Why on earth would anybody start an equine and pet photography business, especially when the whole country is currently upside down? Well, simply because my own world was turned upside down when the company I worked for went through a restructuring process and my job wasn’t needed anymore. I’ve always been a “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” kind of person. So, instead of sticking my head in the sand and falling back onto what I’ve always done, working in Customer Service / Marketing / Sales / Admin jobs, I looked at myself very hard and thought – what would make my heart sing?
The next step was to listen to these tiny whispers that started getting louder about a year ago when I first thought wouldn’t it be nice… wouldn’t it be fun… if only… I could spend my working day surrounded by animals…!? Don’t get me wrong, I like people but I LOVE animals. The second thing I love is photography. So, can one combine these two kinds of loves into one big kind of love? Absolutely! Photography is my thing and before I discovered it I was blind. Now I see, breathe and live photography everywhere I go. I think in light and shadows, leading lines, rules of thirds and focal points.
I am very lucky to have discovered my special gift, because not every photographer is able to fully capture a pet’s personality and character in a photograph. By involving the pet’s human throughout the photo session and by keeping them informed and prepared about all necessary steps before, during and after the session I ensure that this is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the humans as well as the pets or horses. I provide each client with a comprehensive welcome pack, explaining exactly what to expect from the session and how to prepare themselves and their pet for their photo session together. This ensures that the client is not anxious before we start because their pet would pick up on their human’s nervousness and that would show in the photos.
This is why I decided to go from doing this in my spare time:
To spending my time rolling around on muddy floors for a living:
My big advantage, apart from being a typical organised and efficient German, is that I can apply my innate landscape photography skills when organising a dog or equine photo walk. I see the world with the eyes of a landscape photographer and every tree stump or old barn door is a photo prop in my eyes. In addition to that, I simply adore animals and I’m a bit of a magnet to them. Shy cats or nervous dogs come out of their shell and want to snuggle up to me. I’ve been hugged and kissed by strange horses and we better not mention the incident with the rabbit that fell in love with me… that’s a story for another day!
To be perfectly honest, starting my own business was a scary prospect, despite having two decades worth of business experience working for all sorts of big and small companies. I’ve taken the past few weeks to do a lot of research, set up my processes, visited my printer and framer, found an awesome bookkeeper in Clitheroe (Hey, Judith from JS Accountancy!) and collaborated with a friend who happens to be a really cool Graphic Design & Website Design Consultant. Big shout-out to John Flanagan who helped me design this website.
There’s the right kind of photographer out there for everybody and I’m specialising to be an exclusive on-location lifestyle photographer for people and their pets. I want to offer a once in a lifetime fun experience and believe that pets are part of our families. They all have their distinct personality, little habits and quirks and you’d recognise your pet blindfolded.
As for me, there’s my Dobby – my very own cheeky black cat. He’s my cat and I’m his human. Unconditional love and trust. Simple truths. That’s how my tag line, Because pets are family too, was born. I’m not just saying it, I truly believe that a life without a pet is a life half-lived. It is a privilege to be loved by an animal and I have this special gift to be able to photograph the unique bond humans have with their pets and capture that in a photo.
The second thing I believe is that everybody who loves their pet should have a gorgeous photo of them to remember them by, forever! I’m thrilled that I can now give something back and make my mark in the world by leaving lots and lots of gorgeous horse, cat and dog photos behind for their people to enjoy.
Please join me on my journey into the pet world and I hope you will cheer me on from the sidelines, or even better, book your equine or pet photo session with me. It’s Christmas soon and this would make a rather special Christmas present for someone. Please also come and say Hello on Facebook and Instagram for your dose of gorgeous pet photos and behind the scenes information.
Please let me know in the comments below what kind of blog articles you would enjoy. So far, I’ve noted down 48 topics (did I mention the organised German bit? It’s true, I can’t help it!), so please watch this space and stay tuned.
Eva and Dobby (editor in chief)