The Inspiration Behind my 2014 U.S. Pet Photography Road Trip

The Inspiration + Backstory for the trip

I’ve been wanting to do a pet photography road trip for years. But other obligations have always held me back: other trips, workshops, projects, moving, personal life stuff, ETC. After my sister’s wedding in Hawaii next week, my schedule is wide open indefinitely, which is the first time that has happened in, pretty much like- ever.

I started thinking hard about actually doing this earlier this year, but fear, doubt and indecision still held me back.

Inspired by incredible people I follow on Instagram, like:



















and @mamilish_airstream


















as well as @thiswildidea


















and currently- @sweatengine


















….who all travel the country by car, truck, airstream trailer or other, either full time indefinitely or for a few months… while following these incredible people…….I started actually considering it for myself. I even left a comment on one of Josh Work’s Instagram photos many months ago, which he generously replied to, giving me encouragement to ‘go for it’. I was too scared to reply, thinking that if I did, there would be no turning back.

In January I went through a radical transformation of my health, precipitated by the diagnosis of multiple illnesses. After detoxing my body from all that was bad for it (alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, etc), I realized that I wanted to do the same thing with the rest of my life- detox people, things, *stuff* that were bad for me or didn’t promote my physical or emotional health in some way. I felt an overwhelming desire to purge ‘things’ and live a simpler life. I looked into downsizing, I thought about moving. I wanted more positive change.

And when my old Subaru Outback started having serious problems, and I knew a newer car was imminent, I knew the time was now to make a decision about a road trip. If I was to get a newer car, I’d need to decide now if I was going to do a trip within the next few years, because the new vehicle would need to work for it. It wasn’t hard for me to decide at that point that yes- the time is now. Fear gave way to excitement, which is now mixed with feeling overwhelmed. But ultimately I haven’t looked so forward to something since I flew off to spend a summer in France over 12 years ago.

I have already started to unload personal possessions on Craigslist, I’ve been planning and brainstorming during what little free time I have away from Cowbelly, I have Evernote notebooks, more iPhone/IPad travel/hotel/roadtrip/food/gas/car/gps apps than I can count, I talk to anyone who will listen to me tell about the trip, because I know I’ll get rewarded with this response “oh, you know where you should go/what restaurant you should check out/what you should see”, and I make notes on my phone accordingly. This will continue until I head out at the end of the month next February.

By the way, you can see my preliminary itinerary by clicking the maps on this page on my blog.

I want to thank all of you in advance for following this exciting journey with me.

I’m excited to see where I end up, and half the fun will be getting there. 🙂

If you aren’t already signed up for my road trip mailing list, you can do so here! The next email I send will be a Q&A answering all- ok most- of your burning questions about shoots, mentoring, itinerary, timing, etc. Stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “The Inspiration Behind my 2014 U.S. Pet Photography Road Trip

  1. Truly uplifting. I have just discovered your work (bought your book). I am a canine behaviourist who operates a rescue with my family out of our home in Ontario. The dogs I rescue NEED my telephoto lens at first. When I can start using my 24-70mm with them I know I’ve made progress. Prayers for a safe and adventurous journey.

  2. What an amazing time you will have Jamie! I look forward to following your journey and seeing all the furry friends you photograph!

  3. Looking forward to following your adventure. So excited for you!!!! Hope to see you on the road!!

  4. Sounds like an amazing adventure, and thanks for sharing your inspiration! We’ve been traveling for a month through Scandinavia with our dogs, and I love this kind of experiences. Meeting new people, hearing different languages, seeing lovely landscapes,…

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