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Project 52 Week 1: Blank Slate

Happy New Year and welcome to our Professional Pet Photography 52 Week Project Blog circle!  This year we are starting out with a “Blank Slate”.  I thought this would be a great time to tell you a little bit of how I got into Professional Pet Photography while sharing a few images of Kota since we celebrate her Birthday this week.  Happy 7th, Kota!

We rescued Kota in April of 2011 when she was around 4 months old.  We give her the whole month of January as her Birthday – she deserves it!

Kota was a “project” from the day we got her.  She was quite “aggressive” as a puppy.  Along with her challenging start to the world, we were attacked by a dog when she was 9 months old and she never “bounced back”.  She’s a very sensitive girl. At the time I was a flight attendant and traveling a lot.  Definitely not at home as I would have liked to have been.  We went through several trainers who recommended “punishment” training methods.  Hearing this turned my stomach.  I decided I was going to learn everything I could about dog training and help Kota succeed.  I enrolled in CATCH Canine Trainer’s Academy and spent a year learning all I could about the science of dog training.  This was one of my best decisions!

Kota was a cute puppy!  Aren’t all puppies? Haha!  While studying “dogs” i was inspired to dust off my camera that had been sitting in the back of the closet.  This was one of the Canon Rebel cameras.  I started photographing Kota regularly.  She was a perfect model!  Since she was my guinea pig through all the dog training, she did have quite the perfect “sit-stay”!  Since then I have upgraded twice and I now shoot  with a Canon 5D MKIII.

After graduating with my dog training certificate from CATCH, I then began my journey in studying photography.  I took several online classes with the Bryan Peterson School of Photography, beginning with “Understanding Exposure”.  I’ve used Manual mode on my camera since the very beginning – that’s all I’ve ever known!  From their I did a mentorship with Jill Flynn of Visual Harmony Photography.  That was an amazing learning experience and I’d highly recommend working with a  mentor for anyone getting into photography.  Awesome!

2017 was my first full year with Pant the Town Pet Photography and it’s been exciting!  I’ve met some amazing dogs and people throughout the year!  I have a  long list of goals for this year and I’m looking forward to a wonderful 2018!

Here is Kota – Birthday Hat and Leopard Cat Hat – this is a color I don’t use much called “Coral” from Savage Universal.  It is actually a more “pink” color than it sounds – it’s fun!   No smiles from Kota …. I needed to get these pictures done early since we are  having a blizzard today and I wasn’t sure if we’d have electricity!  I interrupted her “sleeping in”.  She got a whole lot of chicken for it, though!!!


Birthday Dog
Sassy Birthday Girl


Dogs in hats
Leopard Look



Thank you for stopping by!  We are off to a great start and have 24 participants in our blog circle this week!  Woohoo!  Next up is Kelly with Little White Dog Pet Photography – Sioux Falls, SD.  Click on the link at the end of each post to see some amazing images from Professional Pet Photographer’s around the world!  Enjoy!


32 thoughts on “Project 52 Week 1: Blank Slate”

  1. Happy Birthday month Kota! I am so envious that Jill Flynn is your mentor, I LOVE her work! Kota’s images are stunning! I hope you are staying sheltered from the storm.

    1. Thanks, Linda! Jill is amazing – so inspiring and everything about her is genuine. I learned so much from her and I love what she does for rescue!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Yes, check out CATCH! It is all online at your own pace which is what I loved about it! Highly recommend!

  2. Happy Birthday, Kota! And congrats on a first year in business, Darlene! This is so different seeing Kota in pink rather than leaves or snow. Wonderful images!

    1. Thanks, Kelly! Haha, right? I barely set up the backdrops for Kota! She prefers her “outdoor” element much more! 🙂

  3. Happy Birthday, Kota! My birthday is this month, too. I love the pictures you post of Kota in various hats, they are the absolute best. And, I love Bryan Peterson’s book “Understanding Exposure.” It was very helpful to me in working things out. Also, kudos to you for taking the training into your own hands. A rescue I used to work with advocated negative training methods and that is just one of the reasons I no longer work with them.

    1. You and Kota get the whole month to celebrate – woohoo! I love putting her in hats… she’s so cooperative! Haha! Love Bryan Peterson’s book – i do pull them out quite a bit! “Learning to See Creatively” is great, too! ugh… when rescues use “punishment” that breaks my heart. Much more education needed on “how dogs learn”!

  4. Wow – it is great to hear about Kota and your story! I am definitely going to check out some of the links that you have put into your blog. Several years back, I took a number of courses from Bryan Peterson’s online school (including Jill Flynn’s course) and several from Better – that was over 5 years ago because it’s been almost 5 years since I lost my Dolly. It’s a great story – and some wonderful photos – sorry to hear that Kota had such a rough beginning.

    1. Thanks, Linda! Yes, Kota had a rough start – but she’s doing amazing! She’s lucky she ended up with us 🙂 I enjoyed Bryan Peterson’s classes – i’ve even thought about doing a “macro” class. Love Jill’s class and loved working with her!

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