Mentoring with Cowbelly photography | State College pet photographer

Earlier this summer I had the pleasure of doing a mentoring session with Jamie Pflughoeft of Cowbelly Pet Photography. Jamie has been touring the United States offering pet photography and mentoring sessions for aspiring photographers for most of the year. I’ve been a long time fan of Jamie’s. She’s a full-time pet photographer based in Seattle Washington and until a couple of years ago she offered pet photography workshops for photographers. Unfortunately I was not able to attend one before she stopped teaching, but was ecstatic at the chance to photograph alongside her during her stay in Philadelphia.


These mentoring sessions are geared for each individual and what they hope to learn from Jamie. I had to fill out a questionnaire and put together and list of questions I wanted to ask her. The day of our session was cloudy and overcast, with a serious threat of thunderstorms. The storms held out, until minutes after our scheduled session. I wanted to sit down and cry, I had been looking forward to this for months. Since I had driven 3 hours, rescheduling wasn’t exactly an option. Jamie was very calm and came up with plan B in case the storms persisted. We got lucky, it rained off and on and the thunder moved on quickly. Photographers often say the best light is at the edge of the storm, so we also got some great light to shoot in when the weather started clearing.

I met Jamie at the waterworks building near Boathouse Row in Philadelphia. I was responsible for lining up a dog model for us to work with and with the help of a good friend, arranged for Pippa and her mom to meet us. Pippa, an 8 month old king charles cavalier, and her mom were just delightful to work with. I won’t tell you Pippa’s mom’s age, but trust me when I say she’s older than she looks! I can only hope that I’ll look that great when I’m her age!


Pippa was a fantastic model! Being a puppy, I knew she’d have lots of energy, and sitting still would be the furthest thing from her mind. Jamie started working with her first so she could show me some techniques I had inquired about and within minutes, she had Pippa modeling like a pro! We took turns shooting, swapping cameras so I could work with Jamie’s gear and she could show me how she was working my camera.

My session with Jamie was over too quickly, and even though Jamie gave me extra time since we had to work around the rain, I wasn’t ready to quit! I learned a lot and have spent the summer practicing these new skills.