Bodhi sneak peek

Bodhi’s session took place last Saturday, after we rescheduled not once, but twice due to crummy June weather (more on that at the end of the post). Bodhi is a goldendoodle, and is just as happy and fun as he looks. He was so easy to work with, and so easy-going and well mannered. He was truly a joy and I was *totally* spoiled at this shoot.

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Sometimes you just have to run and jump and play.

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Sometimes you have a bubble on your tongue.

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Sometimes you have a cow on your head.

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Sometimes you have a good hair day.

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Sometimes your parents hold your hands.

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Sometimes you look like Fozzie the Bear.

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Sometimes your mom plays with your hair.

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Sometimes, if you are very good, you get to sit in front of a really cool old art deco building and strike a pose.

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And sometimes, if you’re a very lucky pet photographer you get to work with a dog like Bodhi. Thank you Meredith and Jared for the great time, and for being so patient with the weather and rescheduling! I had an absolute blast.

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Now, in weather related news.

I mentioned above that Bodhi’s shoot was rescheduled twice. This was AFTER we waited a couple of months to do the shoot, ‘until the weather improved’. Thankfully his parents were so incredibly patient and understanding with the weather issues, and we ended up with a dry day. Not a bright day with great light, but at least it was dry. (BTW- our shoot was at 7am and I was shooting at 1000 ISO. Outside. At 7am. Yeah…..).

I’ve refrained from complaining here on the blog. I’ve complained on twitter, I’ve complained on facebook, but not here. It’s overdue.

You see, for those of you who don’t know, the weather we’ve had in Seattle this year has SUCKED. And actually, that’s an understatement, and I would be using the most explicit of expletives if this here blog weren’t PG.

We’ve had rain, cold, and miserable, overcast, gloomy skies since, well, since last September. Everyone here keeps waiting and waiting and waiting for it to get better, and STAY better. Yes we’ve had a couple of nice weekends, and there was a stretch in February where it was gorgeous, and a complete fluke of a nice day for Brinkley’s shoot on a Saturday in March, but overall it’s been impossible to schedule anything (like, um outdoor photo shoots of dogs), impossible to count on it being dry outside at any point in time, and nearly impossible to stay positive and not fall into a hopeless depression. Every time we’ve had a nice day in the forecast the weather has shifted and it has ended up raining (hence my need to reschedule Bodhi twice in June). We had a record number of days of low temps, and have yet to have a consistent nice streak where the temps are above 70. We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting, and quite frankly, I’ve had it.

Normally every year I have a slow season for shoots from January through April, or sometimes as late as mid-May, but never, in 7 years, have I ever waited this long to get back outside and shoot. It would be one thing if it were a streak of bad weather, but no, this has been going on for NINE MONTHS.

I love where I live, and would wither and die without all of the lush greenery, but really, it’s time for some SUN!! Next week it’s finally supposed to be nice and sunny (thank god), but I can tell you guys with full certainty, that because of the weather, this has been the hardest year for my business so far- BY FAR. I love my clients, and love that they love my outdoor shots (I can’t blame them as 95% of my images on my website are outdoor), but it doesn’t make it any easier to try and talk them into an indoor shoot when it’s really crummy outside. (Trust me, I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried). Not to mention the fact that when it’s dark and overcast in Seattle, indoor shoots are far less than desirable (think- no light, 1600 ISO or higher). I’m not the kind of photographer who would talk a client into doing something they aren’t genuinely interested in, so instead I wait. And schedule all of my shoots for July and August. Hoping and praying it will be nice. (It’s not- it’s currently raining outside where I am).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when I first wrote up my business plan in the spring of 2003. I completed a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), and keep going back in my mind to the #1 threat- weather. I had hoped I would never face it in any serious way, but this year I definitely have. The challenging thing about threats is since they are external, you have little if any control over them. This is what makes it so incredibly frustrating. I’m sure many of you reading this have had your own external threats to your business, or your livelihood, and you are nodding your head in agreement about how stressed this can make you. I know I am not alone, and I know I’ve had it much, much easier than most, but things really have to change, and soon.

So how have I been dealing with an inability to book shoots, or even enjoy going outside?

Well, I’ve gotten upset, cried, yelled, drank lots of alcohol. And then repeated that process.  And then in between my depression and despair I’ve been productive and tried to be proactive. I’ve updated my goals list and taken inventory of my business, and been able to step back and make plans, instead of running around like a headless chicken like I have in past years (I’ll never go back to that lifestyle again). I’ve gotten to work on fun projects like the Graffiti Dogs project, which I can schedule and reschedule as needed since it’s my own deal. I’ve been working with past clients placing orders, and really getting a feel for what I can handle at any one time. I’ve been working with commercial clients licensing images. I’ve been filling orders for current clients who *have* had the courage to book shoots in spite of the weather. Thankfully I have plenty to keep me busy and enough revenue coming in. And I’m very very grateful that I at least have a job.

Thankfully I haven’t had to resort yet to offering discounted “soggy doggy” shoots, an idea I had to reward clients who are bold enough to book a shoot come rain or shine, but I might pull that card out of my back pocket if this summer just never ends up happening (a scary thought that crossed my mind). I don’t mind shooting in the rain, I’ll brave any weather, I just want to get out there and shoot!!!

Please send your positive energy out there for us that we WILL have the nice weather next week that is forecasted. We really, really, really really need it.

Ok, whew, I just needed to get that off my chest. I feel better now, thank you so much for listening!

And for those snarky snarks out there who want to cap on Seattle and comment on how it “rains *all the time* there”, I can tell you that’s not true. It’s just the hype that we perpetuate to keep people like you from moving here.:-)

Have a great 4th of July weekend everyone and I hope you enjoyed the photos of sweet Bodhi!

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July 2, 2010 - 3:12 pm

Dawn Beirnes - he is gorgeous! So sorry about the crappy weather…I live in Tennessee (and not a full-fledged photography by any means…yet anyway), and it’s so freaking hot here that’s it’s hard to go outside and even get in some practice with my camera. We have 2 shelties and a Doberman, and we have to be careful when we put them outside because of the heat. I hope things get better for you soon!

July 2, 2010 - 3:26 pm

Kim Charie - Your work is so refreshing to me, I love all the energy I see in EVERY photo. LOVE your writing as well, keep up the lovely work! I’m one of your biggest fans;)

July 2, 2010 - 4:45 pm

Virginia - You’re not alone! The weather here in “sunny, warm, southern Alberta” has been anything but. It’s affecting my business too and making my wedding season very stressful. Sending you and Seattle big (((hugs))! I just LOVE your work!

July 2, 2010 - 5:07 pm

Amber - OMG…I LOVE those shots of Bodhi jumping and playing…he is TOO cute! Great job capturing his playful personality. Oh, and the bubble was awesome! :)

Amber

July 2, 2010 - 5:17 pm

nick - I hear ya on weather issues too. I’ve had shoots pushed backed for months thanks to rain as well.. Love those jumping shots as well as that one with the foot paws!

July 2, 2010 - 5:54 pm

kim - first off – love this dog, loved this shoot! but uhm, hello! summer never officially starts until july 5th in seattle! i mean there have been exceptions, but for as long as i can remember it’s freezing cold / raining on the 4th for the fireworks and then summer officially begins.

July 2, 2010 - 6:43 pm

Flo - How adorable! He looks like a plush animal we want to cuddle, so cute! Great shots and what a good looking model!

July 2, 2010 - 7:34 pm

Judy - OMG – I’m in love with these photos – they are gorgeous!!! Love the muddy paws!

July 2, 2010 - 11:56 pm

Simon - Love this set, I bet the last one really pleased the perfectionist in you, perfect framing! The weather is similar here, we often go whole summers with very little good weather, so I sympathise. Happy 4th of July.

July 4, 2010 - 12:29 am

Belinda - Wow, wow, wowsers. Seriously some of the best pet photographs I’ve seen in ages! They just radiate happiness and fun! Love them :)) The one where about Fozzie the Bear made me laugh out loud :D
Sorry to hear the weather is suck-y in Seattle land. How about we do a trade? I live in Perth, Western Australia and we are supposed to be in the middle of Winter here. So far we’ve only had 50mm of rain (that’s about 2 inches) and non-stop sunny, cloudless blue skies of around 20 degrees (I think that’s about 70 degree F??). I would KILL to have some rainy, wintery days so please feel free to send your suck-y weather Down Under.

July 4, 2010 - 7:33 am

Lindsey - I will be traveling from the extremely hot and usually sunny Arkansas to the amazing Seattle area the first two weeks of August…I will do everything I can to bring warm weather and clear skies for you and my much-needed vacation : )

July 4, 2010 - 1:31 pm

Christopher - Great! Now I have to have a golden doodle. Thanks Jamie.

July 5, 2010 - 7:43 am

Jackie P - I need a love from Bodhi! What an adorable dog and great pictures of him! I’ve had to show all my family him so they know what the next member of our family will look like.
Hope the weather starts cooperating so you can get doing what you love and do so well!

July 6, 2010 - 12:39 am

Ecaterin - “And for those snarky snarks out there who want to cap on Seattle and comment on how it “rains *all the time* there”, I can tell you that’s not true. It’s just the hype that we perpetuate to keep people like you from moving here. :-)”

Mwa ha ha ha – it’s our evil Seattlite plan…..is it working? :D But OMG, I’m with you – I’m not even doing professional shoots yet in my photography life, and I’ve been exceedingly grumpy at how few days I’ve been able to take the camera out of my bag, let alone get a shot that isn’t in flat, dead light. But hey – I’ve been perfecting 101 ways to post process to compensate for that contrast-sucking, vibrancy-sucking light. Learning is good, right? :P

I so adore Bodhi’s muddy rear paws!! And the shots of him in mid-air in mid-romp are hilarious and heart warming :) So glad I found your blog, your photos make me smile (and suddenly consider shooting pets, because that looks like 9 kinds of delightful)!

July 6, 2010 - 4:44 am

johnwaire | photo - …love the ‘fozzie the bear’ shot! awesome!

July 6, 2010 - 10:03 am

erika - Our weather here in MD can be pretty extreme, going from freezing cold blizzards to today’s “feels like 117″, but we’re lucky enough to have SOME nice weather in there. I was so frustrated pushing back so many shoots this winter and spring. I can’t imagine having to push things back for 9 months! Glad you’re established enough to have other things going! Maybe plan a few more indoor editing type workshops?

July 6, 2010 - 10:17 pm

Michelle - These are really fabulous – especially the Fozzie image! Love the bubble too. Your creativity is inspiration. Thank you for sharing!

July 9, 2010 - 3:07 pm

Rachel Elizabeth - San Diego weather has been equally sucka$$ this year. Great pictures!

July 12, 2010 - 11:07 am

Cindy Hancock - Wow! I am the breeder from whom they got Bodhi! I am in awe of not only him but how YOU captured the very essence of a DOODLE. I know the weather was an issue but I would say the results were worth waiting for. If you could email me a couple of them with your signature I would like to post them in my slide shows on the website and share not only the Abracadoodle, Bodhi, but the fabulous work you do. Maybe other Doodlers will contact you for more of the same??

July 13, 2010 - 6:49 pm

Stephanie - Regardless of the ISO, these pictures are Uh-MAZing! Love the jumping shots, the hand holding and Meredith’s rocking sneakers. Such a cool shoot Jamie!

October 16, 2010 - 10:14 am

Kim K - HI Jamie,
ok love your photos! We live in Northern California and we have had unusually cool weather this summer, but not rain like you get in Seattle. Sorry to hear about the difficult time. I have a suggestion…if you have a a client book a soggy dog session, how about offering them a mini session later when there is good weather later in the month or in this case, later in the year?? Yes, you could offer a soggy dog discount, but I wonder how many clients would be receptive to a few photos during sunny weather instead of discount? again, this would be a mini session , well plus your time to travel ( I don’t know a lot about your business, but hoping to take your Seminal in 2011 in Seattle!). OR you could offer them one of the 2 and let them decide at the time?? Just a offering for you. Keep up the great work and attitude! I love looking at your photos and trying to study and learn different styles.

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