Greetings and welcome to my new photography blog! Since Zenfolio has been kind enough to add this feature, my husband has encouraged me to use it. Not sure what I will talk about ... especially since I have several thousand photos to edit!
Maybe I'll start with a little background on me. I started showing dogs nearly 39 years ago on June 10th, 1973. I had purchased a malamute puppy from the uncle of a friend, and my locker partner in high school pronounced her show quality from a photograph -- probably a Polaroid I would imagine. My locker partner told me about a fun match that was being put on in downtown Chicago by the Goldcoast KC of Chicago. So my dad and I packed up our little malamute puppy and went. Meska was the only one in her class ... and tried to bite the judge when he looked at her teeth, but an 8 week old puppy isn't terribly intimidating and he laughed and gave her a pink ribbon (first place). She did not get the breed but I have photos from that match and many other shows courtesy of my father, Allan Birmantas.
Fast forward a couple of decades, in the meantime I had become involved in several other breeds (while still having malamutes): basenjis, akitas, then shiba inu. I really enjoyed the shiba inu and ended up specialing one of my dogs for several years, and hanging around for groups (and occasionally Best in Show) more often then not. Mickey came along at the exact right time of my life where I had the opportunity, the time, and enough money to really special a dog and we really enjoyed it. It was fun to hang around all day, chat with people, pull for our friends, etc. During all this time my dad took many many photos and videos. It was totally normal to have candid photos of my dogs. I just assumed everyone did and didn't really think much about it! (Thanks Dad!) Toward the end of Mickey's career I became a homeowner, and in a few years met my husband Jonathan. I was still showing Mickey, along with other dogs, but definitely less dog shows and when Mickey retired, I was unable to find another dog that was the perfect combination of showdog, soundness and a pretty nice shiba.
Sometime after that I made a Facebook account. Whenever I found some old photos hanging around, I started scanning and posting them. People got very excited about seeing photos from the past of dogs they had only heard of and may have only seen in posed win photos. People tagged, they made comments, etc.
Even at that point, the only photos I had were ones that my dad or my husband Jonathan had taken. I had edited quite a few screen shots from Nationals off Jonathan's videos, and at the 2009 National Jonathan also took photos which I edited.
I started taking photos myself at shows I was at in May of 2010. I had no clue of what to do. My camera was on automatic and of course the indoor photos weren't real great. I posted the better ones (i.e., weren't horribly blurry LOL) to Facebook and people started noticing them, tagging and commenting. I won't lie, it's a little addictive.
I had a young male that I had finished that weekend, and he had a few more shows where he was entered so I moved him up to Best of Breed. He was a teenager at the time, and really not a special (he's still working on that 2 years later, but he's starting to look like a male now at least). These were mostly outdoor shows so the photos were better. Still didn't know an aperture from my elbow as my husband likes to say. But he said my photos were better than his, and he gave me his camera to use (a Canon T1i). One thing led to another, people started asking about buying photos so I bought a Zenfolio site and here we are.
Now back to my Grayslake photos!
|6/4 & 6/5||Fox River Valley KC|
|July||Greater DeKalb KC|
|July||Wonderful Wisconsin Weekend|
|October||Berner Specialty - Pheasant Run|
|Mar '17||Chicagoland Shetland Sheepdog Club official photographer & candids|