First off- I am still alive!! Tired in body, but very happy and energized in mind.
In composing this post I have had a hard time knowing what to say. I know I can never come up with the perfect description of what this past weekend was like, but here is what I CAN say: the inaugural Cowbelly Pet Photography Workshop I was all of these things: intense, exhilarating, exhausting, challenging, super fun, intellectually stimulating, laugh-out-loud hilarious, sad at times, frustrating (don’t even ask me about the projector issue), thought-provoking (boy was it ever!), and in a word: awesome. I have been abuzz with ideas and filled with happiness since Sunday, so much so that sleeping has been difficult! From what I read in the emails going around since the workshop, I am not the only one.
I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to teach such an amazing group of women who flew in from all over the US and Canada to place their hopes and dreams in me and listen to what I had to share with them. I had never realized or considered before that I would have a ready-made group of friends following the workshop, or that they would all form fast friendships with each other. How did I ever get so lucky? 🙂
Without further adieu, here are a few highlights from Workshop I last weekend.
Saturday was my favorite day. Why? Because we had a pug party!!
The stars of the show were: Diza, Frank the one-eyed pug (Oh Frank), Barolo, and Walter. Diza- below left- in a position I won’t normally shoot dogs in, but I couldn’t resist. I mean, look at that face! I like the one on the right below, because even though Diza’s face is blurry, you can see the gals with their cameras behind her.
Walter. This sweet boy has one of those faces that you would recognize anywhere. How cute is he?
I’m loving all of the smiles! We were shooting at high noon in part shade/part sun, which is the very worst time and place to photograph moving subjects, but it was because I made an executive decision that most of the shoot would take place in the shade because our models have short noses and therefore do not have very good internal air-conditioning systems. It was so HOT that day (85 degrees?)- I am still getting over my sunburn. Oh- and look at the little non-pugs below! We were attracting a veritable plethora of pooches. 🙂
Frank, the one-eyed pug. Apparently I have been living under a rock because Frank is famous and I didn’t even know! Oh Frank, you are so handsome. Frank has his own blog that you simply must check out.
Frank even has stickers! I have several in my office. I love them so much I am hoarding them. And no you can’t have them. You will have to go to his blog and ask for them. Neener-neener.
Frank even has his own bicycle carrier and helmet (check out his blog to see his helmet). I think Frank is the hippest pug in town. (I still love you Charlie and Seymour, but come on- Frank has his own blog and his own bike carrier AND helmet!).
Tell me that isn’t the coolest thing ever. 🙂
Walter, in his mother’s arms. And yes, he is just as ridiculously adorable in person.
The pugs attracted quite a bit of attention that day at the park and had people stopping in their tracks. Hey, when you are in the company of a famous pug, there are bound to be pugarrazi nearby! (sorry, I had to, hee hee)
My favorite shots from the day below. (I told you they were fantastic models!). I only wish I had had time to pull my flash or reflector out. I don’t think I have ever been so distracted shooting dogs! From left to right: Walter, Diza and Frank. I didn’t get any shots of darling Barolo! Did anyone else?
I was determined to get some shots of Diza and the beautiful polka dotted bowl, but lunch arrived, and I had about 2 shots to get what I was aiming for. I think this will have to be a follow-up shot. Whose bowl was this? Can I borrow it??
Holy pug tongue!
The stars of the show.
I refused to leave there without at least one shot of Diza’s pink studded punk rock fabulousness. I wish I could get Fergie to wear a necklace like that.
And last but not least, the amazing, fabulous, warm-hearted, generous, talented, INCREDIBLE group of gals at Workshop I. I love you all! FYI: that’s me center back with the black shirt and big smile. We originally had 14 scheduled, but one had something come up with work, and the other was under 2 feet of water in Florida in the midst of Hurricane Ike! (ah yes, excuses, excuses). They will both be joining me for the October workshop.
Here are some comments I have pulled from a few of the workshop attendees emails this week:
“I have learned so much this weekend….. Thank you for all your comments and suggestions. I feel much stronger than I did before I left for Seattle, I got the focus that I need.”- Angie W.
“Jamie – thank you for putting your self and your work out there for all of us to learn from.. You have worked so incredibly hard, developed a beautiful business that clearly energizes you. It would be easy to keep that to yourself and prosper. By sharing with others I know you realize it will only come back to you tenfold.” -Bev H.
“Jamie, Can’t thank you enough….your course was as wonderful and exciting as I had hoped, thanks for such an opportunity!” -Maria C.
” Jamie, I have thought so much about the courage and resourcefulness and dedication it has taken for you to develop and offer this workshop. I am so inspired by your devotion to helping others, particularly women, be successful in this unique and fun field we have chosen. You are an amazing woman and I feel so fortunate that I was able to attend your very first workshop. I learned so much from you and the other women – I don’t think all of it has really sunk in yet… I’m still processing.” -Jeanne H.
“Jamie, you are an amazing person, and I know that you exhausted yourself this weekend, thank you!”- April W.
“More accolades for the workshop!! I learned so much and now my brain is flying in all directions trying to figure out everything I need to do to be ready. I hate being stuck at work when I want to be at home getting my website and blog all purtied up! Jamie, you did a fabulous job and gave us all something we will thank you for forever!” -Tracy A.
“Jamie – I can’t thank you enough! The wheels are still turning trying to put together all the useful info I got from the workshop. You’re a truly selfless woman to share all your tips and tricks to becoming successful! I haven’t stopped talking about you and the workshop to all my friends and family back here. I think they’re getting sick of me!” -Keriann K.
“Thank you so much for the rockin weekend! Jamie you are amazing in everything that you do!” -Jaime R.
Oh my god I am so not worthy of these comments.
I’d like to give a huge shout out to the people involved with the workshop- either directly or indirectly. A giant thank you to: all of the folks who helped me with the planning stage during the first quarter of the year: the lawyers and professors at the CDEC, Jeff and Laura, the mentors and contract writers including the contract writer for Boeing who approved all of my contracts (planning a workshop takes a village!); my tireless assistant Christina for everything that she did over the course of 4 days- (none of it went unnoticed!), Glazer’s for saving me when the projector I rented from the ‘other’ company decided not to work (grrrr), The Baguette Box in Fremont for supplying us with such deliciously yummy food and making an exception to their ‘no weekends’ rule, (oh, and for having a dog in their logo!), to the amazing people at Olympic Reprographics for filling my order at the last minute when their competitor totally flaked on me (thank you Ian!!), to my dad for making those last-minute desperate phone calls to U-Haul to try and get us a van, to the super awesome lovely Starbucks employees in my ‘hood who made my life so much easier every morning, to Jeremy for guest speaking on the lighting portion, to Brandie for sharing all of her industry knowledge with us, to the puggy model parents for showing up at the last minute and for being so patient with all of us shooting their dogs, to the pug models for being total naturals in front of the camera, to the gals who helped me clean and tear down on Sunday night before dinner, to the photographers at the studio- Rocky, Mike, Jim and Howard- for giving me the opportunity to teach my workshops there, and last but not least to Keriann, Beth and Stephanie for indulging my tastes in champagne on Sunday night- I had a blast with you guys!!
I will post links to all of the gals’ websites from Workshop I, and of course add them to my blogroll, but want to give them a chance to get all gussied up and ready before I show them off. I think they are going to knock your socks off, truly. Some of these gals’ work puts mine to shame!
I am very much looking forward to meeting the next group at workshop II, which is in a short 2 weeks.
Then it will be at least 6 months before the next workshop (I need some time to recover folks), which WON’T be in Seattle. All of the 2009 workshops will be in other cities- in fact, it’s now unofficially being called the ‘Cowbelly Traveling Roadshow’ (thanks for the name Wendy!). I am already about 85% sure of the cities on the 2009 target list, but still, if you’d like me to come to your town, be sure to send me an email and let me know! I am saving each email and adding each person’s name and city to my little excel spreadsheet. I have zero idea of dates yet, and know it will take a massive amount of work to make happen, and I will also have a MINIMUM enrollment per city, so if you are interested, and/or know anyone who may be please don’t hesitate to contact me.
This week and next I am catching up on proofing clients + designing new art + blog posts and have a ton of new images to share with y’all so stay tuned for that. I will also have a tiny announcement following workshop II that a few of you may find intriguing.
OH, and before I forget: a few important workshop II updates:
I still have 4 (?) spaces left for the workshop and it’s certainly not too late to register! We are now having dinner on Saturday night instead of Sunday night, so if you’d need to leave to head home to return to work Monday morning that is totally doable- we’ll finish by 6pm-ish. We will be having portfolio review Sunday morning instead. Everything else is the same. Don’t know if the pugs will be there but I’ll have to ask! Ah, I can’t wait.
Life is good and it just keeps getting better. 🙂
Hope everyone is having a terrific week!