Casie, the owner at All Paws Retreat, wanted to give her clients a gift for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a fun photoshoot of dogs eating PUP-Kin Pie that I made (pupper safe ingredients!)
It was a seriously fun afternoon as we watched them each devour their tasty treat.
Education in the Twin Cities
My life has gone through many changes in the last two years. Two summers ago, my (then 13) niece, Lynden, moved in with us. It was a whirlwind last-minute transition that none of us planned. We welcomed her happily into our home, but as new parents of a teenager, we were in for some quick hard parenting changes.
Like most things though, as life changes quickly, we must adjust, and adjust fast. My business took a hard hit, I quit picking up my camera almost entirely. It was a shell shock.
A year later, however, I picked it back up and started photographing the Color Guard, that Lynden had joined. Doing so re-sparked me, and helped me feel normal after the year of chaos had started to calm.
Then, out of nowhere, I saw a random post in one of the many photography groups I am involved in on Facebook. Something new was happening. The first-time event of its type, a photography conference geared towards ANIMAL photography, Animal Image Makers.
I had to be a part of it.
Then as things progressed, I became more excited, I had purchased my ticket with no real idea what I was going to do there. I’ve only ever taken a class from Nick Fancher on lighting, and a film class in school to learn to develop film and am basically self-taught on everything else.
Boy was I in for the ride of my professional life.
I planned to arrive two days early just so i could get a feel for Minneapolis. I have never traveled alone so this would be a tiny vacation for me.
The weather had other plans though and a freak blizzard tried to attack the city, leaving it under many inches of unexpected snow. I made do and traipsed around the immediate area I was visiting, Bloomington.
What a wonderful little town. I found some amazing food and something else inspired me while I was there.
Ive wanted to honor Lola, my business namesake, and finally decided on an idea for a tattoo. I did some brief searching on the airplane ride and fell in love with Sarah from Minneapolis Tattoo She made a beautiful rendition of Lola’s ears and crinkled forehead. I am in love with it.
The first evening, I quickly made a group of friends, we all sat down and had drinks and got to know each other personally, instead of just the work we know of each other from online. This would be the core group of people I hung out with the entire time.
I even met the AMAZING and POWERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography. She was, in fact, our Keynote speaker, and stayed for the whole conference, and took classes alongside us.
She changed me. Her words were just so much, and her stories, and her struggles, and her rewards were so educational.
I wish I could write all the amazing things I learned there in one blog post, but it’s just so much. So I’ll leave you with what inspired me the most from Kaylee.
“Light yourself on fire and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”
My flame has been lit.
Why do I rescue?
I have always had rescue animals. I grew up with dogs that we saved from certain situations that were not safe or were not in the best housing conditions.
When I was 19, my first dog made her appearance to me as a 6-week old beagle puppy running down the street at 3am in downtown Dayton. I tried to find her owners or mom of her litter, but ultimately Mazey lived with me to the ripe old age of 15.
At 21, I adopted Lola. Lola as this fat round almost all black with floppy ears. The moment I met her, I knew she was my dog. She came home with me and Mazey. She was my dog-soulmate. She grew into this faithful dog, who did whatever I wanted happily. She was dramatic though. She hated car rides, which as an auto enthusiast, who loves road trips, was the bane. She would barf, and cry and whine… and eventually, cave into calmness.
She was brave though. She was happy. She wasn’t always the brightest. She lived to the very old age of 17. My life was forever changed by her.
Mazey and Lola made my life better. They were with me through thick and thin, and caused chaos and love. They were my rescues that started it all.
When Mazey passed away, Lola was very sad. They had been together since her whole life, and I knew I would want another dog. Fostering wasn’t in the plans for us, but I knew working with a rescue would be the best way for me to find our next dog, and thus began my next path as a photographer.
I have been working with PetPromise since 2013. I have photographed cats and dogs with them, as well as eventually fostering a couple of dogs.
How can I help your rescue?
My goal is to work with 501(3)c organizations who are fostering dogs in the Central Ohio area. My studio is in Franklinton, Ohio. I offer group sessions for multiple foster pets in a single day or one on one sessions with advanced scheduling.
Rescues should contact me directly, to discuss the needs that will benefit the animals in their rescue.
All Animals that enter my studio must be vaccinated, and be on flea and tick prevention.
Jenn and Patrick at Scioto Mile and Schiller Park
In late April we scheduled engagement photos thinking the weather would be warm enough to be “comfortable” without jackets for short bursts of time and the spring flowers would be in full bloom and trees would be lush with fresh buds. Ohio, as usual, had its own agenda. It was cold, oh so cold. We made best of it and took some fun photos with their dog Chessie.
We decided though that would meet again when it was warmer and take some more photos and met up in early may for a session at Scioto Mile.
The weather again tried to scare us away but the evening erupted into a fantastic sunset. Shades of purples and oranges helped create some of my favorite images ever!
a Name for the business
I don’t talk much about my personal life here, but i feel like I should probably talk about this. I made it an “official” business around 2006 and struggled for a long time to come up with a clever quirky name. I didn’t want to use my own name as it was too long, and settled on a name that was even longer. The irony is not lost on me. I wanted to somehow incorporate my heritage, and my name, but Lucky Photography was taken, and nothing i came up with the Gaelic Translations sounded good to me. I also knew somehow my pets would be part of the business as well, and couldn’t decide how to incorporate them either.
At the time when i was creating this, my best furry pal, my faithful follower and protecter, was and is Lola. Lola is my beautiful redheaded (now white) shepherd mutt. Ive had her since 2000, when she was a wee pup. Today, however I look upon her old white face and thank the heavens for each day she is with me.
I did not initially adopt her, a friend did from Greene County Animal Shelter, and turned out she couldn’t keep this adorable fat puppy. I was a total sucker for her from the moment I met her. Lola has been my partner in crime and constant companion. She traveled with me everywhere, she loved to climb out on the roof with me and watch the world from up high. She protected my property, and myself.
She was my husbands first dog love. She was his his constant running parter while they both could still get up at 5am and run 4 miles. She taught him how great life is with a dog. They played fetch for hours, and she greeted him happily at the door every evening with her big dopey grin, even when she had just emptied the entire contents of the kitchen trash can all over the floor.
She was my Muse, OUR Muse and still is. She would sit pretty for me and let me practice my photography on her for hours, giving me soulful eyes and sideways glances. It clicked finally that to me that she, while having an expiration, had to be part of my studio name.
Its 10 years later and we grow nearer that date by the day instead of the years, as I had once thought would take forever to happen. I have worried about how I will handle having my business named after my long lost pal, and now have come to realize it wont matter. It was my way of honoring her then, and will always be a way to honor her.
PetPromise.org Rescue Kittens
Just a few short weeks ago, I did a marathon session at the studio for TWENTY rescue kittens for PetPromise.org! let me tell you, photographing that many cats in the middle of the summer in my non-airconditioned studio is hard work. I couldnt have done it without the help of my friend PJ, who did all kinds of silly things for us.
While I was working, a journalist from the Columbus Dispatch, Jeannie Nuss and photographer Barbara Perenic interviewed me, and took some video.
It was a great feature piece and I am very proud of it.
These are just a few of the cuties that i photographed that day!
To adopt anyone of these kittens fill out and application on PetPromise
As a child, I had an aussie, and she was the coolest dog. She was my best friend. I loved her so much. She, of course, stayed with my dad when I moved out and took care of him once my Sister and I were both gone. As I grew older and rescued my own dogs, I always had a special spot in my heart for Aussies. One day, I will rescue one for my own family.
I have volunteered for PetPromise.org for the last 2 years, and have loved every minute of photographing the dogs that have come into my studio. I feel bad that I don’t more time to photograph more animals for them.
This week on Facebook, I happened to come across another rescue I haven’t heard much about. It popped up in my “suggested” feed. (Thanks Facebook for stalking my life).
Speak for the Unspoken is a foster-based animal rescue based in Columbus, Ohio. The goal is to do what they can to put an end to careless breeding practices that overpopulate the streets and shelters. They believe that special needs dogs are capable of doing anything you wish as long as you provide proper training and patience.
I was hooked when is saw they had a couple of special needs Aussies in transport to Ohio. I knew I needed to photograph them. I knew that I just had to meet these sweet girls and be part of their life travels.
I was right.
Alexis came to the studio first with 5 puppies, and the mother to three of the puppies, Judy.
Alexis is deaf, but dont let that fool you. She was cute and sweet and explorative. She checked out all the puppies and we opted to let Judy out of the crate to hang out with her while I photographed the babies. Judy and Alexis explored the studio from top to bottom, sniffing and climbing and having a great time.
Like any aussie though, she is a jumper and when my assistant Barb left to let in Alexis sister in, She couldn’t contain her curiosity and jumped the tall gate at my door to go follow her. Fortunately there isn’t many places to explore in my building.
Enter Analie. She is a kinda and gentle soul who is blind and deaf. Her sweet face and calm demeanor make you want to snuggle her forever. She seems a bit fearless as she had no issues exploring my studio without assistance. She used her nose to explore and while she’s blind her optic nerves are still there and can notice light changes. This sweet girl will happily be your best cuddle bug.
If you would like more information on adopting, fostering, or donating to help out these girls get their furever home, check out SftU Facebook page, as well as their website.