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2019 Year in Review

2019 is coming to an end, and looking back, I had no clue where this year was going to take me. A professional photographer? What?!! The start of 2019, I was simply taking photos for my own enjoyment, mostly of my girl, Oakley and for my non profit, Dreaming of Three's Rodeo Kids!

Dog Pittsburgh Dog photographer
Pittsburgh Pet Photographer

As I would take photos of Oakley just around the house, at trainings for Search & Rescue, while on vacation, or taking photos at the Rodeo Kid's rodeos, I craved better photos. So, I took to more education in perfecting my craft, mainly for myself and for my non profit.

I joined several online photography educational groups, bought online courses, I acquired mentoring from several different professionals, I went to workshops, I subscribed to editing software.

As I improved, the more I was in the presence of other professional photographers, I determined that I too, could provide others with my services and skill. So, I decided on a name for my photography, acquired a website, Facebook page, and Instagram page. I still was not really sure what direction I would go as far as a genre of photography.

What in the world you ask? Roam? This name, I felt, describes what I love so much with photography and that is roaming around this beautiful country of ours, and seeing all there is to see! My most favorite place to visit is therefore the mountains in my logo. The compass, comes from my involvement and volunteering in Search & Rescue. Navigation is a huge part of being a K-9 handler. As certainly looking for the lost, you can't get lost yourself!! It represents "finding" this new passion of mine as well.

There are no horses in the logo because I really did not know this was going to be my category. Did I have horses in my 51 years of life? Yes. Did I really understand that this could be my lane, nope. Horses are an every day thing for me. Such a habit, and part of my life. But, I just didn't think of them being my lane. I would photograph everything from landscapes, my kids, my dogs, my horses, wildlife. I did not really understand at the time of starting, that all the photographers out there had a certain genre of what they specialized in.

As I started educating myself, getting more into the photography world, I started to realize there are pet photographers, wedding photographers, newborn, boudoir, lifestyle, landscape, event, real estate, etc. etc. All knew their specific genre to perfection. All preferred taking photos of certain things. Yes they are all capable of photographing most anything, but their genre is where they excel!

We are told when starting out, photograph everything! (Your first 10,000 photos are your worst they say). When you photograph everything, pay attention to what you are most excited about. This is how you determine what type of photographer you want to be. Because I knew other Pet/Dog photographers, I thought, yes, I love being around dogs. With all the photos I take of Search & Rescue K-9's, maybe that is my lane!

Pittsburgh dog photographer Pittsburgh Pet Photographer
Cadaver K-9, Pittsburgh Pet Photographer

I volunteered my skills to local rescues, Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue.

I volunteered to take photos of my fellow Pet Friends at Children's Hospital for their calling cards to the kids.

Pittsburgh Pet Photographer
PIttsburgh Pet Photographer

I took many photos of my son, who will be graduating in 2020 for his senior photos.

Pittsburgh Senior Photographer
Shane. Pittsburgh Senior Photographer

and of course my daughter too.....

Pittsburgh Senior Photographer
Sierra. Pittsburgh Senior Photographer

Then a long time friend of mine, Julie Jones, asked me to take some of her and her senior horse, Laddy with the black background in September.

Pittsburgh Equine Photographer

I realized then, where my passion was landing. The same passion I had all my life! Horses! Horses are my comfort zone, where my knowledge is compared to other photographers in the area. I live horses every day. They are such a part of my life. I am comfortable around them. I've been bucked off, kicked, many concussions through my childhood, and yet, it's where my comfort lies. I know for myself, if I were to hire a photographer to photograph me and my horses, I'd want a photographer who knew horses! One that had a comfort around them and had no fear. To help position them to look their best. To square up those feet. To wipe those nostrils if running. To know to get those ears up and how to manage that. To hold the reins or lead rope as I ran to fix my hair, to get different tack, etc.

Once I realized this is where I was landing, I decided to attend a Equine Photo Workshop in Georgia the end of the year in November with Phyllis Burchett Photography. I really admired Phyllis' work. She was where I wanted to be: Horses, Pet/Dog, Wildlife. That workshop, I feel, propelled me!

This was a one and a half day workshop. One full day of shooting, and a half day of editing. I had tons of photos to edit. I still go back and edit those from this workshop! But I realized, THIS was my lane no doubt after this workshop!

I even got into the Top 10 with Hair of the Dog with one of my images from this workshop! My first year of determining to be a professional, Top 10!!!!!

So, in conclusion of 2019, I can look back through my photos and see my growth. I am super stoked to meet more horse owners and their beloved horses and to capture their connection. I look forward to seeing my art hanging on walls of homes, stables, and living quarters. I look forward to meeting other horse lovers in all different disciplines!

Bring on 2020 and all the beautiful ponies, puppies and beautiful photography! (oh and Peg, can't forget the Longhorn named Peg! She is owned by a good friend of mine, Natalie Larizza at Larizza Farms)

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