Thursday Spotlight – Living Through The Lens Photography


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*Who is filling out this interview?

My name is Sarah.

*What is the name of your business?
Living Through The Lens Photography

*What is your position with Living Through The Lens?
I am the main photographer. My photography partner, as well as fiancé, is David. While I take care of most of the photography, Dave helps in so many ways. His role in my photography is irreplaceable. We work great as a team and his ability to pose and handle the dogs is an amazing talent. He is the main reason I am able to get great shots of the dogs we photograph.

*How long has your business been around for?
Just over one year. I bought my first DSLR camera in January 2013 and have been self teaching myself since then.

*Why was it started?
I have always loved photography. I was not able to take the photos that I wanted with my point and shoot so I upgraded to a DSLR. I soon realized that I loved taking photographs even more now that I had proper gear. I tried a variety of different subjects, but very quickly learned that I loved and was most comfortable photographing pets, specifically dogs.

*What made you want to volunteer your time for HART?
Once I realized that dog photography was what I wanted to specialize in I started practicing with dogs of family and friends. I knew that dog photography was a competitive market to get into and I was not yet fully comfortable and needed more practice. I came across an add mentioning that hart, a local dog rescue organization, needed volunteers. A little light bulb went off inside of my head and I decided to contact them to see if they would have any use for a photographer. I figured that it could be a win-win situation. I would get the practice I needed photographing dogs and they would get the images in return. I did not think it would change my life in the way that it did however. Volunteering with hart gave me something I was beginning to think was not possible, relief from my anxiety.

Prior to volunteering with hart I suffered from bad anxiety. My confidence was low, I struggled with doing things independently, and had bad social anxiety. I kept my life simple and predictable. I avoided situations where I was put in the spotlight or had to make decisions and stand behind them. There was no doubt my life was effected and I sheltered myself from the real world because of it. Soon after I began to volunteer with hart, my fiancé began going out-of-town for work. This left me alone for a couple of weeks at a time. At the beginning I refused to do any volunteer work without him. I needed him. He was my rock and my support not only with photography, but in life. I was sad though. I saw dogs that needed adoption photographs done and I wanted to help badly. One day I decided to just go for it. Even though this might sound silly, I was terrified. I agreed to meet my very first hart dog, Vernon, and photograph him. This was no doubt the turn around point. After meeting Vernon, his foster mom, and her children, I remember leaving with this smile on my face that would not go away. I felt so great. Nothing bad had happened. I got to photograph a wonderful dog and meet a lovely family all by myself. I remember telling Dave about it later on and just how proud and happy I was. Time passed, and with each opportunity to help hart I grew a little bit stronger. I was getting the chance to take photographs of dogs, while helping an amazing group. Through my volunteer work I have learned how unbelievable each and every volunteer with this group is. The passion and love they have for dogs is unlike anything I have ever seen. It is inspirational and uplifting. I expected to see how hart changed the lives of all the dogs it saved, but I never thought my life would change the way it has also. I plan to continue helping hart in any way I can. I am so grateful for what I have learned from hart.

*Do you have any animals? If so, name, breed and something interesting about them?
David and I have 2 dogs, 2 leopard geckos, and fish. We have an 8-year-old beagle named Oscar and a 3-year-old Olde English Bulldog named Charlie. No, they are not rescue dogs. ha ha. I cannot tell you how many times we are asked that while volunteering with a rescue group. I guess there is a little bit of guilt in that sense, but we brought our dogs into our lives knowing they were part of our family. There were times we had to move and it was so hard to find places that allowed dogs, but we made it work. Our very first apartment was in a bad part of town but we took it because it was the only place we could get that would allow Oscar. All our vacations are planned with them in mind and in the 8 years we have had Oscar and the 3 we have had Charlie, we have never once left them in a kennel / boarding. Oh don’t get me wrong, these two dogs have been pain in the butts many times and we could not have picked two more opposite dogs, but we make it work. We love them and they are part of our family.

*What types of services do you offer?
While much of our time is dedicated to volunteer work, we still offer dog and pet photography sessions. We mainly work outside using natural light and natural settings. 
We are flexible and always up for new and fun ideas for sessions.

*What is the approx. cost?
Currently our sessions range from $80 – $140. We also donate a portion of it to hart.

*If someone wanted to book an appointment with you how do they get a hold of you?
Easiest way would be through e-mail: livingthroughthelens@hotmail.com

*If someone wanted to see some samples of your work, where could they go?
Our facebook page is a great way to see our recent photographs and stay connected with our volunteer work: www.facebook.com/livingthroughthelensphotography and our actual web-site features past photography sessions, volunteer, contact, and price information: www.livingthroughthelens.com

*What do you plan to accomplish with your business in 2014?
We would love to begin to book sessions regularly and continue our volunteer work. By doing so I can continue to grow and learn as a photographer and a volunteer.

*Fill in your Social Media Information:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/livingthroughthelensphotography
Email: livingthroughthelens@hotmail.com
Website: www.livingthroughthelens.com
Website for HART:www.humaneanimalrescueteam.ca

*Do I have permission to copy this to my blog?: Yes
*Do I have permission to use the photos you provided me with?: Yes

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