Workshop II highlights + Workshop I photos

Sorry this is so late coming! But if you have been following my blog this week you understand why. 🙂

So last weekend was Cowbelly Workshop II. Just like the first one, folks flew in from different parts of the country to my studio near the waterfront in Seattle, we squeezed the learning/teaching into 3 long days, we had doggie models and did photography on location with a client, we ate yummy food, we talked, we drank a lot of coffee, we ate a lot of candy, we shared, we exchanged ideas, and we learned. A LOT! (even me!)

I was even more intense with this workshop, being a bit of a drill sargeant at times, not wanting to miss, or forget anything. Like the last time, I lost my voice, and went home feeling tired and exhilarated at the same time.

Here is a funny but true story. During dinner and drinks on the final night it came up that none of the gals had received the final email I sent early the week of the workshop. It contained all of the final updates and schedule changes and requested flight numbers and cell phone numbers from each of them. I remember thinking at the time that it was odd that I didn’t hear back from a single person on that email, although I did get a couple of emails saying “I’m excited, looking forward to meeting you!”. So after the workshop I look on my computer, and I discover that I did indeed send that last email. To myself. LOL.

I really wanted to take more pictures at this workshop, and tried to, but I have learned that it is almost impossible for me to teach, and listen and photograph all at the same time, with the exception of the actual photography portion of the weekend.

But, I will share with you the few shots that I took, and also more from Workshop I that were taken by, and so graciously sent to me, by some of the attendees.

This reminds me of a 90’s Calvin Klein ad.

This is funny. I had been downing coffee and red bull like it was water. I wanted to take some photos of the flowers we put on each table, but my hands were shaking so hard this was the best I could do. I needed a tripod.

Charlie and Seymour, who are practically Cowbelly mascots now second to Fergie.

I love these shots of Seymour! I swear I could photograph this boy all day. I love you Seymour!!

And with that Charlie is done with his model obligations, and takes off to find his next adventure, hee hee.

check out the TEETH! wheee….

A few of the attendees listening to Nichole Smith of Dane + Dane photography. I have no idea what they were talking about here- this is when I was trying to take my shaky-hands flower shots.

I am so sorry I didn’t get a group photo! Jim even told me how to take it with the ginormous photo stand thingy that I swear was two stories tall, but I completely flaked! sniff….

Ah well, I had such a great time with all of the gals I can’t possibly forget what they all look like! A sincere thank you to everyone for coming. 🙂

Ali and Jill I am mailing your resource CDs tomorrow!

Below are some shots from Workshop I, courtesy of:

Tracy Aukerman

Bev Hollis

Angie Wojciechowska

Jaime Rowe

Thanks gals! I promise to introduce everyone from both workshops when they are ready for me to share them with the world!

Me holding Diza. Did I ever mention how much I love her pink studded collar??

Ah yes, a pug and a fisheye, naturals together. c/o Bev Hollis??

Yep, that’s me below. I love this shot. Who took it? And was it a 2.8 or a 4.0? hee hee, woohoo

The lovely and talented Jaime Rowe.

Me below. I look like a deer caught in the headlights, lol.

Someone else’s gorgeous photo of one of our gorgeous flower arrangements. Someone who wasn’t drinking as much coffee as me.

I LOVE these shots of the Fergs! How cute is she?? Tracy, are these your shots??

Y’all probably noticed the flaming hot pink tablecloths. It was a funny conversation with the guy at the rentals place. He had become totally enamored with my business the day before after seeing the link to my website in my email. So he had a pretty good idea of what I was like when I called. On the phone I asked for tablecloths, and he said “what color?” and I said “oh I don’t know- white?” and he said “no, you don’t want white”. Totally matter of factly (love that). “ok, what color should I get?”. He said “well, what do you like- we have pretty much every color of the rainbow”. “hmm, how about blue? no wait, maybe a sunny yellow? No, pink! I love pink”. And he said “ok, what shade of pink? We have light pink, medium pink, and hot pink”. I thought about it for a second and although my favorite color is pale pink I blurted “hot pink!!”. Without hesitation he said “Ok, hot pink it is”. It turned out looking awesome. 🙂

Boy has the weather changed in a few short weeks.

That’s a sandwich in that paper package folks. Christina brought Fergie down to visit us when she brought our lunches to the park (boy were we spoiled!), and Fergie had only one thing on her mind. My tuna, hee hee.

Wow, we all look so sullen! So funny because we had a blast that day!

Let me tell you guys, it’s hard for anyone to take you seriously when your dog is peeking her head out from under the tablecloth in front of your legs. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was laughing. Here is the reason.

Awww, look at the Ferginator being cute. Is is me or is she really really cute? I know I am biased but really….

And some tear-jerking comments (at least to me!) from a few of the attendees from last weekend:

“I had a great time at the workshop this weekend.  I learned a ton of new things and relearned some things I had been taught back in school.  Overall, it was a great experience. “- Ali

“Thanks for putting yourself out there and for the information you shared.  I have been doing a lot of thinking and I feel good that I am heading in the right direction, … the information on business, marketing and having Brandi and Nicole there was just awesome too.  I am excited and plan to work hard on taking it to the next level.” –Pam

“Thank you SO much for all the information you gave us during the workshop.  It was tremendously valuable!” -Gail

And this was shamelessly stolen from Debbie’s blog:

“Last weekend I attended an awesome workshop in Seattle, given by the infamous Jamie Piper of Cowbelly Pet Photography!  Along with a group of very talented women photographers, I spent three very long and intense days focussing on all aspects of a pet photography business.  I could not even begin to describe all of the information that I came home with.  I am definitely going to have a busy fall sorting through all of this, but I do look forward to the challenge!” -Debbie

Oh! Before I forget, this past weekend I had two amazing guest speakers at the workshop- both women you should be familiar with by now.

One was the superstar magazine editor Brandie Ahlgren of CityDog Magazine, and the other was my dear friend and talented pet photographer Nichole Smith of Seattle’s own Dane + Dane Studios. I cannot tell you how much I loved having both women there, and how much they both contributed to ‘the conversation’. I learned from both, and was thrilled to hear them echo the same points I was trying to drive home. The fact that they both took time out of their busy schedules to come and co-teach with me for a little while (Nichole had to run off to meet a wedding client afterward, and Brandie left to go prep for FidoFest), was such a treat. Sandy I am SO sorry Nichole wasn’t here when you were here- hopefully your paths will cross at some point!

Onto future workshops stuff:

I have been getting a lot of emails lately about 2009 workshops (those are some of the 97!), and each and every person who has expressed interest goes on my little excel spreadsheet. Please know that if you have contacted me I have immediately added you to the interest list, even if I haven’t been able to respond right away. Next year I am planning on hiring a temporary part-time project manager who has experience in event planning. He/she will take over the duties of planning and organizing and scheduling both the workshops and the attendees, so that I can focus on doing work for my clients here in Seattle before and between each city. This will enable me to run my business as normal, and then be ready for the workshops when the time comes! And also enable me to schedule shoots with clients in the cities I travel to.

Expect an entirely new workshops website to be launched sometime before years-end, complete with workshop photographs and testimonials, and more information on 2009 dates. I don’t expect to have next year’s dates set in stone until January, because, uh, I have plenty of stuff to do between now and then, lol, but I will do my very best to give everyone adequate notice to plan for it if they are interested in attending.

Lastly, there will be a couple of changes for the 2009 workshops.

Some of you may have noted on my workshops website on the registration page that I am now ‘screening’ potential attendees.

Here is what this means. The last thing I want to do is talk someone into coming, OR have someone come that the workshops aren’t 100% right for.

Attending one of my workshops takes a great amount of time, and trust, and money, and I want to be absolutely sure it is worth every single person’s time. I am not doing this for fame or fortune or to become the next ‘big thing’ in the photography community, I am doing it because I truly deeply want to help people chase their dreams and find success doing so. I want people to want it as badly for themselves as I do for them.

There are a few gals who attended my workshops this fall who may giggle reading this. With each one of them I actually tried to talk them out of coming, because I wasn’t sure I had enough to offer them (they each had been running photography businesses for 2-8 years, and already had a solid client base). They each listened to me, took my resistance, and decided to come anyway. The sweetest thing for me to hear is that they each got so much out of it, and felt that it was totally worth coming even though they were more advanced in their businesses.

SO, you see, I really do have everyone’s best interests at heart. If I feel someone isn’t ready, or I can’t give them enough of what they need, I will be the first to say so. So if you are interested in attending a workshop next year, please tell me about yourself and your situation and what your goals are for the future. I will then take that information, and let you know if I think this is perfect for you, or if I think you should wait (I did this on two occasions with folks I hope to work with next year, but were not in the best place this year), or tell you to perhaps take up weather reporting or something instead, hee hee.

Thanks to everyone who came this year, and I can’t wait to watch your businesses thrive and grow, and to the people who will be attending next year- I can’t wait to meet you! 🙂

10 thoughts on “Workshop II highlights + Workshop I photos

  1. Jamie, this workshop was exactly what I needed to move my business to the next level. I absorbed like a sponge and plan to put it all to good use immediately. I already have some portfolio building session planned and my website is being redone as we speak. Thanks a million for the wonderful burst of energy and infusion of knowledge!!!

  2. So glad your second workshop was a resounding success! The photos are amazing — I love seeing all the behind the scenes stuff. And I really love the photo of you kissing the pug!

  3. oh i do love this post! (and not just cause of trouble and chaos) i think the picture of miss fergie peeking from under the tablecloth has to be bookmarked in my favorites. that is too cute for words, just makes you giggle out loud. miss fergie, you made my day (but scared my cubemate, he was wondering what i was laughing out loud about at 6:15am on a monday morning 😉 )

  4. Wow! What a great collection of images, ideas and ladies!!!

    I was thrilled to be a part of your wonderful workshops Jamie and loved meeting such kindred spirits from all around the country. I must, however, protest at that photo of me 🙂 I look like perhaps a semi-retarded alien is attempting to crawl out through my face. Yikes 🙂 The participants do look interested though, so at the very least, I think it was a good show 🙂

    You’re the best, keep up the fabulous work!!


  5. Oh Em Gee! Simon, will you be my best friend??
    I wish I had the ability to do what Jamie does!! But I’m working on it ; )

  6. No, it’s not just you – Fergie is very cute…Seymour is a great model too, the bounding towards the camera shot is one of my favs. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Nice work Tracy, I thought your two shots were Jamie’s for a second there!

  7. I love all of the workshop photos! What a great time we had…I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is either trying to start their own pet photography business or who has been in business for a few years because there is so much to learn and Jamie is incredibily generous in sharing all of her hard won knowledge. I have been in business for five years now and I still enjoy attending workshops because you ALWAYS learn something new and it is wonderful to surround yourself with like minded people who share your passion. Thanks Jamie for hosting such a wonderful workshop!

  8. I started off diligently reading every word of this post but I admit I started scanning at the end because I’m off to go to Dogtoberfest! Weeee!! I can’t wait to see all the hilarious costumes!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t rain…

    Yup, of COURSE the double shot of Fergie is mine!! : ) I love love LOVE Fergs! I even put her in my gallery of my website!!! And her peeking under the pink tablecloth was me too… I couldn’t resist even though I was afraid to be rude while you were talking.

    Must go shower before Chloe and Zoe pups get here with their mom… we decided that I would help take the two excited dogs to the event rather than Apple who gets scared and wants to be held the whole time. : )

    HAve a great weekend Jamie!!!!

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