a new focus
Confession time: A couple of years ago, I started rethinking pet photography.
I had been taking a business course that’s forced us to dig deep into what makes each of us, and our businesses, tick. The goal being to discover and refine the why behind what we do. One of the first steps in that process, it turns out, is examining our core values and how we apply those to our photography and to our business.
I can’t say that I had too many life-altering “a-ha” moments. I haven’t been living a lie all these years (whew!). But it was been gratifying, and rather reassuring, to realize that when I do listen to my instincts — my gut reaction — I’m usually on the right track. So this process gave me an extra push to stick up for those instincts and honor them. To be, as they say, true to myself.
When I launched this business, my own experience and my research told me that pet photography was one of two things: either formal portraits, in a studio or some pretty outdoor setting … or crazy fun play dates, with dogs chasing balls, running through fields, or leaping into water. So that’s what I decided I would do: some combination of these two styles. I even scoured our beautiful downtown for possible photo locations — the usual (and over-photographed) city parks, historic-house gardens, sidewalks in front of old houses, and colorful mural-covered walls.
But, in going through this soul-searching process, I realized that neither of those styles actually suits me or what I want to, ahem, focus on.
Many years ago, a college friend described what he thought would be the perfect job for me. He said I should hire myself out to simply sit with people who wanted to feel calmer for an hour, an afternoon, or a day.
As pet parents, though, most of us don’t need to hire someone to exert a calming influence on our day, do we? I would argue that, when life gets a little too crazy, there’s nothing better than a sleepy, purring cat curled up in one’s lap to make everything better.
And, with that, I realized that I didn’t need to try to capture the same poses and locations as every other pet photographer. Like the bluebird of happiness, waiting patiently in the backyard to be discovered after a long search abroad, here was my focus … at home, watching me.
If you’d like a tangible reminder of the peace and calm that your pets bring to your life, let’s talk … but quietly, over a cup of hot tea. :)