A rather late blog post, it’s June already what has happened to April and May? Well they seem to have sped past very quickly. So many apologies for not getting around to posting anything here for a long time.
May Camping Trip
May saw Fidget and me off on one of our camping trips. This time to the wilds of the Brecon Beacons. We managed to get in some nice walks, and we even managed to time it right for some sunny weather.
It wasn’t one of our favourite camp sites, but the location was absolutely stunning, and the facilities and the site staff were brilliant. It was just a bit too busy with the “wrong” type of campers, and there was a rather busy road just by the campsite. But we still had a lovely break, and we are already planning our September trip.
In other news
Much work has been happening on the website. A few tweaks here and there in the background to try and optimise the site, and some changes to layout and content.
Meanwhile Fidget has been out playing with his friends and generally just being Fidget.
12th Birthday Special Offer
As our 12th business birthday is soon upon us, we have a fabulous special offer for anyone booking a studio photo shoot before the end of July.
And, we are getting close to completing our rebranding from Tom Horsley Photography to Shooting The Dog. Our new shop sign has now been ordered and hopefully will be with us before the end of the month.
The curse of the ides of March seem to have bit me this week.
Things have been a bit manic, as my computer started doing weird things. Have had to spend most of the week trying to get them sorted out. Which meant the jobs I should have been doing have been delayed. That in turn means I’ve not been a happy boy!
After a wait for Microsoft to call me back – that never happened; I had a lovely online chat with someone who seemed to know less about what the problem was than I did. However, we agreed that something had done something and that it wasn’t working. Anyway, to cut a very long story short , I restored Windows back to a point some time in the middle of last month and by some miracle everything was working properly again. Then I just had to get all the things I had moved out the way, when trying to solve the problem, back to where they should be – I am still doing this bit.
Barney The Border Terrier
Barney came in for a portrait session at the end of last month, and was full of terrier mischief. His owners sort of knew what they wanted, but Barney wasn’t quite so sure that he wanted the same thing. A lot of fun and we got some lovely photos; so I hope his owners are happy with the results.
We still have some gaps in March and April if you would like to book your pet in for a photo shoot. Just drop us a message here and we’ll get back to you pretty sharpish!
Remember that dogs will be banned from many of the better beaches from the start of May, so if you would like a beach shoot then April is a good time to get it done.
Well things are beginning to slow down now as we get to the last few days before the big event.
The final few framing jobs just need to be finished off (and collected by the customers!), and then we can relax … and go for a pre-Christmas beer.
2018 has been a busy year, with things changing slightly as we try to stay ahead of an ever changing market place. What with people worried about their finances and how the “BREXIT” effect will impact them, trying to tempt them to spend money on a luxury item is never going to be easy. Add to that a few problems with a naughty intervertebral disc and … let’s just say it has been difficult at times.
That said, we have had some wonderful customers through our doors this year, and we are already looking forward to shooting a lot more pets in 2019. The calendar is already open, so don’t be shy about making a booking!
This year we have been looking at ways to make the mundane, paperworky (that’s my new word of the month) things easier. We have have started using FramR software for pricing the framing work, and Studio Ninja software to streamline the photography side of things. We have some minor things to iron out in both of these to fit the way we work, but we are getting there.
And so to next year ..
As with this year, the business will be moving more away from the original “Tom Horsley Photography” ideas, and much more down the “Shooting The Dog” road.
We pride ourselves on our pet portraits, we love doing them, and want to produce the best results we can for our customers.
So, next year should see some more changes to the shop; with less random “stuff” on the shelves, and more things related to the pet photography service on display. Print sales from the shop have pretty much dried up, so we’ll be moving all the landscape print sales to the web site only, and free up some more space in the shop.
Other than that, unless I come up with a cunning plan or win the lottery, we’ll continue to provide, what we hope is, quality service with everything we do, at a reasonable price (while still be able to eat occasionally!).
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
Oh, and for those of you who have had you pet photographed with us before there might well be a very special offer for a follow-up shoot next year. I’m sure some details will be being published soon.
So May has been a rather busy time here at Shooting The Dog, the (mostly) lovely weather has brought a flurry of dog photography customers, and Fidget and I have been making the most of the bits in between to have some fun too.
First up, we finished off the Cockerpoo puppy shoot at the six week stage and put together the puppy boxes for our client; these were then received and dispatched with the puppies to their new homes.
The boxes were looking good and were filled with a USB drive of the pictures we had taken over each of the three shoots, along with a book showing the progress of the puppies, and some yummy bags of treats from The Dog Treat Company, who are based locally.
So after a successful prototype, we launched our puppy pack service onto the world (well, to Torbay and the surrounding areas anyway).
Then the glorious sunny Mayday bank holiday saw us heading to the beach with Buttons, for our first “in the water” photo shoot of the year; the lovely sunny weather meant for a rather busy beach, so things were far from ideal, but we had great fun and got some lovely pictures.
Fidget and I squeezed in some time on the beach too and he enjoys a nice swim when conditions are good.
Last week-end saw us heading out on a covert “birthday surprise” photo shoot with Sam and Luna (Sam being a rather daft Staffy and Luna a typical Beagle). Lots of serious running about ensued, but the preconceived lovely picture of the two of them in the bluebells or splashing in a stream was unfortunately rather elusive. However, we got some lovely shots of the dogs and the client seems very happy with what we managed to achieve.
Finally this month, we had the fabulous Gracie in for a studio shoot last week, she was the perfect model and was so well behaved, not bad for such a young dog. She came with a few challenges because of her colour, black dogs are always troublesome when trying to get lighting right, and exposing for detail in the faces means the coats tend not to come out as black as they seem to the eye.
We are now off on a short camping break in Cornwall, so you can expect lots of news on that adventure in the next blog.
I think Fidget sums up how we are feeling after this month:
You get the feeling that summer is just around the corner here in Brixham, we have blue skies (occasionally) and we have even had a few days of sunshine (and heat) – I was even wearing shorts the other day, so it must have been hot.
Fidget and I have been out enjoying ourselves, and generally messing about; the lighter evenings mean we don’t have to rush about after work to get home before dark, and we can take our time and have lots of games and a bit of silliness before heading home for our dinner.
The sea is definitely not warm enough for me to venture in with the camera yet, so you will have to wait a bit longer for those shots. We have, however, booked ourselves in for a small break under canvas in Cornwall next month, so if you have plans for the middle of May that require dry, sunny days then you might want to reschedule, as we always choose the wettest week in May to go away camping!
We currently have an on going project photographing a litter of Cockerpoo puppies, which is great fun; and to be honest more puppy cuddling happens than photography. But at the end of my last blog I promised you puppies, so here we go.
Puppy promise fulfilled.
Next time: Who knows? But there might be more puppies, and some exciting new product information.