Fisherman's Cove

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!





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.


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 and I’ll send you all the details!

Diesel - Frenchie Cuteness Overload!

I absolutely love how all the connections I’ve made over the last few years in business have all intertwined and led to even more connections!

Back in 2015 I photographed a very sweet French Bulldog named Maple, and got along well with her wonderful mum. I didn’t cross paths with her again for a few years, but then discovered she works at Planet Paws! She then enrolled her new pup, Bismarck, as one of my Ambassadogs in 2017 so we got to catch up again and I found out that her dream of becoming a French Bulldog breeder was finally happening for her. So exciting!

Through the Ambassadog program that year she connected with one of my other wonderful clients, who then ended up bringing one of the puppies from that first Frenchie litter home. That puppy was Dante, who is an Ambassadog this year!

Dante at Peggy’s Cove

Dante at Peggy’s Cove


And just last month, one of Dante’s littermates, Diesel, had his very own Wet Nose session!

I hope I didn’t lose you with that story and the various connections! But it’s so cool to see how small and connected this dog owner community is here, and how many wonderful people and dogs I get to meet (and photograph)! I feel so lucky and so happy to be doing what I do.

Alright, and without any further ado, I want to show you some of Diesel’s portraits from his session at Fisherman’s Cove! He’s only about 8 months old, but he was a fast learner and got right into his modeling career. Check him out!