Thursday, September 22, 2011

Studio Stars

The studio photo shoot with the shelter dogs went well with the exception of three of my neighbors letting their curiosity get the best of them and me.  It never ceases to astound me how nosy everyone in my neighborhood can be.  I mean, when I see a strange car pull up at a neighbors' house, I don't go running over to their house to see who it is and why they are there.  Do you?

So, the good, sweet, kind lady from the animal rescue organization showed up and we took the first dog into my back yard to sniff around and relieve itself before going into the studio.  She was talking to me and paused, I looked over to see what was distracting her and found my neighbor to the north standing at the fence waiting for my attention.  I was like, "No way.  I'm trying a run a  business here and I am not going to let this neighbor complain to me in front of a client about a new dog showing up in my yard, nor am I going to explain to her what I'm doing, because it is none of her business," so I turned my back to the neighbor and kept talking to my client.

My neighbor got the hint and left, as I did the same thing to her the previous day when she tried to stop me while I was rushing around doing chores to get ready for the photo shoot.  She was trying to ask me questions, but I kept moving and tossing out short responses to clearly communicate that I was busy.  If I let this woman stop me, she would get her claws into me and that would be the end of both my time and my good mood.

We went inside the studio and I took photos of the dog in different lighting situations, with different backgrounds, different props and different "costumes".  Then my client left to exchange dogs.  We repeated the same process with the second dog.  Since each studio shoot took a little over an hour, she decided to only do the two dogs.

As I was walking her down the walkway back to her car, I spotted my nosiest neighbor walking her dog behind my trees on my driveway.  I stopped and asked her to wait until my neighbor passed by since the shelter dog was a Pit Bull and we weren't sure how she would behave if she spotted another dog.  Unfortunately, my annoying, nosy neighbor didn't keep walking back to her house.  Instead, she walked her dog back and forth between both ends of my driveway so that she could spy on us and eavesdrop on our conversation.

I was fuming and wanted to go out there and tell her to move along, but didn't want to lose it with her in front of my client.  Another neighbor came out of her house to investigate, and she started a conversation with the dog walker at the end of my driveway.  Argh!  So, we just walked the Pit Bull to the car at an angle where the car would block its view of the other dog.  We said goodbye, I went back into my studio and found that she forgot something.  I grabbed it and chased her car down the road calling her name.

Fortunately, the Pit Bull spotted me chasing the car and barked to alert her to my presence.  She told me I could keep the doggie accessories as a gift for my studio.  How sweet.  I thanked her and turned around to walk back to my house, and almost ran right smack into my nosy neighbor who was walking her dog right up to this lady's car to listen in on our conversation!  I glared at her, and she put her head down, turned around, and walked back the other way like a child who got caught doing something bad.

Then the other neighbor ran onto my driveway to stop me from going back into the studio.  It turned out that she wanted to know why I pulled my horse out of training.  I explained that it was too expensive and I still haven't seen any money from settling my mother's estate.  The whole time we were talking, the nosy neighbor was walking her dog back and forth next to us listening in.

It turns out that my neighbor has a trainer who comes to your home and only charges $25 per session.  I can afford that.  So, I went over to her house to watch the trainer ride my neighbor's horse.  She was using spurs, a riding crop, and had the horse's head cranked into its chest with draw reins, which I didn't like.  She also had two tiny kids running around while she rode, and I worried that if her kids got hurt on my property, she might sue, so I would have to have her sign a liability release.

However, once we got talking I could see that she knew her stuff, and she does train for whatever discipline the horse owner wants.  Since I like to trail ride, she'd do a lot of trail obstacles and de-spooking exercises.  So, I might give her a whirl.  I'll just have to specify no spurs and I don't want to see my horse's head pulled beyond the vertical.  Gabbrielle's last trainer said she carried a riding crop, but never had to use it, because Gabbrielle always did her best.

This trainer at my neighbor's house also told me that she could hook me up with competent riders who trail ride locally who would be willing to help me with my more nervous horses.  You know how long I've been looking for someone to ride with?  I actually had given up and convinced myself I was better off riding alone.

The lady from the dog rescue said that they are having a wine tasting event and plan to display my photographs on a grand piano at the winery.  She asked me to come to the event and bring business cards and other examples of my work.  I also asked her if she would be interested in a part-time job assisting me if my photography business takes off.  She's very competent with dogs, has a low key energy level, which is much needed to keep the dogs calm and relaxed, and she knows just what to do to get the dogs' to stay and where to put their attention while I snap away at the shutter release.  It would have taken twice as long to do these photo shoots without her.  She said she'd be happy to assist me.  Yay!  So, in one day I made several connections that will help both my photography career and my horse training efforts.

Oh yeah, and then guess who drove up to get her mail in the same second that I was getting mine?  The neighbor to the north who keeps coming to the fence to pester me every time I walk into my back yard.  I was tired of her always being in my space and I knew she wouldn't leave me alone until she got whatever it is off her chest, so I approached her car window and said, "Is there something you've been wanting to tell me?"

She looked embarrassed and said, "Oh no.  I just wanted to say hi."

Ummmm, I don't believe that for one second.  She's always got an agenda.


Deanna said...

Wonderful photos!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hooray for successful networking!

Cute photos, too.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Wonderful doggie photos! Sounds exciting- a trainer AND riding buddies! Send some my way, would ya, please, the riding buddies?

Crystal said...

Thise are great photos! I think thats a great start for a business!

fernvalley01 said...

Great photos , and maybe good news about the trainer, but I wonder... as for the rest , makes my hgead spin

achieve1dream said...

Awesome pictures!! I love that first one and the one with the cowboy hat. What a wonderful way to show off her/his awesome temperament. :) I'm so happy for you for the new connections and work. Congrats. I'll keep my fingers crossed that business takes off for you and that the trainer works out (please tell her absolutely no draw rein/tie downs/etc.).