It is absolutely crazy that it's time to write this blog! It seems like just moments ago I was writing one about 2018. This year has just sped past, and I really hope i'm not the only one that feels this way! 2019 has been amazing! I started my 2019 in Mexico, on holiday for a bit, then headed to the Magic Makers Retreat. Here I worked with a whole crew of amazing entrepreneurs, most, but not all, in the pet industry. It was incredible. Though it's hard to have anything less than an amazing time when you are waking up right on the beach and have a butler and chef for a week. It's a lifestyle I could definitely get used to! When people heard that I was headed to Mexico, there were a lot of "ohhh"'s and they definitely thought i was crazy. It is 100% somewhere I would go back to and recommend. The food is phenomenal, the colour, life and vibrancy in the streets is incredible, and margaritas are damn good. Unfortunately there were a lot of stray dogs, and that broke my heart a bit more each time.
While in Mexico, a group of the photographers attending the workshop donated our time to some local animal rescues, to help photograph the pets they had in care. I wrote a whole blog about it here.
My travel and continuing education didn't end there, with a trip over to New Zealand to reunite with my Barka tribe! I first went on a barka retreat in 2017 in Costa Rica, and it really took my photography to the next level. They have had one in spain and one in france that I was incredibly jealous about not attending, so when I found out it was just across the way in NZ there was no way I was staying home! If you want to see the images and read more about Barkzealand, you can here!
As always, I figure what's the point going overseas if you can't enjoy a bit of a holiday too? On said 'holiday' I walked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. It's a 19.5km trek from start to finish. What they don't tell you, is that its another km back to the car park from the finish point! That was the longest kilometer I've ever walked. Tongariro crossing is meant to be one of the most scenic walks in the world, unfortunately, the weather was frankly quite terrible, with -1C >55km/h winds that were pushing me sidewards. This was not so welcome given there were no railings along the top of the mountain! So I missed out on some of the epic views from the top- but I don't have any regrets doing it.
Of course I had plenty of shoots throughout the year for my amazing clients. Here are a few of my favourite images.
I also worked with a few brands for some commercial work. Some of my images were even printed onto bus shelters as part of the Leave It campaign!
In June, I held my first mini-sessions! These were held at the Borrowed Nursery on the Gold Coast. They were incredibly fun, so keep an eye out for a few more in 2020.
I shot images for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue QLD's 2020 calendar. I also set up my stall at a whole heap of dog-centric markets and enjoyed meeting new pups and people: Paws at the Park, Dogs on the Green, Paws n Relax's PawsFest and Dogs Go Ballistic!
It was a busy year!
I can't talk about this year without sharing the exciting news of my AIPP accreditation. I nervously submitted my portfolio of images to be judged in order to gain this accreditation, and was so excited to receive the phone call to tell me I was officially an Accredited Professional Photographer! (Thank you to my clients who provided me with the references I needed too!)
For you, this means you are working with a photographer who is committed to a high standard of quality, customer service and continuing education. For me, it means I can now enter Australian and New Zealand print competitions to receive feedback from highly regarded professionals and work to continually improve the work I produce. Speaking of awards, I entered my first competition: the RISE International Photography Awards. I received 4 bronze awards for the 5 images that I entered, which I was very excited about! I was not expecting so many of my images to be awarded given the incredible talent from around the world who had entered. I also made it into the top 100 images in the open category of the International Pet Photographers Awards. I then topped this again with two top 25's in the Pets and their People and Action categories! There was some incredibly stiff competition in these categories, so I was thrilled with a Top 25.
And now, just a HUGE thank you to my clients for 2019. You guys really are the best and I appreciate you more than you know! Seriously. There are almost no words.
So, whatever you've got in store for 2020, I hope it's magical.