It was such an honor to help five fabulous women with their pet photography business at the Hair of the Dog Retreat in South Florida this past February.  The fact that it was sunny and 82 degrees every day didn’t hurt either.  We spent 4 very full days eating, breathing, sleeping, and doing all things business and photography related.  The first shoot was an urban shoot with Hershey, a fabulous corgi mix fourteen year young diva in the downtown section of Ft. Lauderdale.

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And a few more….because Hershey is adorable and I love urban shooting.

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Here are some behind the scenes from Hershey’s shoot:


Downtown Ft. Lauderdale

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WEB.bts.evanoth-8 copyHave no fear, I was not having a seizure in that last photo.  Although I do now realize that I may look completely insane while I shoot…..but sometimes you need to get down on your subject’s level.  Public Service Announcement: Watch where you lay down…especially when shooting in the city.

A pet photography workshop in Florida wouldn’t be complete without a beach shoot.  For those of you thinking about joining us in Pittsburgh, I can’t offer a beach shoot…but we do have a North Shore!

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I thought that the best way to recap the event is by sharing some images and thoughts of the attendees….

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What was the most impactful thing that you learned at the retreat?

“Marketing and sales”

“To change my pricing and know my worth.”


“I went into this retreat with a full understanding that I am not yet ready for selling my work, but came away with a more thorough understanding of necessary “next steps”.  I have a very thorough “To Do” list for setting goals to work toward developing a photography business and sustaining the business with creative and practical sales and marketing strategies.  The wealth of information and resources made available to us is invaluable.”

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“In person sales and pricing.  I had given up on in-person sales until Nicole gave me a format to use and how to set up for the sales session from day 1 of the client inquiry.  Pricing plays a big part in that too and I now feel comfortable creating collections and revamping my products and pricing to make my business strategy focused.  I feel like after I make some changes I can definitely bring in my sales goals.”

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“Pricing.  It has been one thing that I have been so hesitant to create.  I understand now how to really price your items and to think about the time spent on your work.”


What was the best part of the experience?

“Being able to learn in a small group setting from a talented pet photographer about all the ins and outs of being in a pet photography business.”

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“Meeting others from my world. J I loved that everyone was on a different business level but we all meshed, that is what made us learn from each other too.”

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“I very much enjoyed the personal feel.  The accommodations were very comfortable, and the environment made it possible to connect with one another in a more personal manner.  The size of the group was just right.”

web.cahlean.bear2 copy “Don’t worry about where your business is right now…you will learn a lot with Nicole about the business end of things!”

“Given the range of experiences and skill levels, Nicole did a wonderful job of addressing any/all questions, adding details and explanations of the what, why, and how’s of things.”

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“I feel so much more comfortable trying in-person sales again, as well as wanting to revamp by business to make it even more streamlined and professional.  I had no idea how to market myself and Nicole really helped with that too.  I am full of ideas coming home and can barely wait to start implementing all of my plans!”


“Loved the house…..and the food!”

“I have never returned home from a professional conference for my work and been so jazzed!  At worst, you may have created a delusional character, lol.  At best, this is exactly what I needed to know how I want to be spending my creative energy!”

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“I woke up twice in the middle of the night last night and had to write some ideas down.  My brain has not stopped!”

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Here’s a quick picture of us all using the self-timer while the camera is balanced just so on a stool….mostly because I forgot to get a group picture while we had other people there to take it!  🙂

HOD retreat-6The attendees of the 2014 Ft. Lauderdale Hair of the Dog Retreat were:

Registration will open on Wednesday, March 12th for the Pittsburgh Hair of the Dog Retreat to be held August 7-10, 2014!  I hope to see you there!