How I Started My Journey In Dog Photography.
My journey into dog photography has been quiet interesting, to say the least. I started out like so many of you are right now. A girl who loves her dogs and a passion for art & photography. With my google pixel phone in hand, I would take photos of my dog Troy, a Catahoula Leopard Dog, out in my back yard or at a local park.
It wasn't until my husband, gifted me my first camera, a Nikon D3300, with kit lenses and all, that I would truly discover what I love to do, not only in art, but in photography. I decided one day, after months of not having any interest at all, to use my camera, and bring it with me to one of the local state parks on Kent Island with my dog Troy. It was at that moment, after playing around with my camera and watching my dog having the time of his life running and splashing around in the Chesapeake Bay, that I knew I wanted to become a dog photographer. And not just any dog photographer! I wanted to specialize in dogs in the water and in action. The infectious happiness from my dogs expression, frozen in time, mid run or jump, with the details the water added, just made me smile and really enjoy this new form of "art". After that moment, I decided to see if there were any other photographers out there that took photos of dogs the way I did. I discovered a few photographers, who's images blew my mind.
The quality, focus, and artistic beauty they captured on camera was amazing! I wanted to reach a level like that, I wanted to be a photographer just like them. After a year of upgrading my gear, trying to figure out my camera/lens, learning to edit, working with my dogs, etc. I found out a photographer, who's work I admired so much, was offering a master class in dog photography. I was beyond excited to take my dog photography to the next level and virtually meet this amazing photographer. After an intense 6 month long course, I received my masters certification in dog photography.
I then began entering into high end competitions just to see where I stood against the professionals in the photography world. Much to my amazement, I placed in one of the worlds largest photography competitions called The International Photography Awards. Not with one, but two of my photos that I entered. Me! a nobody who started out with a crappy cell phone camera haha. It was one of the most amazing highlights of my 2021 season. After that excitement, I found out months later that I placed second overall in the Dog Photography Awards in the action category. This was such a huge accomplishment to me, and such a honor to be recognized as one of the best dogs in action photographers.
My eyes full of happy tears, could not believe everything that was happening and all in the first year of really putting myself out there in the photography world. My business exploded! people from all over Maryland and even out of state were traveling to Kent Island to have photos of their dogs taken by me. It was insane and I still pinch myself when looking back on it all. I can't say this enough to everyone who has a passion for photography, to take that next big step. Take that risk! Because if you never try, you will never know where your own photography journey will take you.