I will admit that I have the best job in the world, but it can also be quite unpredictable at times.
Will clients book sessions this month? Will it rain? Will the images bring a smile to the dog mom who loves her pup beyond measure? Will I be able to connect with the shy dog who doesn’t always trust new people? Will the ailing and frail senior pet be comfortable as we create final memories during a Tribute Session?
The variables in pet photography are endless, but I’ve always loved the challenge. Animals are unpredictable; the weather is unpredictable, and the environment is often unpredictable. There’s probably a good reason that there’s an abundance of photographers for weddings, family and senior graduations portraits, etc. but pet photographers are few and far between. We’re a different breed (sorry for the intentional pun) but we do it because we love all animals. Most importantly, we know it’s perfectly okay to celebrate the very special bond between people and their pets.
I’m lucky to receive photos and updates from my doggy clients pretty routinely. It means a lot because it tells me that that I’ve somehow managed to become a small part of their family and it’s an incredible honor.
Imagine my surprise to find an email in my inbox from someone I didn’t recognize, but began with the word… “Congratulations!” Figuring it was more of the spam to which we’ve all become accustomed, I was truly surprised, delighted and humbled to have been recognized among the “Best Pet Photographers in Virginia Beach.”
2019 was my first full year as a professional pet photographer and while photography is a never-ending chase to learn more, become better, and challenge myself creatively, learning the business part was a whole other animal. (Again, with a shameless pun.) It’s been a rewarding year full of laughter, learning, some frustrations over that ‘business’ part of the business, and meeting some of the most wonderful people I could ever hope to meet.
I’d be remiss not to acknowledge everyone who had a part in the Windhound Photography journey thus far. The ongoing support and encouragement from friends and family has been unparalleled. They lifted me up when I questioned my new career endeavor. They toted heavy equipment for me and stood in the cold and rain at local events with me. They got covered with sand, mud, salty water, and soapy bubbles (see the “Bubblicious” blog post for more on that!) right alongside me and my camera.
Clients who believed in me and gave me an opportunity to spend time with their precious furry family members also became good friends and cheerleaders. They didn’t hesitate to give me feedback when my business processes were cumbersome, confusing, or just a terrible mess. (Please keep doing that!) Some clients laughed with delight while others sobbed over memories when seeing their images. Those experiences are priceless and made every bumble worthwhile.
I’m very grateful to all of you and to every cherished pet I’ve yet to meet. Here’s the link to the unexpected and very humbling email…the nice little surprise in my inbox.