At the beginning of March Dan and I traveled to Seattle, WA for a couple of days to meet my friend S., after many false attempts to meet before. As the person to give me my first paid photography gig, I call her my Patroness of the Arts. It all started one afternoon I was having a particularly un-fun day at work, and I randomly said to her, Girl. Sigh. I want to be a photographer. This was summer 2008, a few months after I had declared to myself that I wanted to Become a Photographer, but still had no idea what kind, much less how to go about becoming one. She was the first person aside from my husband who I had said this outloud to. And her response to what was really an offhand remark was to mail me boxes upon boxes of yarn…not for me to knit, but for me to photograph. For the last several years S. has been running her own business as a purveyor of fine hand-dyed yarns – yarn she dyes herself, full-time (there is a market for everything!!) – and her business was growing so rapidly that doing things like photographing your own wares was becoming a pain. And, she didn’t feel she was doing it well anyway, so she asked if I would do it, and to charge her for it. I had my little Nikon D50 then, used a tripod, taped a large sheet of white paper against the wall and over a small table, and snapped away!
Boxes of yarn were dropped at the door each week, with sparkling new colors and yarn types to photograph, process, and post to the web. She gave me license to come up with skein “poses.” I wuz in heaven.
Then one day S. emailed me and said, “I’m getting my puppy Augustus professionally photographed today!” I pictured her poor dog being coerced into a wicker basket in front of some garish studio backdrop, and I might have laughed and mocked her. But she was not shamed. She knew what she was getting. A week later she sent me previews from the shoot. My pupils dilated. I went bananas. Lost my mind. Ran around in circles and puked in a corner, my reaction was so severe. I had no idea that “pet photography” could be this way, and it was an instant eureka moment of I WANT TO DO THAT/CAN DO THAT/MUST DO THAT. I was on year 6? 7? of our annual Bunny & Veebs cat calendar, done for my own amusement, and though the photos were deemed by family members as “artsy,” I simply took that as, “You photograph them from funny angles.” I never thought others would want their pets photographed in this way – candidly, at home, in their element, beautifully – but as soon as I saw Erin Vey’s photos it seemed so freaking obvious.
A few months prior I had declared to myself I wanted to become a photographer, but didn’t know What or How. Three months later, thanks to my Patroness of the Arts and Augustus, I knew the what, and could begin the process of the how.
After all that it was so great to finally meet her and Augustus in person. We sat around her house in lovely Seattle eating and discussing ideas for my business, her business. And of course there was a lot of photographing of critters – 4 cats and 2 dogs, one of which was a new CKC puppy for Augustus to play with. They will all make an appearance soon, but first up is Augustus, now at 2 years old. He is such a handsome dog with such a handsome personality. I think this might officially be my favorite breed. It was spring time already in early March, sakura blossoms and camellias were out in full force. It was almost too much!
BEHIND THE SCENES. Sort of.
We took Augustus out for a couple of walks while his mom made some business calls. Dan has never owned a dog. I think he looks really, really good walking a dog, which means we must get one.
More critters from Seattle to come!