2016 was an amazing year for me and for this business. I met so many incredible dogs, their lovely humans, and we explored new locations! Every new client brings me a new friend, a new challenge, a new adventure, and so many wonderful memories of our time together.
Would you just look at all these sweethearts I got to spend time with last year? How lucky am I?
To celebrate and reflect on the year, I want to tell you about ten awesome things that happened in 2016.
TEN. I did a holiday photo day for the first time, and I think I'll do it again this year! This one was at Pampered Paws Inn. I set up a few mini trees with lights in the background and used my 70-200mm lens to compress those lights and make then big and beautiful! This is exactly the look I was after and I'm so happy with these images.
NINE. I hired a fantastic group of brand Ambassadogs to assist me with increasing my reach and brand awareness within the community. They have been incredible. I photographed each of them last summer so that they could see what it's like to be a client of Wet Nose Images, and they've been wonderful to work with. Meg, Candice, Kristen, Alana, and Allison... I appreciate you all so much!
EIGHT. I got to be a small part in two more "happily ever after" stories for two dogs in rescue. Siblings K9 Rescue contacted me to photograph Red and Gizmo, who were waiting very patiently for the perfect families to take them home. While waiting in their foster homes I did a little photoshoot for each pup - one in July and one in August - which helped their new families find them and fall in love. Getting the call that they've been adopted is a wonderful feeling! What I've done doesn't compare to what the rescue organization or the foster families do - not even close. But I'm so happy that I can contribute something that makes a real difference in the lives of these sweet pups.
SEVEN. I started using a Bullet Journal and it has changed my life. Really! I don't have to worry about forgetting something, because I know all my tasks and important dates are written down in one place. I am so much more productive with a running To Do list every day. And I can also jot down other notes about things that happened during the day that I'd like to remember when I look back through it. A Bullet Journal is basically a combination of planner and a journal, and it can be as simple or as fancy as you want it to be. It's completely customizable because you just start with a blank notebook and do it all yourself. If a certain layout or system didn't really work for you this month, then try something different next month. You're not stuck with the same strict layout for the whole year like you would be with a store-bought planner. You can use your Bullet Journal to plan/track/log/remember anything and everything in your life. Whatever you need it for, you can make it happen. Exercise goals, business tasks, mental health, new habits you want to create, books to read, etc. Check out some blogs, YouTube videos, and Instagram accounts about bullet journaling to get some inspiration!
SIX. In October I was asked to give a presentation for the Kennebecasis Valley Camera Club about my business as a pet photographer and tips for photographing animals. This was pretty exciting, as it was the first time I'd been asked to speak for a group about what I do! And since then it's happened twice more. Last month, of my teachers from photo school asked me to speak to the first year class about what I'd been up to since graduating, which was a great honour! And I'll also be speaking to the Sackville Photo Club this week. I love talking about photography and dogs to anyone who will listen, so this is really cool!
FIVE. I was hired by the IWK to photograph two of the amazing therapy dogs who volunteer there. These images were for the S.T.A.R.T. program (Suspected Trauma and Abuse Response Team), which is an amazing resource for kids who have experienced trauma and are in the process of reporting it. These therapy dogs are there to provide support and comfort to these kids while they're talking with staff and police officers about their situation. I got to meet these wonderful dogs, as well as their handlers and the amazing staff at the IWK.
FOUR. In July I got to combine two awesome things in my life: roller derby and the Pride parade. Until last year I had only ever watched the parade; I had never been part of it. But I had joined Anchor City Rollers in January and a bunch of the skaters were going to skate the parade route as their "float"! I decided to be brave and join them, and I'm so glad I did. It was so much fun! I can't wait to do it again this year. Did you know we have our own roller derby league in Halifax? If you want to watch some games this summer or even join the league and learn to skate yourself... check out their website! www.anchorcityrollers.ca
THREE. I had a table in a vendor show this summer: Victoria Barks in the Park (held in Victoria Park, Halifax)! It was such a neat experience to have my booth outdoors with other awesome dog-related businesses and rescues, and to meet all the dogs and owners who came by. Next month I'll be in another one - much bigger! The Doggie Expo, held in the Dartmouth Sportsplex on March 26th. Will I see you there? You can bring your dog!
TWO. I started teaching! I love, love, love to talk about cameras and photography (I think we've already established that) and I know that many people have a decent DSLR camera sitting at home that either isn't being used or is being used only on AUTO. Which isn't doing that beautiful camera any justice. It's capable of so much, and so are you! So I started my Mastering Your DSLR course to teach folks the basics of photography and how to find their way around their camera. My course is different in a few ways from other short courses that I've taken in the past. First, it's split up into 2 parts so that you don't get information overload in one day. Secondly, it takes place outside while we walk through the park, so you can all try out the new things you've just learned, and get immediate results and feedback from me if you need help with something. And lastly, you get to join my private Facebook group for participants of the course. That way your learning is ongoing. I don't just give you the information and send you on your way. We can continue talking, sharing images, giving and getting feedback, etc.
ONE. And most importantly are the year's highlights that involve my little family. I'm now engaged to the love of my life, which is a wonderful feeling. She said 'yes' last January, and although we have no immediate plans for the wedding, it will happen one day and we're both completely happy with that. We've got the rest of our lives together! We're in no rush.
Also our pup, Ruby, has made a doggy friend. This is a big deal for her because she's dog-reactive and very fearful of most dogs. But she made friends with a wee Dachshund who lives nearby and my heart could just burst when I watch her invite the little guy to play. Ruby is obviously much bigger than him, and she's also younger and more energetic. But he's very patient and doesn't mind some excited hopping and twitching from this big goofball of ours. Anyone who has a reactive dog can certainly understand why this is such a big deal.
So I had a pretty FANTASTIC 2016. What about you? What were the highlights of your year?