|© Western States K9 College|
My earliest memory of photography, including just looking at pictures, was as a child. At that time it was a release for me to go to the library, pull out any photography book or magazine I could find and get lost in the images. It was a release from a rather poverty ridden childhood. I remember regularly looking at LIFE Magazine and wondering to myself what was going thru the subject or photographerís mind at that exact moment. Without money to buy a camera I would compensate by using my eyes. I would blink for the shutter and use my mind as the memory card, closing my eyes and trying my best to remember everything about the image. I would open my eyes once again and behold my picture.
My first actual photographs were taken with a free digital camera that was sent to me for signing up with Earthlink; this had to be around the late 90's. The image quality was poor and the size was nothing more than a thumbnail, however, it provided the artistic outlet for me to explore different subjects. I became very good at judging when the picture was taken due to the half second shutter. After a year it was clear that this camera was not going to cut it! My next step was to buy a "good" camera. The word "good" is so relative. I ended up buying a Fuji. This was a 3.2 Megapixel with very limited capabilities.
Although each step has given me a creative outlet, I look back now and forever wish I knew then what I know now. The next three cameras I bought were Canon's, all exceptional. My first Canon was an S50. This camera, for me, had it all. I was able to make adjustments I never thought possible. Right now I shoot with Canon's 50D and have Canon XTi as a backup. I use a wide range of lenses to get the shots Iím looking for. Mostly, I shoot with a 50mm, or a 24-70mm.
I found my real passion in photography as I would hike in the Timpanogos with my German Shepherd (Bora). I would shoot landscapes and animals, including my dog. Incidentally, this also led to my first award winning photograph.
It really became apparent that there was an overwhelming desire for animal photography as my wife and I started her dog training and consulting business. It was a logical fit that we include the animal photography as part of the overall package. Now for each training client I sit silently in the back as my wife trains and I shoot. The results are amazing! In some cases our clients have been moved to tears when they receive pictures of their best friend.
Our latest project is publishing a book of dog photographs from around the Salt Lake valley (and beyond) which demonstrates these relationships. The book is called Salt Lake City Dog, SLC Dog for short. A portion of the profits will be given to a nonprofit foundation thatís just as passionate about dogs (as we are) and their betterment.
What you see in my galleries is the result of love for animals and a desire to capture their enduring relationship with us humans. I hope you go away with just a little touch of what I see and the passion I feel for my subjects. Above all, please enjoy!