Let’s say you’re in a foreign city with your luggage and all of your gear right outside the train station. You’ve just met Linda one of the people you’re going to be working with the next week.
Then the most amazingly adorable little Staffordshire terrier puppy is pouncing around and you just happen to be near one of the best preserved roman amphitheaters. You then find a way to overcome the language barrier and you beg the nice woman who is walking her dog to please walk with you and all of your luggage a few blocks away just so you can get a photo of her dog in front of the Arena of Nimes.
Then you jump for joy when she says yes and you wheel your luggage over cobblestone and leave your laptop on the ground and hope no one walks away with it so you can get the best shot of her sweet little puppy then you might be a dog photographer having a trip of a lifetime.
There are a few things that I am always into improving… my photography skills and business knowledge.
Why would an established professional pet photographer want to improve their photography? Because there is always something new to learn. New lighting, new poses, new editing practices, trying different gear and working on your style are the things that make good photographers great photographers. I work incredibly hard because I want to be a great photographer so every chance I get I find a way to improve my skills.
Creating a better client experience is also extremely important so learning new business skills whether it be better client communication or learning about new products. I want to know as much as I can to serve my clients better.
Recently I had an opportunity to go to France for “an out of this world pet photography retreat” called Barkjour. Barkjour is an incredible experience made for improving the photography and business skill sets for pet photographers. Amazing pet photographers from all around the world travel to these retreats not just to learn but to spend time with people that are just like them… crazy dog people that are also in love with photography.
What an experience it was. The location was an amazing chateau in Provence, France that’s almost 900 years old. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to stay in and photograph dogs in such a spectacular location.
The food was pretty darn amazing as well. Celebrity chef, Theo Michaels from www.theocooks.com prepared local food for us at Barkjour.
Don’t be fooled by the amazing location and food. We worked all day and night. Here Kaylee Greer and Sam Haddix from Dog Breath Photography are taking sunset photos of Cat from CatsDog Photography and her pup Poppy and helping us improve our sunset portraits so we get the most gorgeous colors and fantastic light in our images.
When we weren’t in classes we were busy shooting in stunning locations in southern France. Vineyards, small villages, and Pont du Gard included some of the spectacular locations we were able to photograph dogs in.
One of the best and most amazing things about attending a retreat like this is meeting other pet photographers from around the world. We worked hard and worked together to get the most amazing portraits of dogs. We learned from each other and found people we can relate to… The dog crazy, photographers that travel the world, and spend their days finding the best dogs (and sometimes cats or horses), the most amazing light, and perfecting their skills. We do it not just for us but for our clients so they can have photos they love of their furry best friends to cherish forever. It’s quite a tribe of people and I’m thankful to have found them.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my behind the scenes look at Barkjour, an out of the world pet photography retreat. Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see additional photos and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog to see the photos from these amazing locations and hear about my adventure photographing dogs in Paris.