2014 promises to be an exciting year! After a very busy time up to Christmas with the photo shoots at Ripon Pet Supplies, images for Christmas gifts, then photographing the nativity plays at Holy Trinity Infant School, I’ve finally had a chance to take a breath.

My first challenge of the year was to upgrade some of my gear! As much as I loved my old camera it was starting to show its limitations. And a new camera meant new lenses (any excuse!). I’ve been flabbergasted by the quality of my new Nikon D800. Certainly love at first shot and so far it’s proving to be a fine investment.

Second task for the year was to update the website. It’s been five years since I started working with dogs and the old site was looking a little tired and out of date; it needed something that would better showcase my pet portraits. And here it is!

With more people accessing the internet from their phones and tablets, the website is designed with that in mind. And with a dedicated client area you can view all images from your shoot at home or on the go. This will certainly make it easier to share images with members of agility and training clubs I’ll be visiting this year.

After a photo shoot many people are amazed that I’ve managed to capture such great images of their dogs; they ask me what my secret is as their photos rarely turn out well. Is it my professional camera? Big lenses? Is it the studio lighting? Well, they help, but you can still capture great shots of your pets with any camera; it’s about knowing a bit about how your camera works so you get the best out of it.

Having had a few enquiries on the matter, I’ve started to offer basic photography tuition to help people make the most of the cameras they have. Nothing too technical, just enough to give you the confidence to take your camera off ‘auto’ and become a little more creative. Details about these workshops are on the website. So, if you have all the gear, but no idea, give me call and I can start you on a journey of photographic discovery!

But it’s not all about the camera. It’s also about knowing your subject. Any portrait photographer will tell you that you need a rapport with your subject; if the atmosphere at the shoot is awkward, the images will appear so too. Having trained as a canine behaviourist with a particular interest in canine body language, I am certainly well placed to have a good understanding of your dog when we go out on a shoot, or embark on a studio-style shoot. And that will show in the pictures I create; a portrait of the dog you see day-to-day, not the dog who is clearly anxious about the person pointing a camera at them!

I no longer practice as a behaviourist, but I am happy to share my knowledge with my customers; I can’t bare to see dogs struggle with their environment; often simple changes can make such a difference. Keep an eye on the blogs and in the Canine Behaviour section of the website to find some really insightful tips and information as to how you can improve the relationship you have with your dog.

I hope you enjoy the images on the website and I look forward to putting the new gear to the test with your dogs.