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opinion / January 4, 2012

Looking back at 2011

Alex playing with matchbox cars

This last year has been a huge year of growth for me.  Just looking at the total number of photos I’ve taken this year is twice what I took last year.  In that process I’ve worked on doing less point and spray, hoping the right picture comes out. Instead, I’ve been shooting like each frame has value.

I’ve seen some really inspirational photos, talked to some amazing people, and got my butt kicked like I was back in school.  I wanted to point out a few of these inspirations to let you know what I’m thinking.

The first was being involved in a Flickr group where I’ve got to take a great photo of my dog Toby every week.  52 weeks of dogs has helped me stay creative and find new, fun ways of photographing my favorite model.  It is also great to be connected to so many other professional pet photographers. There are some really great, hard working photographers focusing on pets.  It’s good company to keep.

Two other photographers who have really impressed me this year are Timothy Archibald and Carli Davidson.  Timothy has an amazing book that has gotten a lot of traction this past year about his boy who has autism spectrum disorder. As a father who’s son has had issues with commutation and social issues, his work hit really close to home and I love the simple beauty in the photos.  Carli’s photos of dogs shaking their heads went viral across the internet and had gotten tons of views for her unique work.  The quality of her work in that series as well as all her other work is something I aspire to.

The most memorable ad I’ve seen this past year is the Invisible Dogs campaign by the Best Friends Animal Society. It’s a really smart campaign of photos and videos that work really well.  This is a kind of campaign I’d love to be apart of.

ASMP has been a huge support this year and am really glad to be apart of them.  Their Strictly Business conference was the spark I needed to really get my ass in motion. Meeting people like Colleen Wainwright and Shannon Fagan kept me walking on air weeks after I got home.  Soon after that, I combined forces with Agency Access to start a process of getting my portfolio together, my media updated and work on promotions for this upcoming year.

2012 is going to be great. My hope is to keep involved with all people and places that have helped me this year and to create new and exciting personal projects.  I’m looking for new ways to promote my work and get more dogs in front of my camera.  Next week, I’ll talk about projects I’m hoping to complete for next year.

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