After 12 years of a truly soul-sucking marketing career, it’s how I find true happiness in the world.
1. Dogs, the ultimate reason
Dogs are the shit, man. Like, do you even understand people who don’t like dogs? I don’t. Dogs bring me joy in ways I can’t explain.
When dogs are treated right, they’re kind, loving and nonjudgmental. They don’t care if you’re having a bad hair day or who you voted for.
Dogs just want to be with you.
2. Dog lovers, the best humans
Other than the human Shep chose for me, I’ve been on a lifelong search to find my people. The more I immerse myself into the dog community, the more I find the people I was meant to surround myself with.
We dog lovers get each other, don’t we? Having dogs in our life, I think, make us a little more patient, a little more empathetic and a little more relaxed. I think we smile more than cat people because cats are SO INTENSE.
(Settle down, cat people. I’m just kidding.)
When I get to see that sweet moment of connection, the Magic Moment, my heart is full.
3. Adventure in Spokane dog photography
I get to look at Inland Northwest landscapes in a different way. I used to hunt around rural Alberta and the Scablands of Eastern Washington, looking for old farmhouses and barns.
I like a shallow depth of field with a long lens, giving a barn a sense of place and history.
Now that I’ve turned that hobby into a Spokane dog photography business, I look at landscapes as a way to give a dog a sense of place, to give a moment of power in a world run by humans — no matter his size or personality.
And I do crazy things for some sessions …
Crazy but fun. The joy lies in the adventure, turning around at the end of the day and saying, “Did I just do that? Yeah, I friggin’ did.”
4. The challenge is afoot … er, apaw?
Whoever said “don’t work with kids or animals” wasn’t just funning around. It’s tough.
Trouble is, I love a good challenge.
We dog photographers have a cache of tips and tricks to get your dog to look at the camera, give that adorable head tilt or even shake a paw.
But it isn’t always easy. Dogs don’t think or communicate the way we do, so it takes a super level of compassion, understanding and patience.
Sometimes, it even requires giving up on a particular pose because it just isn’t that dog’s moment in time. I’m always happy to give a pupper a break or some space when I see she just isn’t loving what she’s doing.
Except for Bella. That bitch has a job to do and, dammit she’s … again, I kid. That girl has it so easy.
5. Lifelong learning
“Lifelong learning” is a term I learned when I was the media relations specialist at Bow Valley College in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
We promoted “lifelong learning” as a way to entice adults into furthering their post-secondary education, be it retraining for another industry or boosting their skill sets.
I am always looking for ways to grow my mind and learning makes me happy. I’m enrolled in a couple of different online schools where I learn about the business of dog photography, Hair of the Dog Academy, and the creativity of dog photography, the recently launched Unleashed.
I’ve worked with a phenomenal business coach this year, the incomparable Chris Wooley, to nail down my processes and provide a high level of customer service.
And I’m reading a book called The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss, because I want to be a better comfort to you when your dog is nearing his final days in our world. (Little did I know I would end up working on my own grief about my father who died in 1996 and my precious boy Shep, who’s been gone for seven years this August.)
All around the circle
I want to think of Spokane dog photography not just as a business, but also as a community service, a chance to give dog lovers in the Inland Northwest incredible memories of their adventures with their best fur friends.
That’s why giving back is such an important part of my business, whether it’s volunteering time to Heath’s Haven Rescue or creating the Paws of the Panhandle fundraiser for the Better Together Animal Alliance.
But that’s a story for another day. Soon.
In the meantime, let’s check out what the pet photographers in the blog circle are showing us this week. Our topic was happiness.
At the end of her blog post, click the link to the next photographer in the circle and keeping going until you find yourself back here to me finding happiness with Spokane dog photography.
It means you’re home.
Right where you belong.