From Photographer to Animal Trainer...
When I was four years old, I found a camera in my grandmother's China cabinet. I begged her to let me take it home, to no avail. I stared at her, disappointed, wondering how I could convince her. With her legs crossed, she fit cozily in her easy chair, her crochet needle flicking against her long fingernails, "On your 5th birthday" she said with a whisper. My 5th birthday came. The promise, she kept. I haven't stopped taking pictures since.
In a market that's completely over-saturated with photographers of all kinds, I still hesitate to call myself a professional even after all of these years. I decided to back slowly and quietly out of the trade, though. I am thrilled that I was able to call photography my "full time job" for as long as I did. I met so many amazing people, and was lucky that photography never really felt like a "job." It was a privilege.
While photography will forever be a part of who I am, I've resumed pursuit of all things wild and free. I retrieved the advanced degrees in psychology I once stuffed in my back pocket. I train dogs, rehabilitate abused and neglected rabbits, and am involved in educating the public on non-aversive, cruelty-free training methods using the scientifically proven behavior analysis methodology. I was privileged to have worked and mentored with a well-known trainer during my time in Washington State, and am currently pursuing professional dog training certifications of my own.
So, these days I can be found chasing mountains, kayaking freezing waters, trekking up hills to seek out ancient ruins, gardening, raising rabbits, geocaching, and traveling my current home of Europe with my wiley little terrier. I've traded my Valentinos for a pair of Danner boots, and completely relinquished ever having a clean car interior again.
"Whatever is good for your soul, do that." -Unknown
Which is exactly what I did.