updates and stuff & things

I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted to the blog, and my sincere apologies to those who get their dose of Cowbelly imagery via RSS feed. I’ve been much more active on the Cowbelly Facebook Wall, because it’s faster to update, and I’ve been busy, so short on the time needed to create blog posts. I’ve been both personally and professionally, busy. Here’s what’s going on.

I’ve been working on a couple of intensive projects for pet photographers that I am really excited about but have been requiring a good chunk of my time. Hopefully those will be done by the beginning of summer and I can then share them with everyone here on the blog. They are mostly altruistic, although both things I have been wanting to do for a long time and way overdue.

I am dreadfully behind on emails. I mean, horribly so, as in, I have 460 emails flagged for reply, pretty much all of which I personally need to reply to because they require information that’s in my little brain. For the first time in the 9 years of my business I had to set an autoreply telling everyone that I received their emails and I will get back to them within a week. Not my first choice of how to run a business, but these projects are consuming me. I’m hoping to be able to lift the autoreply very soon. If you are waiting for an email from me, thank you SO MUCH for your patience. The guilt is killing me but I promise I will reply. I’ve had offers for people to be my assistant, but the problem has always been that it takes me longer to explain what needs to be done that the time it takes to actually do it. It’s a catch-22 for any small business owner. I will catch up, it will just take me awhile.

I’ve been doing consistent commercial work in the form of stock image licensing. One of these days I’ll get tear sheets for my work that I can share with y’all. Because of the long turnaround time for most of these projects I have usually long since moved on by the time the products/ad campaign/project hits the market. I realize I rarely publicize my commercial work and I think it would be fun for everyone else to see Cowbelly images on dog products. I’m planning another assignment shoot this summer for another dog product. I absolutely love doing commercial work and my professional goals for 2011 and 2012 have been to significantly increase the amount of commercial work I do and it’s happening. Yay. Unfortunately it means fewer regular client photos here on the blog as more of my time and attention go to licensing and shooting for commercial clients. I will never give up ‘regular’ photo sessions though, so never fear, there will always be Cowbelly images to share. 🙂

I partnered with an amazing company who makes the most unique art products for dogs and am now their exclusive photographer. That blog post will take a bit of time to put together but it’s in the queue. You guys will flip when you see these products.

I did an engagement photo session for my beautiful sister Michelle and wonderful future brother-in-law Larry. I was terrified to do it, but when they asked me I couldn’t say no. I will share those images here when I have time to go through them again. It may be the only time you see people without their pets gracing my blog. Ha!

I have a new IP (intellectual property) attorney I am in the process of signing on with. I have never been more excited about an attorney in my life, but he is *awesome*. Unfortunately it’s needed as I continue to have more and more problems with photographers in breach of contract and/or violating copyright laws. It sucks and is very frustrating but being able to hand the problems over to an attorney will mean I won’t have to deal with it anymore, which will relieve both my stress and time.

I’ve been doing editorial shoots for CityDog Magazine, the last of which had me spoiled beyond belief last Thursday, eating filet mignon watching the sun go down over the Space Needle in the presidential suite at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle. I am the freaking luckiest photographer in the world sometimes, and not a day goes by that I don’t feel incredible gratitude for what I get to do for work. I will definitely share those images with you after the issue comes out. I used my new camera for that shoot, and learned quickly I have a steep learning curve to climb.

Speaking of cameras, for those who don’t know, the ‘new camera’ I referred to above is the new Canon 5D Mark III, which I purchased as soon as it hit the amazon ‘shelves’, and in many ways feel like I’m starting photography all over again. I’ve been photographing pets since 2000, and I swear the first time I picked up that cam a few weeks ago I felt like I had never done it before. It’s light years away from the old 5D in so many ways. I have so much to say and share about it, but it will have to wait. I do have first thoughts on my Cowbelly facebook wall in case you are interested. Check the posts between March 26th and April 13th.

I’m *this* close to booking the date for my September workshop, and hope to announce both the date of the workshop and the date registration opens within the next week. Like the others, it will be 3.5 days long, be held in Seattle and be for beginners and those with businesses up to 12 months old. Unfortunately no decision yet on a commercial workshop in SF this summer, since I literally haven’t had time to come up for air and think about it. If you are hoping to get into the September workshop, definitely set your alarm for it. They tend to sell out in under an hour, so you’ll need to act fast on registration day. I’ll give you plenty of advance warning of that date. Also, I’ve had an unusually high number of people request to be placed on the waiting list for the July workshop, so if you are hoping to get into July, I’d say plan for September instead as it’s very unlikely you’ll get into July because cancellations are rare. I know, boo, hiss.

I have a new mailing list for photographers, for workshop announcements and any other news pertaining to pet photographers. If you would like to be on the workshop notification list, and/or would like information on other educational resources, please add yourself to the mailing list. I will be phasing out all old lists after September. If you would like to be removed in the future it will be easy to do as it has a simple unsubscribe link at the top.

Lastly, I’m headed to Palm Springs for four days for the first time ever this Sunday, arriving on 4/29 and leaving on 5/2. Part business, part pleasure, part in need of sun. I’d really like to get in touch with some dog owners, and/or pet businesses while there, so if you are going to be in the PS/PD area, please email me at info@cowbelly.com. I’d love to hear from you. Although I will be bringing my new camera with me, I don’t plan on doing any shoots, but if you have an overwhelming desire to work with me, would like some colorful expressive photos of your pets and have money burning a hole in your pocket that desperately needs to be spent (ha!), I could be persuaded. 😉

WHEW, that’s it for me! So now you know I am still alive. And busy, very busy. Hope everyone’s 2012 is going GREAT! Smooches to all of the puppies and kitties out there. Fergie says hi. Photos of her soon. Like, maybe even tomorrow. 🙂



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