Going full time as a dog photographer and how I got started
As I sat at my work desk, sorting through the emails I missed over the weekend, my head was in a million other places. I was thinking about upcoming sessions. What I wanted to share on social media that day. Which clients I needed to place orders for. Wondering how I could make my website more user friendly. The labradoodle that just strolled casually by my window on his morning walk with his owner. You get it. My head was everywhere except in the place it should have been.
I have been working as a web designer/developer for a little over 7 years with the same company. A company where I met many people that I will continue to consider some of my greatest friends, including my husband. I loved my job and I was good at it.
That is until November 20, 2018. The day of my "ah-ha" moment. I was hanging on the couch, munching on a tub of cheese balls. My dog Opie, staring at me with bubbles and drool slingers hanging from his mouth that almost touched the floor. I reached my cheese coated finger tips into the container and casually tossed him one. In an instant, his eye practically buldged from his head as he lept towards me to catch the cheeseball in mid-air, mouth agape, nostrils flaring. The slingers were now detached by the brute force of his lunge, but nicely coated against his furry body. Thats when I lost it. The look on his face coming at me was one I will never forget. I was laughing so hard and it happened so fast that I barely knew it happened at all. So I got up and headed for my camera. I grabbed the cheeseballs and a box of cheerios and went into the room with the most natural light. No need to grab Opie because I was tripping over him the whole time as I was trying to fend him off. He wanted more and boy was he about to get it.
I spent the afternoon alternating between cheerios and cheeseballs and my other dog, Chloe joined the fun. I re-arranged the room for more space and better lighting as I continued throwing and laughing, capturing photos that I couldn't wait to show my husband.
I remembered seeing a post on Facebook a while back of a photographer that took photos of dogs catching treats. So I took to google and found him. His name is Christian Vieler and his photos are hilarious. So I got to thinking. I love dogs, I love photography, I love the photos I have of my dogs so why don't I change gears a bit and start offering dog photography sessions to my clients too? I posted these same photos to my facebook business page and everything just kind of took off from there.
Since this day, my focus has been on dogs. I can tell you exactly how many dogs I've seen out and about on any given day, right down to the breed. When I would go to work, I would be thinking about dogs. When I was at home, I was thinking about dogs! When my son was napping, I was editing pictures of dogs or figuring out what I was going to do next in realtion to dogs.
Needless to say, my 9-5 desk job was taking me away from this passion I couldnt seem to get enough of. For months, I had been back and forth about putting in my two weeks and giving my photography 100% of my attention. Finally after two weeks of chickening out, I was sitting at my desk with my head in the clouds when something snapped. Something told me to just do it already. So I did. I put in my two weeks, left a bit early, went home and told my husband. He was just as excited but I think it was more because now we will get to see more of each other.
My first week full time
When I am not entertaining or feeding my 2 year old, I am in front of the computer at least 10 hours a day. Organizing, planning, booking, promoting, consulting, communicating, etc. Trying to catch up on the things I was having a hard time focusing on before.
I am looking forward to finding my groove, establishing a routine and seeing where things go from here!
Until next time, tell your dog I said hi!