Interview with Paw Prints Doggy Daycare

Remember when I used to interview local businesses and feature them in my blogs? And remember how I somehow forgot to keep that going?

Well, it’s baaaack!!

And we’re off to a fabulous start with Mel from Paw Prints Doggy Daycare and Grooming! I’ve photographed two of her dogs in the last year or so - first her smallest (at the time), a Boston/Frenchie named Nacho. And most recently her newest addition: Meatball the Brussels Griffon!

Meatball

Meatball

Nacho

Nacho


Q: How did you decide to start this career, and how long have you owned your business?

A: I was in the esthetics industry for years teaching. Although I loved teaching, I always wanted to work for myself. So I mixed my love for dogs with my desire to be an entrepreneur together and have been living my dream ever since I took over Paw Prints in 2016 .

Q: What types of services do you offer your clients?

A: We offer dog daycare, grooming and a few small retail items from locally owned businesses. We are hoping to be expanding in 2020 to add boarding, dog training, bite prevention, and child/dog safety seminars, dog reiki as well as a full retail space.

Q: What is an aspect of your job that you didn't expect when you started, or that people might be surprised to hear about?

A: I didn’t expect to love my job so much! I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. And cleaning! Wow so much cleaning... who knew dogs could pee and poo that many times within an hour?

Q: Where is your business located?

A: We are located in Bedford, off Larry Uteck. 401 Unit 4 Bluewater Road

Q: Tell me about your own pups!

A: I have an odd ball mix of dogs. My biggest boy is Tonka, he is an amstaff who is the biggest baby of them all, at 85 pounds he thinks he is a lap dog! I have a Frenchton named Nacho who is a spicy little guy. He weighs in at 25 pounds but has the heart of a 100 pound dog! Next is my only female, Amber who is a sweet hearted German Shepherd. She is the fun police and the mama bear all mixed in one. Last but certainly not least in personality is Meatball, who is a smooth coat Brussels Griffon. Meatball is the toy breed I never expected to own! But if you know Griffs you know there is never a dull moment with these little monkey dogs.

Q: Where can the dog community of Halifax find and follow you online?

A: We have Instagram, a Facebook page, also a website.

Q: What is your favourite local dog-related company? Why do you (or your pup!) love 'em?

A: Oh I could never pick a favourite, but I certainly love all our local small business who I have watched grow in the industry. I know the hard work and determination it takes and I respect and love them all for that.

Q: Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to talk about your wonderful business! Is there anything else you'd like to add or talk about?

A: Enjoy your dogs! Try your best to be a responsible dog owner and never stop learning! Your dogs will thank you for it.

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Ambassadog Group Session: A Day at the Beach!

My Ambassadog trio and I went out to Conrad’s Beach (near Lawrencetown, in Eastern Passage) for a fun, summery beach session together!

Wick, Delta, and Willow were supermodels as always, and we had so much fun this evening. It was even little Wick’s first time EVER going to the beach! So exciting.

Delta is at a beach nearly every day, and somehow is still just as pumped to be there every time! That’s Labradors for you ;)

And Willow was very brave and ventured into the water with mum so that I could get some photos of her splashing around. I strategically framed the photos so that you don’t see mum, and it looks like Willow was just happily splashing around on her own.

I did a lot of leash removals during the editing process because this is an on-leash beach. Everyone brought the longest leash they had, so that the pups could have a bit of freedom and enjoy some beach zoomies. This meant they could play while staying under control and not venturing too far away or up into the grassy dunes to disturb any Piping Plovers.

Where is your favourite beach to explore with your pups?

Featured Product - Acrylic Prints

Have I mentioned my favourite products are Acrylic Prints?? They are just STUNNING in person and I basically want every client to have one.

Similar to the Floating Prints, these Acrylic Prints have a frame on the back with a groove for easy mounting on your wall. The print itself is done on a paper with a metallic finish, so it has some extra sheen to it. This adds to the almost 3D quality of the finished product when the clear layer of acrylic is put in front of it!

They are just something else! So unlike anything you’d find in a store.

And when you put YOUR amazing dog onto a unique product like this, it truly becomes one of a kind. That is exactly what I want for my clients!

I want you to be overjoyed when you unwrap them for the first time, and again when you hang them over your mantle or your couch… and every day when you walk past it and smile, remembering just how lucky you feel to share your life with this amazing dog.

Start planning your session today! Send me a message and let’s meet for coffee to talk everything over.

Featured Product - Floating Prints

Your Wet Nose Experience is going to be one-of-a-kind!

Not only am I beside you for every step of the process, from our very first meeting right up to your product delivery... but you also have the very best products available to choose from!

I have carefully sourced every product I offer, based on high quality, where they're produced, and how ethical they are. For example, most of my products are made here in Canada, and the covers on my coffee table albums are leatherette, not leather. So no other animals are hurt in order for you to enjoy these images of your pups.

I don't want you to go home with only a USB of pictures that will get lost in your junk drawer or buried on Facebook the day after they're posted. I want you to have so much more than that. When you decide to book your pup's session with me, you are making the decision to celebrate the amazing journey you share with your dog, and to feel that excitement again every single day. Your absolute favourite image(s) will be on your wall for you to see each morning, and each evening when you return from a long day at work. You'll walk by that gorgeous canvas with the happiest face you've ever seen, and think, "Man... I friggin' love that dog!"

Today's feature is my gorgeous Floating Print. The unique backing on these prints allows them to appear like they’re floating just off the wall. They’re durable but still lightweight for hanging. They also have a handy groove that makes hanging a breeze! Floating prints have a beautiful matte surface so you don’t have to worry about glare if they’re going to be in a room with lots of sunlight.

See Ruby Run | Our Nova Scotia Vacation

Last week I finally got to take a little vacation with my fiancée, Wendy, and our dog, Ruby. Since getting Ruby 5 years ago, we hadn’t all gone away together yet. So we were well overdue for a little trip and some relaxation.

I used Airbnb for the first time and scoured the maritimes for options that were dog friendly, outside of a city, a single home/cottage unit, and ideally next to water. Ruby is dog reactive, so we did everything we could to ensure that this trip would be relaxing and fun for ALL of us by avoiding any potential dogs nearby.

And we succeeded!

We found an adorable cottage that met all of our criteria and we spent a few peaceful days together without the stress from our regular life stuff. It was just lovely.

We also had access to this private beach, and Ruby LOVES doing zoomies in the sand and splashing in the water. She was having an amazing time. I brought my camera with us to the beach several times and Ruby stayed on her 30-foot long line (from Get Dirty Collars and Leashes) for safety. She felt like she had plenty of freedom, and I didn’t have to run nearly as fast as she did in order for her to fully enjoy her beach time.

So I hope you love these photos of my sweet girl having a blast and being a fool on a beach near the Bay of Fundy! (I didn’t bother removing the leash for the final images; these photos reflect real life and our trip, and I’m happy with that)

I just remembered that Airbnb has a referral option! If you’ve been thinking about going away and trying Airbnb for the first time, you can use this link to save money on your booking. Where would you love to visit?

The Floatation Centre | Dog Friendly Halifax

A few weeks ago I visited Lindsay and Pearl at The Floatation Centre. Lindsay owns this wonderful centre where you can completely relax in a tank of water, with no sound and no light… you’ll feel weightless! It’s an experience that helps many people with physical pain, de-stressing, self-reflection, and numerous other things! I definitely want to try it out someday soon. I’ve heard so many good things.

Lindsay’s sweet pup, Pearl, is often at the centre when Lindsay is! Although the centre isn’t necessarily dog friendly in the sense that clients would bring their dogs when they come to float, I just love that Pearl hangs out there and welcomes everyone! So I wanted to meet this lovely pair and photograph Pearl around The Floatation Centre.

It’s located on King St in the north end of Halifax!

Have you ever tried a float tank? What did you think of it?

Ambassadog Group Session: Flowers!

This year’s Wet Nose Ambassadogs are Wick the Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Delta the Black Lab, and Willow the Berger Picard!

As my Ambassadogs they have each gotten their very own portrait session and purchased artwork for their home, and now they get to enjoy several group sessions with me and each other through the year! For our first group session I wanted to have a floral theme. The nice weather is FINALLY here in Nova Scotia and I wanted to celebrate it! I purchased some gorgeous flower attachments from Goober Dog Collars (they even personalized the centre with my logo!!) and we met up at Sullivan’s Pond in Dartmouth. It was an overcast morning and there was some fog creeping in, but we carried on regardless :)

We explored the park and looked for the prettiest flowers, and the pups played together (whoever wasn’t currently in the spotlight). I’m just thrilled with the results of this fun session. Thank you to Wick, Delta, and Willow, and their wonderful mums for joining me that day, and for being just stellar Ambassadogs this year.

Can’t wait to see you for the next one in August!

Using A Compact Camera?

It’s time for another little challenge!

I have a decent little collection of cameras at home, ranging from very old film cameras from around the world, to small compact cameras that fit in your pocket, to my current DSLR (Canon 7D Mk ii).

I decided to take one of the tiny compact cameras out for a spin! I keep being tempted to call it a point-and-shoot camera, but this one does have manual mode. So I still have control over the settings and am not letting the camera make decisions for me. I was using the Canon S120.

canon_s120_camera.JPG

However, using such a tiny camera was definitely a challenge! Getting used to looking at the screen rather than a viewfinder, having to touch the screen to focus and fire the shutter, and not being able to take multiple shots in a row… all very different from my usual DSLR!

But Azalea was a wonderful and patient model while I fiddled with this little camera, and I think these photos are pretty adorable! The field of view was also wider than I’m used to with my lenses, so the photos have a different look to them than my usual work. :)

What do you think of ‘em?

Duly Noted | Dog Friendly Halifax

Last weekend I visited an adorable shop in Halifax called Duly Noted (on Doyle St, right near Spring Garden). They sell beautiful greeting cards, notebooks, craft papers, gift items… it’s a stationery lover’s heaven! They’re also dog friendly, so I knew I had to photograph a pup in there!

Since it’s a small shop, I decided a small breed would be the best choice. And Azalea was the first little model I thought of! She was one of my Ambassadogs in 2017 and she’s a little supermodel.

Check her out!

And stay tuned for an upcoming blog where I challenged myself to use a little compact camera and photograph Azalea downtown Halifax!

Do You Need A Better Camera?

So your camera is a few years old, you’ve only got one lens (cause who has the money for those fancier ones??) and you feel like this is all holding you back from creating the photos you have in your mind.

You’re frustrated and you don’t take your camera out as much anymore because of it. Everyone on Instagram has amazing photos and you feel like yours don’t even come close.

Let me tell you something.

And I know you’re probably going to roll your eyes, but this is the truth.

It’s NOT about the gear you have; it’s about how you see the world.

Now, obviously camera technology is advancing drastically, and there are differences between cameras that are a few years old vs cameras that just came out, or cameras that cost $400 vs $5000, or lenses that cost $150 vs $3000.

Of course!

But you can hand a $5000 camera to someone who doesn’t know anything about cameras, and they can end up with images that aren’t great. And at the same time you can hand a cheap camera to a professional and they can come up with images that surprise you!

This is because the gear isn’t the only factor to creating great images. The person controlling the camera is more important!

I want to start an ongoing series that will hopefully help to demonstrate this, because I don’t want anyone to stop shooting just because they think their camera isn’t good enough. And I certainly don’t want anyone going into debt to get a new camera when they didn’t need it yet.

I want you to learn all about the camera you have now. Learn which situations are best for that camera and which situations cause it to struggle. Learn how to work with those limitations and still create great images!

So for my first challenge, I decided to pull out my old camera (my first ever DSLR)! The Canon Rebel T2i that I got way back in 2010. And I used it with one of the cheapest lenses out there: the Canon 50mm 1.4 ($150).

I took this camera out to Fisherman’s Cove in Eastern Passage. I photographed Jackson and Memphis, a pair of Australian Cattle Dogs on a nice spring evening!

I had to adjust to the smaller camera in my hand because my current camera (Canon 7D Mk II) is much bigger and heavier. The 50mm lens is a bit slower to focus, so I didn’t try action shots that day - I stuck with nice posed shots in some lovely spots around our location!

And I’m really happy with the results! I certainly don’t think these photos look like they were taken with an almost 10-year-old camera and a super cheap (and equally old) lens…

Do you?

The next round of my “Master Your DSLR” workshop is coming up on June 2nd!

Join me and a small group of other photographers to learn the basics of using your camera in Manual mode. No experience necessary! We start from the very beginning.

if you’re ready to move out of Auto mode and take control of your photos, this is the place to start! The course fee is $150 + tax, and we’ll spend 3 hours together, exploring the park and putting your new skills into practice. You’ll also get access to my private Facebook group for attendees, so you can continue to ask me questions, share your work, and support your new friends long after the workshop has ended!

Send me a quick email at info@wetnoseimageshalifax.com and I’ll send you all the details!