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Monthly Archives: July 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve used my fancy before & after slider (which if you’re viewing from your phone, or you received this post via email, you won’t have, sorry!). Editing my RAW files has always held just as much enjoyment for me as rolling around in the dirt taking the photos in the first place. People often say to me “I have good gear but my photos don’t look like yours”, it’s pretty much the same as me saying “I have a great oven but my food never tastes restaurant quality”! (And that’s not a hypothetical statement, cooking definitely isn’t my forté.) It’s really important to get the basics right in-camera – composition, expression, exposure, focus – but the fine tuning in Lightroom and Photoshop is what gives my photos that something special that’s unique to me. It’s not a preset or an action, it’s the result of years of practice and learning from mistakes. Much like a good chef.



Of course, having super gorgeous dogs in front of my lens is a massive advantage when creating a great image! A lot more of Doug and Flynn will be coming soon.

If you liked my first Harbour City Hounds round up, then you’ll probably like this one at least as much. To read the quotes that go along with these images you’ll need to go to the blog site (you can subscribe by email while you’re there) or Facebook or Instagram.

This project seems to have gone the same way as most personal projects I start … anyone remember 52 weeks? Puzzled Puppies? This and this?! You get the idea. I love photographing dogs. Love, love, love it. Approaching strangers on the street doesn’t fill me with anywhere near the same joy and enthusiasm though and giving out free mini-sessions to all and sundry doesn’t make very smart business sense. I’m not giving up on Harbour City Hounds just yet, but at this present time I’m not entirely sure exactly what direction I want it to take. I’ve paid for another 12 months of hosting, so it’s definitely still a thing, watch this space!

Sorry it’s been quiet around here again. I wasn’t on another holiday, I’ve been on bed rest under doctor’s orders. BORING! Unless you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you may not have heard that I had to abruptly end a session two weeks ago and get taken to the ER.

My knee started to hurt some time last year and I went to the doctor who told me I’m just getting old and to stop kneeling. I was very underwhelmed by her advice and just took anti-inflammatories until the pain went away … before continuing to kneel my little heart out at session after session. It was never 100% right so when it started to get sore again a few weeks ago I figured it would be the same as last year and just come good again over time. So I kept walking the dogs every day and cramming as many sessions as possible into a week. I had no idea that I could end up not being able to walk and needing my client to help me to my car (and it was such perfect shooting weather that day too, gutted!). The doctor suspected it was a meniscal tear, gave me some strong pain killers and crutches and told me to come back to the fracture clinic in a week. I struggled with the frustration of not being able to work but I eventually accepted that this situation was completely out of my control and gave in to watching the entire Netflix catalogue through a heavy Endone fog.

I went back to the hospital and after a two hour wait (WITH NO PHONE SIGNAL, OH MY GOD, THE BOREDOM!) was told it’s probably a meniscal tear and I need to get an MRI. So, that was kind of a waste of time. I made an appointment for the following week and then took myself off to get an MRI (someone very kindly did a hit and run on my parked car while I was in there, so that pretty much sucked). It’s fair to say my mood was pretty low at this point, I don’t do boredom well and there’d been a whole lot of it in those seven days. Thankfully I have other businesses that don’t require a fully functioning knee so when I got offered some Ruthless Design work last Monday I breathed a massive sigh of relief. I even started walking the dogs again. I was craving the exercise even more than them by that stage.

I went back to the hospital yesterday and got told the wonderful news that there’s no immediate need for surgery – so I’m as happy as a baby goat in an Hawaiian shirt! (This post would’ve been totally boring without a photo, apologies for the tenuous link.)


The MRI showed an almost full tear of the medial meniscus, some bursitis and a very small amount of arthritis near the patella (and some other stuff but the report is in my car and it’s too cold to venture outside again). Since it’s not a fresh tear any surgery would just be to clean up the area, not repair the damage. I still have some pain but I feel it’s lessening every day, so at this stage I can just see a physio and work at strengthening the muscles that support my knees. They advised me to call them immediately to schedule the surgical procedure if the pain gets bad again. Fingers crossed I won’t need to.

I decided not to do The Dog Lovers Show this year in case my knee didn’t feel up to the set-up and being on my feet for two long days. I may re-assess that closer to the time though and see if there are any last minute spots left. Either way I’ll be running a show special, so make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter (this isn’t it, this is my blog feed) to ensure you don’t miss out. I only send about one email every two months (if even) so don’t worry, you won’t get bombarded.

Thanks to all my clients and the charities that I volunteer with for their patience while I heal. Everyone’s been very understanding. The weather forecast for next week isn’t great but once the sun reappears I hope to be able to get back to business.

Update 29/8/15: I ended up needing surgery, so last Monday I had an arthroscopy. I’m not allowed to kneel and crouch for a while, but I did a heap of shooting before I had the op so I have plenty of editing to keep me busy while I recover. I went for a walk today, my first time leaving the house since Monday and it was wonderful! I’ve never appreciated a dog walk so much. Hopefully it’s all onwards and upwards from here.

I went along to the French Bulldog Club of NSW fun day at Rushcutter’s Bay last weekend. If you know me at all you know I’m obsessed with these funny little dogs! Before we got our first boofhead, Angel, I wanted a Frenchie and had contacted some breeders but was put off by the long waiting lists – I wanted a dog and I wanted one now! So, we adopted Angel, the first Staffy I went to meet, and nine years later our home is still full of blockheads. I think I’ve found my breed for life, but I often imagine a future shared with a squishy face as well.

On Sunday I was still feeling the effects of the jet lag that just keeps giving but I went along to indulge my obsession anyway and brought my camera to take a few snaps. It didn’t take long for me to hit the wall, but I got to steal rather a few snorty cuddles in the short time I was there. Mission accomplished!

I met Ody and his owner there (Ody was my rent-a-Frenchie at the last Dog Lover’s Show) and Pryah, a tiny baby puppy they’re minding before she goes to her new home. Afterwards they came back to mine and Bruno got to have a little playdate with his buddy and his new even littler buddy. Then Pryah worked the camera better than 90% of the puppies and dogs I’ve photographed in my whole career – what a superstar!

The last photo is just an iPhone snap, but it got about 10k likes and several hundred shares on Facebook so I figured I’d include it here too. It’s kinda cute and I wish I’d taken it with my proper camera which was only feet away, DOH!

I put a video up on Bruno’s page. Check it out if you want to see Pryah unleashing her ‘tude on the big bad Bruno >

If you know anyone who shares my love of these funny dogs feel free to share this post with them … and tell them they need to book a portrait session with me!!

As I was overseas for most of June I fell behind with my volunteer work, but I put in a big effort over the weekend and managed to get all of this lot photographed. And aren’t they a lovely lot?!

If you received this blog post by email, please click on the heading to open in a web browser and view the gallery as it was intended.

All of these furry creatures are in care with Fetching Dogs. Please like and share and do all those cool things that help rescue dogs to get noticed.