And then tragedy struck...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I've been reading the Cowbelly Pet Photography blog for quite a while now. I love her style of photography. If you've never visited her blog, check it out - you won't be disappointed.
Anyway, last year she offered a dog photography workshop in Seattle. I really wanted to go but felt I couldn't justify the expense. She then announced that she would be putting on a travelling roadshow and that Edmonton was going to be one of the stops. I was so excited and couldn't wait to sign up.
And then came the bad news... She didn't have enough interest in the Edmonton workshop and crossing the border was going to be no end of hassles. I was very disappointed. She is still offering workshops in various places in the states but it seemed so far away.
After a very long conversation with Marlin, I've decided to go - to LA! How fun is that!?
I haven't decided if I am going to branch into dog photography as part of the business yet, but I am definitely leaning that way. At the very least the workshop will help me improve the photos I take at the daycare and for the rescue pups. I'm still on the fence for offering it as an actual service for a few reasons.
- The time it takes. I really don't want to work weekends again. Especially in the summer. Most people work during the week and taking the day off for dog photos is probably not high on their priority list.
- The skills needed. I think I can learn the technical stuff but I'm quite worried about the creative side of things. While I do "crafty" stuff, I've never thought of myself as creative. My best photos seem to be the ones that I take while not looking - what does that say?
- The pressure. There are days when I can't seem to take a decent photo to save my life. What if I have an entire photo shoot of crap?
- Editing. I don't usually do anything to the photos I take. I do the occasional cropping and sometimes I'll lighten up a few shadows but that is it. Learning the editing software that turns good photos into great ones is a whole other skill that I don't currently possess.
I am not going to decide what to do until after the course. But if I do decide to go forward, it will be quickly so that the summer isn't wasted. The course is in mid-June on possibly the worst weekend that could have been chosen for the whole summer but we are going to make it work!
I'm also taking a course here in Lethbridge starting in late April which will also help expand my skills. It should be a photography filled summer. I can't wait!
Monday, February 23, 2009
So I went to another foster parent's house yesterday to get more pictures of Gwen and Billie's littermates. These are "melt your heart" little pups. Each and everyone one of them has an adorable quality about them.
You've already met Jovi, she is definitely the smallest of the bunch (at least of the ones I've met) but you should have seen her hopping up the stairs. Her small size will not be holding this girl back.
Alice has the cutest little patches of white under her chin, on her chest, on most of her little toes and the tiniest amount on the tip of her tail.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I took lots more puppy photos today that I will share in a little bit, but as I was scrolling through the hundreds (yes hundreds) of photos I took today, this one made me exclaim out loud. I don't know what it is about it, but I LOVE it. I love the sweet expression on her face, I love the little smudge of dirt on her chin and I love her cute little nose. Meet Jovi, one of Gwen and Billie's litter mates.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Marlin and I have become very picky foster parents. We don't want to fall in love, which means they can't stay long. We only take dogs in an emergency situation and that way they only stay for a night or two.
These two little cuties (Gwen (top three pictures) and Billy (bottom two pictures)) weren't working out in their foster home, and the new foster home couldn't take them until tomorrow so we volunteered to take them for a night.
Oh how we sacrifice!
As you can see we are very good foster parents. We teach them great skills such as shoe destruction and finger chewing that every dog owner should appreciate.
If anyone is interested in these little cuties, you can find out more about adopting them by visiting the Prairie Dog Canine Rescue.
A few weeks ago I got a picture of Coulee reaching up to catch the ball for the 52 Weeks for Dogs challenge. I really liked the picture but I hated all the "cluter" a.k.a. "the house" in the background. So today after our walk with Tundra, I tried again at the dog park.
I had so much fun and I love all the pictures.
So now all I want to do is take more.
I have more, but I won't bore you any further... OK, just one more.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
I guess Coulee and Lacey decided that Family Day would be the day to finally pose together for a picture. They obliged me at the top of the stairs.
I tried for a full family portrait too - it isn't as easy as it looks! Marlin and I have looked better but it is the only picture we have ever attempted of all 5 of us. I'm totally impressed that 4 out of 5 of us are looking at the camera... well Coulee is looking at her ball next to the camera, but close enough!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I am not a NASCAR fan but Marlin is, and so is our friend Scott. For the last few years Marlin has been heading up to Scott and Sandi's place to watch the big race. Some years I've been able to tag along and hang out with Sandi and this year, was one of those years.
Jolene popped in a few times to check on the pups and when we came home they were obviously very satisfied with all the attention Jolene paid to them, they acted like we had just stepped out for 10 minutes, instead of 10 hours. Hmph! I was hoping to be missed a little more than that!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
When Sandy and her crew is around, something "exciting" always happens. You'll have to read all the gory details on her blog... I'm sure she will write about it once her heart stops pounding.
Jolene, Amanda, Sandy and I met up for a dog walk today. Between the four of us we had 11 dogs. We must have looked quite intimidating to everyone else at the park.
I was pretty disappointed with the majority of my photos but there were a few keepers.
Last night and this morning we added some colour to my new office. I did a custom white balance on the camera so this is as accurate as I can get the colours. I checked out the CIL website to see if they had their colours on-line but they don't seem to.
I really like the blue and am glad I went with it instead of the green I was thinking of. I think the brown is a bit much but with furniture and stuff on the walls I think it will be fine. It looks so much better than before and it no longer looks like a prison cell! I can't wait to get the desk in there.
The only problem now is that the floor looks really bad now that the walls are painted. I barely even noticed it before and now it is a huge eye sore. I may have to add some vinyl cork flooring like we have at the front of the daycare.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm starting to get excited about my office again. We were discussing it this past weekend and Monday I cleared out most of the stuff and today I started priming the walls. I've finally settled on a colour scheme which I show you in a day or two when I crack open the cans.
I think I'm going to put a dog pillow or a comfy chair in the little alcove (which you can see in the second picture below), and build a desk (the plank in the first picture will be part of the desk) along the wall. It should give me plently of surface space to work on and lots of space underneath to store stuff. I'm hoping to find a nice throw rug for the floor and hopefully that will add some warmth to the room. One day I'll add a "real" floor but I don't want to spend too much to start.
This is what it looked like before I started priming...
...and this is it now.
I'm pretty pleased with the difference just a coat of primer has made.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I've loved some dog photos I've seen with the dog and their shadow next to them. I've never tried to "embrace" the shadow before so that is what I did today while out for a walk with the girls. I never managed to get any neat "dog and shadow" ones, but there were a few "shadow only" ones of Lacey that I liked.
When she was walking she looked oddly roach backed in her shadow and she looked as if she had spikes on her spine and butt. It was kind of freaky.
I took the girls out separately on a leashed walk as they tend to set each other off whenever we see people or dogs. Coulee was an angel because I had treats. Lacey on the other hand, had a complete melt down when the ice in the lake shifted and made noise. It took me 10 minutes to get her calm enough to eat the treats she had been gobbling down just moments before. She eventually got over it and was almost her usual self by the time we reached the van.
Monday, February 2, 2009
February is the start of no more shuttling dogs to and from the daycare. I couldn't be happier to have an extra 2 hours each day to do what ever I want with. I got out of work at 6 p.m tonight and raced home to spend a blissful evening doing whatever I wanted.
And then Amanda called... And reminded me a training group had rented the daycare tonight.
So here I am back at work. I guess it is better than driving.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
What did I do this weekend?
I spent some time with a friend from Medicine Hat, hung out with the pups, did some overdue cleaning at the daycare, worked at the Indoor Dog Park and finished my blog book!
I made a blog book for the Paws on the Run blog last June for our one year anniversary, and will make one for our second anniversary as well, but I also wanted one of this blog. I started blogging last February and was debating making the book go from Feb 2008- Feb 2009 but decided it made more sense to use the calendar year. I spent hours and hours arranging photos, editing and proof-reading. Apparently I need to proof-read a little more when I post as there were quite a few errors. I'm sure the book still isn't perfect but it is a lot better.
There are a few things I would change with Blurb/Booksmart, but overall it is pretty nifty. I love the way it just takes all your text and photos and all you have to do is rearrange things to your liking. I'm also going to create photo books of the 52 week challenge on Flickr that I'm participating in. At least that is the plan at the moment. If I work on the books every month or so, it won't be as much work in the end.