It’s been a week since we arrived in Florida. And it’s gone by very quickly. In some ways I got more accomplished than I had expected, in other ways, I’ve hardly made a dent in my to do list.
After a day’s rest, I hit the ground running. I headed up to Venice for the Bark for Life event. I met a lot of great folks, several who were excited to hear I might be settling down in the area. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people told me they had hired a pet photographer. Some had a bad experience, others said their family had grown since their last session and it was time to think about having another one.
The next day I headed down to Naples for the Pets on Third event on Third Street South. It’s hard to say for sure, but I’m guessing about a hundred dogs or so attended. I saw dogs in strollers, dogs dressed up, dogs with dyed fur, big dogs, little dogs and a breeds I don’t usually see in Pennsylvania. There was a pet ambulance, a wolf sanctuary that brought a tiger, skunk and several snakes. The highlight of the day was the pet parade with the theme Pets at the Oscars. Dogs dressed up and many owners matched outfits as they walked down a red carpet. Prizes were awarded as judges judged attendees in several categories. I made a few connections with a few other artists including photographers. It’s always fun to meet others who share the same passion as me.
Monday night I attended a local PPA (Professional Photographers of America) meeting in Sarasota. I called the group a couple of days before the meeting to find out more information and was so glad I did. They had a great presentation and announced that a CPP (Certified Professional Photographers) prep class was being offered the following week. Declaring my candidacy for the CPP is on my list of things to do in 2017. It was too ironic that the photographer who wrote the study guide would be teaching it while I’d be in the area. I'm looking forward to his class.
On Tuesday and Wednesday I visited a couple of pet stores in the area and talked to the owners about my pet photography. They were excited to meet me and were more than happy to take my business cards to share with their clients.
All in all, it’s been a great seven days. I’ve gotten lots of encouragement and interest in my work. Folks have been very kind to us, sharing tips on where to live, shop and market my business. I must admit though, what I’ve enjoyed the most is the sunshine. There’s nothing good about a cold, bleak January day after day in Pennsylvania. Down here, I’ve been able to sit outdoors and watch the sunset every night. Whether it’s a spectacular one or not, there’s no doubt the sun makes me feel a little happier.