Why I chose dogs over humans


This weekend was “Paws..for a Cause”, my annual fundraiser for the local Humane Society. It is a super fun day and it always reminds me of why I chose this direction for my studio.

I shot people for years.

It was fun. I learned a lot about the human psyche. I did some impromptu couple’s therapy in the sales room after the session. I witnessed a lot of love & warmth between people, but I saw the other side of the family dysfunction coin too. The creation of my own art in the process seemed to get lost somewhere in their vision of what they wanted (of course, that’s what they paid me for, right?). It was my issue and I knew it was time for a change….a cross-over to the land of squeaky toys and milkbones.

Dogs are always happy to see me. They never ask me to make them look thinner with Photoshop. They authentically show me their personalities 100% of the time. And..I love dog owners—they are wonderful to work with. Something about a person who is devoted to their dog. Love ’em all!


The dog taking up my lap real estate here is Mystic the Wonder Dog. She belongs to my friend Jane and I adore her (so glad the feeling is mutual). She was more interested in giving love than having her pic taken.

These beauties are other friends who came to slobber on my backdrop this weekend. Such precious faces! I could sop them all up with a biscuit.



Note the Elvis lip above. Thankyouthankyouthankyouverymuch.



Goldens, of course, are the sweetest to come through my doors. I still miss Penny, our girl that passed away too soon at 8 so many years ago. They are such wonderful campions—-yet, very challenging to photograph. Gotta get ’em to stay put long enough in one spot to snap away.

I never expected to write a book about dog photography. It was the blessing of blessings in the last few years of this self-created career. The most gratifying thing about it is having newbie photographers email me to say how much it helped them break into the pet photography market. Teaching, after all, is where I come from and where I’m headed…more on that later :)

My friend Mark sent this picture to me from the Imaging USA conference. He said the book was selling well —so grateful!


I always advise folks who are entering this very saturated market of portrait photography to ask themselves one question:

When the phone rings at your studio, which type of client do you hope it is not…and which type of client do you desperately hope it IS? 

That is who they should be focusing on (no pun intended) for the bulk of their business. Let go of the clients who don’t fit them (or their shooting style) and really market to the people they want to capture. It really works–I’m living proof. I was so scared to cross over completely, but the act of becoming the expert (master of one trade instead of none) is such a strong selling point. It has been such a great process!

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I hope your weekend was lovely…Ours was really great—super nice visit with ma mere’ and her partner. I also watched entirely too much of a new find on HGTV, “Hawaii Life” , because my ache for the islands is worse than ever.



Seriously–how much Pandora Hawaiian radio can one girl listen to in one week? Clearly I am troubled with the rain here.

Here’s hoping you have sun where you are!

Happy week~



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3 Responses to Why I chose dogs over humans

  1. Ann B says:

    The picture of the golden is my favorite!! You are so wonderful with dogs and the images you capture are amazing – I’m so glad you picked dogs over people!

    Hugs to you,

    Ann and Piper

  2. Pam says:

    All those doggy faces just make me smile….and of course they had such a wonderfully talented lady to capture their moment! I also realized looking back at the pic of your book on the table with all those others – YOURS stands out! Another smart choice!This year i want to get back into the nitty gritty of my camera…maybe more technical lessons for myself instead of just taking pics all over the spectrum. Thanks for being my inspiration! Working on this Hawaii thing in your mind, I can see you there now with your own studio taking unlimited photographs of everything bright and beautiful.One day – my dear! You deserve it!

  3. Amen is all I got to say!

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