Moving when you were in your 20's meant calling on the good graces of your friends with the promise of pizza and a case of beer. I have made many moves in my day. From across the country and back to across the hall in Lake Louise staff residence. None were super fun and typically a reminder of how much useless crap I had accumulated since the previous move. I am not one to hold on to stuff I do not need or use yet somehow I seem to accumulate and purge with every move. I have learned in my lifetime that I prefer a clean, clutter free environment. My brain is cluttered enough and if everything around me is messy and cluttered it becomes less manageable. Also with 5 dogs and 6 birds making as much mess as they possibly can daily I need to be able to clean as easily as possible. Where was I going with this? Right. The move. When we put our house up for sale this summer to pursue our dream of acreage life I knew the actual move would not be pretty. I expressed to Aaron that we are too old for beer and pizza movers and that if we made such a big move we had to budget for the full meal deal. Professional packers to pack our latest collection of useless crap, take furniture apart, move everything and put it where it needs to go in the new home. He agreed and thus our journey began. Tomorrow I will write a bit about what it is I love about small towns and why they suit and charm me. This is a tale of moving, why we should be more minimalistic and my first day of acreage life. We began our journey at a historical Church in tiny Water Valley. Rather we attempted to buy it. Yup there was and still IS a Church for sale there. I was instantly in love with the charming little home situated behind a beautiful little Church which had once been abandoned and neglected. A really cool and infinitely talented couple rescued it and spent 4 years pouring everything into restoring, rejuvenating and loving the property. The light and sound in that Church are amazing and living there, using it as a studio and running it as an event space would have suited me just perfectly. The lot was not the big acreage Aaron envisioned and the house was pretty small for the 13 of us but we went for it. Sadly there was more to it as a commercial property with zoning, not enough history as a profitable event space and lack of lenders willing to as one put it "risk foreclosing on God". Wow, ok. There were so many hoops to jump through that Aaron settled on a number that was the walk away point and it just didn't work for both parties so we walked away. I still adore that little Church and recommend anyone in this part of Alberta drive into Water Valley for a visit. I think the coolest little place to get married or have an event. In hind sight us living there would have been a disaster with no more space to run the dogs than we had in the city. Also we both like space for autonomy which is why we work. Living on top of each other with 5 dogs and 6 birds would have been tough. We wanted to be close to that area still as it was more affordable than our dream area of Bragg Creek, so the search continued. Our saint of a realtor Craig Smith (well deserved plug for him.. seriously if you need a realtor) showed us acreage after acreage and we even had an offer on one but our home in the city did not sell in time. Call it fate if you believe in that because ultimately it led us to this place exactly where we wanted to be. Nestled in the foothills and the gateway to Kananaskis mountains, Bragg Creek is my idea of heaven on earth. We got an amazing deal on 6 acres with the most perfect house with windows everywhere (perfect natural light studio) a beautiful forest, stunning views and 10 minute drive into my beloved mountains. Then came the wait for moving day. I booked packers on the 9th who would load it all up on the 10th and onto the newest chapter in life. I learned about wells and septic systems and satellite internet. We went shopping for a telephone. Like a real home phone as there is no cell phone coverage. We purged like a third of our stuff and took load after load to the dump. I miss the days in Lake Louise where I could move in an hour with a back pack and a few trips. Those were among the happiest days of my life. Everything I needed was outside. Aaron is amazing, truly wonderful in so many ways. However I would say a tad messier and more inclined to hold onto stuff 'in case'. Or I often suspect he loses stuff in mess and disorganization and buys the same type things over and over. My mom does that as well. I was determined not to bring useless stuff here with us. I am still mystified as to how all this stuff ends up existing and where it hides in my typically minimalistic and tidy home. I find that until you move you just don't realize how much stuff you actually have. As was the case of the lovely family we purchased this property from. Here is the day before we were to move in the following morning during our final walk-through. Uh oh I thought. There is no way that they were going to be out in time. Super Craig was on it though and has us contact the lawyer and got on the phone with their realtor. Rather than get too upset I felt kinda bad for them and figured that like many of us they just did not realize how much stuff they accumulated. I really try not to give negative thought any real estate in ......um there is someone walking around outside in the dark with a flashlight Ok a little scare there. Wow. I do not scare easily but that was terrifying. Turns out Aaron let Dudley and Radish out for potty and thought they would follow him to the temporary dog run (sigh) and instead they went on an acreage adventure. Now where was I. Negative thought....no real estate in my brain. Sooo watching all the packers pack up our stuff 3 days ago was a real eye opener. I felt shocked at how much crap we still had and when I saw this house in shambles I knew the family were just overwhelmed in the vast sea of their own piles of accumulated crap. They however went old school, and thought they could move 4 people and the better part of a decade worth of stuff with some friends and perhaps the promise of pizza and endless beer. Between their struggle to get out in time and our movers deciding to do 2 loads we decided that we would move the dogs and birds the next day. Aaron stayed in the city with all of them while I directed movers and tried to clear out some boxes. The movers finally left sometime in the evening as did cleaners who blessedly came out on short notice once I realized not only would we be moving in as they moved out but that they would not have time to clean. I finished cleaning and started the momentous task of unpacking. I hoped to have everything a little less chaotic for Aaron and the furramily the next day. At about midnight I decided to take a bath and relax for the first time in weeks. I noticed a slightly unpleasant odour and realized it was me. I was clever enough to set aside some extra underwear but had been wearing the same clothes for 3 days and working like a maniac. Ew. I had the most relaxing bath ever and went about trying to find which boxes may contain some clothing and bedding. I couldnt find either. There was one wardrobe box that made it into my closet. It was filled with fancy dresses and one polka dot blouse. I remembered seeing my fav old pair of navy sweat pants with the big white UBC across my bum. Perfect. For bedding I reluctantly opened the gorgeous basket my cousin/realtor had brought for us. It was so beautiful I did not want to take it apart. Made by Craig's delightful wife they are most stunning and thoughtful gift baskets ever. I saw it had a throw blanket in it so it had to be done. I spent the first night blissfully alone using the sweatpants rolled up as a pillow and covering myself with the throw blanket from our gift basket. I awoke to the silence of the country and a spectacular sunrise. I did not have any food and had to get in and help move the pets and plants. I threw on my pillow/pants, my pretty blouse and the open foot shoes I had and headed out to clear the snow from my truck. The end. I have to go finish unpacking and a million other things. Stay tuned tomorrow for some inside info and hope you had a fantabulous weekend.
Do you enjoy working ‘round the clock and worrying where your next pay cheque will come from? With endless hours and compensation unlikely you may have just found the perfect career!
Promethea’s education was the most important thing in her mother’s life. Then a mysterious benefactor made it his business as well.
This thought provoking, inspiring and heartbreaking story written by Mike Mariani hit me in all the feels. A story of family, love, hardship and a mind so brillant she can, and I hope will, change the world. The very world that has not shown much mercy to this remarkable woman and her brave mother.
Aside from all of the messages, inspiring thoughts, and utter heartbreak, this piece made me think about 'bullying' or wtf is wrong with people. I have experienced being an outsider. I have been quite badly bullied. I have been many versions of my current self all of whom craved acceptance and genuinely want the world to be a kinder place. How people look at someone so unique, pure and potentially life changing and feel the need to lash out, push, name call or freeze out truly mystifies me and makes my whole torso physically ache.
Perhaps it comes from jealousy or fear of what they do not understand, I truly do not know or understand that need to hurt others for being better, smarter, prettier..whatever. That same girl could cure cancer or bring the world a new understanding of how things work.... she could potentially effect the lives of those same people for the better.
What I should simply say is READ this piece.
Mr. Mariani created it for the world and we can take some time to think about what people around you may have gone through or are facing.
I am going to start by saying that it is my belief that one of the things we have to do as dog owners or dog owner educators, is manage our expectations. I am an optimist and also a realist. This is the story of how I got a serious dog bite from my own balanced pack and why it was my fault. Lovely, snowy, Thursday morning. I post a cute animation about waiting until it is socially acceptable to play Christmas music. I giggle and immediately put some on Google play.
I have A TON to do today but decide to spend an extra hour in bed reading blogs and resting my throbbing tooth abscess. I was given antibiotics not to be taken on an empty stomach so I head to the kitchen to find something quick and easy. Apples and cheese? Yes please. Perfect. I cut both up, put them on a plate and head to the downstairs bedroom to chill while I read and snack. The 5 doggos join me and Elsa Mae sits down and relaxes by my side.
Now I KNOW BETTER. Elsa will ALWAYS have a food guarding or reactivity response somewhere inside her. It is MILES better and she can now have strange dogs into our space and even eat in the same room as certain dogs. That is a huge win. I will write her full story soon and include words from the team of people who collaborated in saving her life and getting her to Canada. That is a whole story in itself. The short form... she was starving. Like really almost starved to death. She fought for every scrap of food she managed to get, often taking it to her steep, rocky den on the side of a cliff. She was a baby herself but had puppies after her first heat and would try to bring the still-born pups some of the few bits of food she managed to obtain.
A realistic training goal for her is to manage and improve her reactivity around food. It was so severe I would never make it a goal to ELIMINATE it all together. It won't happen so why set both of us up for failure? It is my job as a dog family member to read their communication signals and protect them from harm. I know her thresholds and triggers, as I should.
Back to my day. I see Dudley the dane approaching the narrow space between bed and wall and fleetingly think 'is this going to end poorly?'. I feel like shit and am super into this blog I am reading and lose focus. Bang.
Elsa does exactly what she does when feeling threatened around food. She always looks and sounds some fierce when protecting her food, but that was her survival tactic. Fair enough. Dudley then does what Dudley does when he is threatened or in a confrontation with no exit. Especially in confined areas where there is no chance for flight. The other option is fight. Fuck.
Dudley's story will also be written soon. Short version. I did not protect him enough when he was a big, happy gangly pup. He was attacked a few times. Not by my choosing he was not allowed to grow up with his siblings and mama through some very important developmental stages. He is a sweet softie but has no bite inhibition. I have told clients over the past decade that I would take a dog with a bite history of 100 other dogs if none dies, gets stitches, or requires veterinarian care. That vs. a dog who has one or 2 bites only but one or both ended up in a trip to the vet, stitches or worse. Ian Dunbar is one of the basis and roots of my 'not one size fits all' beliefs and practices. He has inspired me for 2 decades.. hmm... maybe longer? I have studied every bit of information, theories and practices there are out there from every source and trainer, educator possible. Plus more.
Back to the present. Elsa does what she does, Dudley does what he does and I jump in to break up the fight, worried even if Elsa started it that the damage Dudley is capable of is formidable. #sizematters ?
Right. Getting side tracked again. So I break it up. Broken up literally hundreds of dog fights in my life and am known to be quite effective at it. They go back at one another. I break it up again. Get in between them and Dudley retreats. I am sick, feverish and not as alert as I typically am. I go to grab the food, cursing myself whilst turning my back on the usual best of friends. Dang. Game on again. This time I do not follow my own rules and again worried about the potential damage, I dive on to them and try to separate their heads from one another. Does not matter which one got me. The point is it was my fault.
I finish breaking them up with the help of my super chill, surfer dude dog and calm, fearless leader Radish. Separate them so I can assess the damage and yikes. Pain sets in. I think I mentioned I have had s few dog bites in my day. Way larger than this one. I even had one on my thigh that turned into ...hmm.. cellulitus? (please correct me lol). It took 8 mos and a hospital stay to fully heal as I have a high pain tolerance and ignored it until it was too late. There was no ignoring this one. Perfect, clean, deep punctures in the muscle, bone and nerves of my RIGHT HAND... I am a leftie but I shoot (photos) with my right.
No way I can drive. Clean it best I can while choke back tears, cursing my stupidity and try to find someone to take me to emerg. My awesome neighbor bundles up her 3 kiddos and off we go in the snowstorm. I arrive apparently pale and dripping cold sweat and shaking. I am taken right in. 6 needles to freeze it then the lovely staff do their thing. Now I am back at home after lots of needles, stitches, xray as the puncture hit bone and a prescription for some pain stuff and anti biotics.
I am supposed to be packing, purging and orchestrating the move for our house, Aaron, myself, 5 dogs and 6 parrots. We are going to be on the acreage in one WEEK. I am not sure if I should share videos and photos here or save them to show while I help you understand canine communication etc. I will post a few images and a video then explain them at a later date. I am still in a ton of pain after painkillers and I anticipate a long night of discomfort and regret.
How many stress and communication signals do you see in this video?! I will post a verbal play by play of what is happening and what they are saying soon!
I remember my mom said something to me once which stuck immediately and forever. Likely because it resonated deeply with my fundamental desire to connect with people and have the world an idealistic and happy place. She said we often go out of our way to point out flaws or take time and effort to make complaints, yet if we have a fleeting complimentary thought we rarely share it or take the time to compliment. Something like that. From that day forward I owned that and for probably 25 years implement it almost daily or many times in a day. It has made me a happier person. I wish I had been that diligent an advice follower when she said things like "wear sunscreen" or "save for retirement" or "I would not date that guy if I were you". Cest la vie.
Now they have to be GENUINE compliments for me. I am not one to blow sunshine up your ass, as my close friends and family will tell you. I think calling a spade a spade is the kindest way to really support loved ones.
So how does this work? If I am in line somewhere and I think a woman in the next line over has fabulous hair I will lean over and say "excuse me but I just wanted to tell you that your hair is FABULOUS. Like a movie star". That person may be having the worst day, battling depression or living her version of a perfect life. Regardless you may have just made their day. I think because I am being genuine it can warm up even the most aloof person, even if it initially takes them aback. It really is not done a lot in our society sadly. I incorporate it into everything I do. I say "thank you for such attentive service. You are really great at your job" to a great server or customer service rep, lawyer... you name it. If that is what I feel.
Now take it a step further. I see long lines say at the postal office before Christmas, or 10% off Tuesdays at Safeway. 2 things happen in this order.
- My ADD brain kicks in and starts thinking about how long we will be standing in that line practically being tortured and trying to postpone (procrastinate or ignore) whatever it is I am there to do.
- I look at the cashier, postal worker, hostess and feel their frustration or being overwhelmed by person after person annoyed to wait, in a rush, and intentionally or not intentionally blaming them. Maybe you do not blame them but you are still tired, busy and focussed on your next task.
I love to go out of my way not to pay them a fake compliment, rather if one does not cross my thoughts, I will open with. "Wow your job must be hard. I bet people you deal with are usually tired or frustrated. That must suck" It looks a little condescending in writing but I assure you it is not. I once told a dentist. "I think you have the hardest medical profession" she sort of looked wearily at me and said "oh?". I replied "you look in people's stinky mouths all day, do things that are unpleasant or that people dread, and many dislike you before they even walk in the door. Let alone thank you or show great appreciation". I mean it is true, or at least how I see it. Her face got teary and she touched my arm and said "Thank you for seeing that. I really needed someone to realize that". Wow. Was no extra effort on my part. Just saying a compliment or thought out loud. Trying to put myself in others shoes as they say.
It may mean everything to that person. Also I think the more positive things you say out loud, the more positive things you attract. My brain is now wired to think positive things first. I really like that about myself . Even if it means I sometimes get hurt or people misunderstand my intentions.
I will share a time when a stranger touched my life in the very moment I needed it. My dear friend Norma ( I will write about our story one day) was in hospice dying from cancer. It was very sudden and from when we took her to the hospital for her cough she never even got to go home again to sort her stuff or say goodbye. So I was heading home from a visit where I had remarked to her that I had never seen her in my life without perfect manicure and pedicure. She just always looked put together. She looked happier than I had seen in weeks and said "Yes! That would be wonderful. Purple would be a great last colour (I choked back tears)". Then in delightfully Norma fashion she said "like a lavender except brighter, deeper but without being too blue". Hmmm ok. I left my daily visit promising to return the next day an expert beautician, then bawled all the way home.
After I fed my dogs and tried to wash my face to look less sleep deprived, puffy and red I headed to the neighborhood Shoppers Drug Mart. I googled how to give a good mani/pedi and since I had my own nails done at a local place, I had no supplies. I was wandering around the cosmetic aisles blankly with no ability to focus or think. When I entered I had been greeted by a friendly and very tall woman whom asked if I needed a hand. I declined, not wanting to talk to anyone. After a few minutes of watching me stare at the shelves, feeling hopeless at the simplicity and also importance of this task, she came over and with a big smile leaned towards me and said " you look like you need a hug" or maybe "you look like you need a friend". I have remembered it both ways (I am bawling writing this ).
Either way I got both a hug and a friend. I explained the situation to her and she led me merrily about the store finding the best tools and best deals on them. She gave me a pretty cosmetic bag to put it all in for Norma and added some fun samples and treats. That was a tough time for me as one of my manifestations 'on the ADD / Spectrum' neurodiversity (which is also my superpower I know now) is that I feel things extremely intensely and my feelings take a lot longer than neurotypical to fade or lose the immediate intensity. I know this about myself so tried to ignore it to be 100% there for Norma and her family. As she was the human who likely came closest in my life to totally understanding me, I was holding on by a thread. That one little encounter filled my soul up enough to pull it together and keep on keeping on. It meant everything.
I challenge you to try this or share this. Comment below and tell me of a time someone paid you an unexpected compliment or you reached out to a stranger.
WARNING... photos of dogs in adorable costumes to make your sweet tooth ache Happy Halloween friends! What is your favourite part of this howliday?
These costumed cuties make me melt every time. As much fun as this time of year is, it can be dangerous not to mention terrifying for your canine companion.
Here are a few tips too keep your four legged furramily safe this Halloween
1. Chocolate. If you have kids bringing home their haul of Halloween treats. Or maybe you do not have kids but you stock up on tiny morsels of delicious delights for the neighborhood trick or treaters (I get maybe a dozen kids but feel the need to stock for hundreds just in case. Like just in case I get HUNGRY). Remember that chocolate is toxic to your dog. It is dark chocolate or cacao that is the culprit, or rather theobrimine. We metabolize it with ease but dogs process it much more slowly allowing a cumulative build up to toxic levels. How much is too much? There are lots of guides on the internet but better be safe and contact your veterinarian if you suspect accidental chocolate eating
2. Candy. Xylitol is extremely toxic to pets and is often found in gum. Candy wrappers and lollipop sticks are choking hazards so keep candy and canines seperate! Talk to children in the house about the importance of this.
3. Lost pets. With the door opening and closing there is a chance for a sneaky pup to get outside. With all the strange people wearing strange things your dog could get spooked and take off. Even if they normally stick around your yard.
4. Costumes. As much as I adore seeing dogs adorned in adorable costumes they can cause undue stress for scruffy or fluffy. If they seem stressed or uncomfortable consider a less involved costume like a cute bandana, or let them try their birthday suit. If your dog does not mind indulging remember to watch for tight bits or chocking hazards. Make sure it does not limit movement, site or ability to breathe normally. Never leave a pet in costume u unattended for any period of time
5. Stress. Doorbell ringing. More people coming to the house than usual. Masks so they can't read people's faces. Costumes. Excited children running and screaming with sugar high delight. All of these things can be extremely stressful for pets. While I have used the constantly ringing doorbell as an opportunity for some classical conditioning and desensitizing it is likely best if you can keep Fido's fear at bay. Try putting them in a different spot on the house so they can by seperate from the action. With 5 dogs, especially Elsa who can be anxious, I now go the route of lights off and a bowl of candy by the sidewalk. We all pile into my king size bed and delight in some scary movies and safe, healthy treats
All these cuties were photographed by me at a fundraiser we did with a local pet boutique last year. Happy Halloween and I would love to hear your fav scary movie to ad to my list!!
Just a visual view into my week. I will do this every Sunday and hopefully has SOMETHING to make every one have a Sunday Smile https://photos.app.goo.gl/TP1Ccm7SSQjd37bF3
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Tried finger waves again! #epicfail
I am in LOVE with Blue Red Lipsense Lipstick. I am using almost exclusively Senegence makeup on myself and my clients [mailchimp_subscriber_popup baseUrl='mc.us17.list-manage.com' uuid='6bcb96276412b7aad0da439ec' lid='d7fbba6ccd' usePlainJson='true' isDebug='false']
Ok so I know we are in the digital age. I am all for progress and embrace the new day (I mean look.. I am BLOGGING. I think.) There ARE however are a few things I am not willing to let go from the past. Printed photographs are on the top of that list. True story. I have an album dedicated to old prints I come across at flea markets or antique shops. I feel somehow sad for the people that once wanted to treasure the memory of the people or pets on the fragile, stained rectangular pieces of paper.
I cannot bare the thought of all our images living in a folder or hard Drive. Never to be held or admired by future generations and only looking as good as whatever screen they may occasionally be viewed on. Maybe it is a little fear of death, or rather, not being remembered.
I I really can't imagine one's grandchildren or nephews or a cherished friend saying one day "awww remember what a fun person so and so was" or "I miss Aunty Sandy" followed by "we should go dig up her old hard drive and reminisce over her photos" If they could even FIND them. Let's be honest, how many of you can find a specific photo from years gone by in that folder or folders on your OWN or partner's computer. I relate it to trying to watch movies on VHS only you don't know where the VHS tapes are located. The technology of today will be obscolete in a matter of years. Along with your cherished memories.
With the sheer number of images most of us have and take (myself being the worst I am sure) it would be ludicrous to print all, or even most of them. Rather, print the odd one you love and spend the money on your self to get professional images you love and create with your chosen photographer.
I recently changed the way I sell my images to reflect this. I am aware some people will protest and argue that they really want 50 digital files to download or be given on a thumb drive. There are many photographers that do really well in that 'shoot and burn' style. That is great and I respect other professionals business models completely. I don't mind referring some clients that way in order to do what I believe in and am passionate about. I want to offer less quantity and more quality.
Don't get me wrong. I do see the appeal of uploading your awesome images to Facebook. The convenience of having them on your phone. That is why with each image purchased I also include digital, downloadable files. For the printed ones I love simple matted images stacked in a folio box like in my photo above. That is one of my studio samples. This box can go on a shelf like a book, sit on your table or bedside as a beautiful conversation piece. Each one colour and material customizable and hand made in Italy just for you. The matts mean they are ready to frame, stay as is and I even include a little easel so you can display and swap them out. People can spend what they want or can, that is up to them. I want to create images that are so meaningful that clients want to buy them all. I will put the time, effort and money in to creating them. I thank Sue Bryce for this mindshift, inspiration and folio box obsession.
Thank you and PRINT YOUR IMAGES xoxox
Things I could have called this post. 'How the heck do moms get anything done' 'Add is my super power' 'Vomit, laundry and why I love what I do'
- 4am up Because I don't know why. May as well get some work done !
- 645am sleep fall upon me again
- 8am alarm..Google you always take care of me and wake me gently then tell me the news I don't take the time to learn otherwise
- 810am feed impatient dogs
- 830am out the door w Elvis/ Elsa to run around the botanical gardens while I wait for a client. The last team member to do headshot for from two awesome physio/ wellnessclinics in Calgary
- 9am waiting for client
- 915am client arrives. Yay she is beautiful. I think everyone is beautiful
Here are 4 of the awesome team of about 20 or so
- 10am Home. Time to feed birds clean cages
- 1020am boot up computerS (all 3 available devices so I can do as many things as I can at once to get these tasks finished )
- 1020am to 220 pm This 4 hour time slot was an Adhd whirlwind of trying to get stuff I don't always like to do FINISHED. It went something like this.
Upload and edit head shots for the final gallery. Send gallery. Make a requested change
Try to learn WordPress. I do minimum one hour a day of learning something new or figuring out something my brain does not have the bandwidth to process. I try hard to stick to this!
Then.....seo, site design, coding, Google analytics, take 4 phone calls, follow up w said phone call tasks, finish editing one of 3 family galleries on the go, schedule viewing/ reveal for said galleries. Print 6 prints (I do all my own printing as I am hyper fussy about quality and colour) while listening to tutorials
Oh fun! Go to quickly pee and clean up a dog crime spree which must have occurred while I was hyper focussed on my tasks. Comfort Dudley and clean some vomit (did I give him antibiotics without enough food?! 🤔)
Try to reply to a third of my messages, jot down 4 blog ideas, another load of laundry
Random Gif from the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk I led a couple of weeks ago.
220pm omg I haven't eaten.
225pm stagger downstairs in a haze. Damn. Dog Hair everywhere so I sweep, vacuum and move laundry along
235pm pull leftovers out of the fridge and heat up while checking eagerly checking email for bookings. So far its a 10 hour day and I have no actual money generating work
245pm take a piteous Dudley for a leash walk in the rain and high wind. Wind is my least fav weather. It sucks.
315pm Elsa is anxious to eat but first I take Chika out and give her boxes, toys and change to re-destroy the house with.
Move laundry along again and change the sheets we use to cover the off white couch as its too hairy to sit on. Reply to a few emails from the couch as my back is sore from my desk ( by the way, wtf were we thinking with a white couch )
4pm clean diarrhea likely caused by the previous mentioned crime spree. Feed birds and have a quick dance party to amuse the flock who are screaming for attention. Sit down with them to write this. Will take a break to get back to work. True story these birdies will NOT tolerate missing a dance party. I have stood with them all over me while exhausted, drunk, late, even crying so they can rest having had their daily dance party fix.
4:30pm Storm is really brewing and even blew my back door open. Now I have the pleasure of having the outdoors INDOORS. Yay. Good thing I already swept hehe
4:40pm Finish cleaning the leaves and debris. Take a call about complications with our upcoming move to the acreage. Make 5 calls and connect necessary people to one another. Phew. Back on track.
5:00pm-645pm Finish editing a second gallery and send to lovely client. She LOVES it ... Yay. My greatest pleasure is trying to create the most beautiful images someone has ever seen of themselves. This reveal did NOT dissapoint. I cry and gush with the dogs and birds on how happy that made me.
Accidentally posted this prematurely when I added this last part. I think it showed up on Facebook all unedited and spell checked. Awkward.
Posting this now and heading upstairs to tackle the poor carpet and then begin editing the next gallery and start vision boards for the 2 sessions this week. Dogs are sleeping. Birds are happily flying around and I am listening to the rolling thunderstorm as I prepare to head up for hour 15 of non stop action. To be repeated. xoxox
Notice how just as you go to capture a captivating image of your canine companion (I love alliteration )they
- Look away
- Give derp face
- Suddenly have an itch
- Tongue out w squinty eyes
How annoying is THAT! Next time that happens THANK your dog for giving you polite communication signals. When we stick a camera, or a cell phone in front of fido's face they feel fear or discomfort as to them it looks like a giant dilated pupil. Dogs constantly read each others and our eyes to see what is going on. So when we hold it up and then ...GASP... put it in front of our own faces. This is uncomfortable and they are not able to read it's 'intention'.
How cute is Elsa Mae above?! She makes my heart hurt. Anyhow...those last second look aways or irresistable itches are actually very clear communication signals that they are uncomfortable and stressed. So what can you do? How have I photographed literally HUNDREDS of strange dogs and not had image after image filled with stress signals? What if I told you it is easy to condition your canine to crave camera attention? In fact, for those of you that follow the naughty sock bandit misadventures of @elvis_the_pomsky may know he is trained to give an adorable head tilt when I hold up my camera and say "say cheese. By the way don't ever say cheese for photos or ask others to. I will tackle that in a future post. Stay on topic Sandy! What? Squirrel?
In order to respect them and create the canine connection we crave (I know..groan) you must create a reason for them to overcome that instinct.
Those that have taken my workshops or had a session with me know I call it PAYING YOUR MODEL. I begin every single session by holding up my camera and a high reward treat (my go to is always Ziwipeak) and the very second they look towards my camera I mark it by saying "yes" and then I pay them! You have to have the timing perfect so they catch on quickly. Secondly, do NOT over do it. I am maybe 3 frames or shots and I back off the camera, pay my model and let them have a break. VOILA!
I would love to hear about your fur babies and see your snaps! If you have any questions or want to just say hi please comment below. Have a happy day and make a stranger smile today. You never know who really needed it.
Sandy and the pack
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