Bark Pet Photography Blog


Our First Book Signing & Mutt Mingle by Sarah Sypniewski

Heyguesswhat?

Our very first book signing is almost here – and you can BRING YOUR DOG!  Of course, if you don’t have a dog, you’re still welcome to come…we guess.  It’s in L.A., so if you’re anywhere near/in the area, we sure hope you’ll join us.

What: Dog Photography For Dummies Book Signing & Mutt Mingle

When: Tuesday, 11/29 6 – 8 pm

Where: Pussy & Pooch Pethouse and Pawbar, 564 S. Main Street, 90013

RSVP HERE

It’ll be a great event, complete with all of the fun and fancy details Pussy & Pooch events are known for, like gourmet human and doggie treats, custom adult beverages, and lots of doggie socializing for all of L.A.’s most metropolitan mutts.  Kim and I will be on hand to sign our books (you can buy a copy there if you don’t have one), raffle off a bunch of awesome swag, talk about how to use dog photography to help shelter animals, and more.

Obviously, this is a book about dog photography…and it would make a great gift for dog lovers everywhere.  It also is good for small business owners who want to launch or better their biz.  We devote a whole chapter to how we set Bark up and how we’ve become one of LA’s premeire pet photogs in 2 short years so you can see how we did it.  After all, our methods can be applied to any small biz looking to make a splash.

But more than anything, Kim and my biggest wish for the book is that it helps rescuers and advocates everywhere save dogs’ lives.  We have woven a rescue message throughout the book and devote a whole chapter to how to use photography to make a difference in the lives of rescue dogs.

So come on out and join the fun on 11/29!  We would absolutely LOVE to see you.



We Don’t Sell Photos by Sarah Sypniewski

We hear it all the time, usually delivered with a mix of jealousy and suspicion:

“So you take pictures of pets for a living?  That must be the best job ever!”

Yes, yes we do (at least for some of our living)…and yes, it is.

But we aren’t just taking pictures…we (humbly aspire to) do more.

What we’re really hoping to achieve with our little endeavor here is to help people capture a permanent sliver of the dog (or cat…or rat…or horse…) they love more than anything…and whose life is entirely too short.

It’s their only fault–isn’t it–that they don’t live forever?

We hope to freeze all of the details–the tufts of fur, the silly freckles, the dirty paws wrapped around a neck–in time so that when time runs out, the humans left behind have something to hold.

A photo isn’t much, we realize, when facing the abyss of grief for our lost pets…but we hope that it can be something.  We hope that maybe…just maybe…a photo we take can offer comfort to a grieving family when nothing else is able to.

And for the pets who haven’t found their families yet, well…we hope a photo we take will be their break.  We hope that our photo will free them from the bars and the cold cement and never-ending sounds of distress and constant looming of death.

We don’t sell photos; we (hopefully) help preserve legacies.  And if we’re really lucky, we help start new ones.

We’re about to embark on a new chapter of our journey.  Our book is due out in a matter of weeks (less in some markets), and we hope to help even more people and animals with it.  And no matter what happens and where this takes us, we will always stay true to our original mission: to get images in their rightful hands.  All of our sessions include prints and digital files.  Always have, always will.  So that you can always have YOUR photos.  YOUR memories.  YOUR legacies.  Cuz when it’s all said and done, we hope to make a difference in someone’s (or many someones’) life.  And that’s really how we hope to make a living.

I'm holding you forever!

 

 

 



Rainbows and Love Letters by Sarah Sypniewski

Well, the end is in sight!  We can’t believe it’s gone so fast…but here we are in the “Author Review” stage already–basically, we’ve turned in all of our stuff and now our editors are filtering it back to us, a few chapters at a time, to look at the edits and changes they’ve made.  They do this by emailing Word documents that track their changes…and because we have 2 authors and 3 editors (who sometimes work on a couple of different computers), the thing ends up looking like a Pride parade puked all over it–but in a good, rainbowy way*.

Editing Makes Us Feel So Gay!

Rainbarf!

The first editing pass is always taken by our project editor, Vicki.  She checks it for general flow, consistency, and organization.  Then she gives it to Todd, our copy editor, who goes through it with his style, grammar, and mechanics fine-toothed comb.  Then it’s passed on to our tech editor, Jenny (a fellow pet photographer), who checks all of our photography and doggie facts to make sure we’re telling the truth and stuff.

It took us awhile to get used to writing within a well-established style and template.  The For Dummies brand is so successful that they don’t want any of us creative types messing it up.  One false move, and “taking liberties with” becomes “driving a great brand into the ground.”  None of us want that to happen.  Now that we’re into it, and have been for quite sometime, it’s been great to have a whole team of people to figure things out with.  We all stick to our own little silos for the most part, but if we have something to contribute that’s a little out of our wheelhouse, we still pipe up.  Not only do we want this book to be the very best it can be, we just love the process of working it out.

Speaking of that, a BIG THANK YOU to the fans who answered our call a few months back for dog names.  We’ve worked just about everyone into the book and with a couple more batches of chapters to go, it’s looking good that everyone will get their mention (with many of our clients having actual photos in the book)!  And thank you for all of your opinions about the cover shot and random photos throughout the past few months.  Your participation has been vital in helping this book reach its potential!  If you haven’t yet had your chance to influence this book’s future, be sure to stop by our Facebook page–when we need to poll the audience, that’s where we do it!

It’s been an incredible journey so far, and as the pages are coming to an end, we’re getting a little weepy with gratitude aimed at everyone who’s ever done anything to lend a paw.  We couldn’t continue to do this without you guys…and that just means the world to us.  It’s very tear-inducing.  But enough of the waterworks–cuz more than anything else, we’re really, really excited to see how this 320-page love letter to dogs turns out.

We heart dogs times 320 pages

Duh.

*Congrats and thank you to NY for passing the latest legislation for equality!



We’re Just a Coupla Dummies by Sarah Sypniewski
February 10, 2011, 2:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

We’ve got some exciting news to share…

…news we’ve been holding in since September…news that is finally official and for sure and awe-freaking-some!

It seems almost surreal that the time has come to finally announce it, but boy, are we excited!

 

Ready to hear it?

 

 

How ‘bout now?  Are you ready now?

 

 

Okay…we’ll stop teasing and just tell you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE HAVE A BOOK DEAL!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You read that right!  Kim Rodgers and Sarah Sypniewski have just gone into contract with Wiley Publishing to author the official Dog Photography For Dummies, due out later this year!

 

Man, it feels amazing to write that.  Actually, we’d rather scream it from the rooftops, but we’ll settle for this.  Might as well get used to writing, huh?

 

Anyway, that’s the big news we’ve been holding in for far too long, and before we go into sequester for the next 5 months, we thought we’d take a second to let you all in on the secret.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page, newsletter, and various blogs for periodic updates on the process…

 

And if you want the full story, read on.

 

 

 

In February 2009, when Kim’s company was in the thick of dealing with the recession by reducing staff hours, Kim took matters into her own hands.  Though she was nervous and unsure, she took a leap.  She decided to create Bark Pet Photography as a way to pursue her love of photography and animals.  I was totally on board and helped her get it off the ground.  In a matter of two years, Bark Pet Photography has become one of the premier pet photographers in Los Angeles.  Kim’s work has been featured all over (maybe you saw her on MSN.com recently), we’ve been able to help all sorts of needy animals, and we’ve met amazing people along the way.

 

Our success with Bark (along with a few other factors) inspired me to follow my dreams, too.  It took me a little longer to get there, but on September 3, 2010, I submitted my resignation to AIDS/LifeCycle, where I’d been for six years.  I left the only industry I knew (nonprofit) to create my own path—part Bark, part consulting, and part writing.  That last part–the writing part–that’s where my true dream was; the other stuff was insurance (though happy-to-do-it insurance).  I had no idea if I was making the right decision, let alone how I would go about making a career out of writing…but I had to try.

 

On September 15, 2010, we got an email through Bark’s website.  It was from an acquisitions editor at Wiley Publishing—the For Dummies division (yeah—as in, those ubiquitous yellow and black books that teach you how to do everything from using Excel to building a shed).  They were looking to publish a Pet Photography For Dummies and would we be interested in putting our hats in the ring to write it, she wanted to know?

 

Um.  Excuuuse me?

 

What was that?

 

We couldn’t believe the timing.  If I was looking for a sign from the universe that I wasn’t totally out of my mind leaving a well-paying, respectable job for nothing certain (and I was), I had found one.  And if Kim was looking for a sign that she had managed somehow to become a respected expert in her field (at least in the eyes of one of the biggest publishers in the country), there she had it.

 

We, of course, immediately told the editor we’d be interested in trying for the contract…and so began the process of vetting: credentials, samples, proposals…it took a lot of hard work on both sides, but now we can safely say that IT’S HAPPENING!

 

We’re a little nervous, but mostly we are just out of our minds with excitement.  We look forward to sinking our teeth into the process and share with the world all we know about this field.

 

I, myself, feel extra grateful–in just four short months to the day, (my last day at ALC was October 8 and we signed the contract on February 8–my father’s birthday) I am writing pretty much full-time.  I still can’t believe it.

 

We’ll see how long it lasts…but for now, we’re just counting our blessings, rolling up our sleeves and diving into this new experience!

 

PS–we’ll still be taking photography and consulting clients during this time, so feel free to contact us to book us when needed!