Amanda & Furry Hearts

Home for me is a rural property on the outskirts of Perth and a cottage style home that my husband and I built ourselves 10 years ago. A teenage boy, 3 dogs (recently and sadly now 2 dogs), 2 cats, 5 chickens and a rooster help us fill that home with love and laughter. The heart of our home is our big kitchen where we create yummy homestyle meals to enjoy as a family.

We love the space and peace of the country life and will frequently spend lazy afternoons catching the last rays of sun down by the dam and watching the various birdlife. Often with some cheese and the odd glass of wine or two.

After 20 years in the construction industry, both on the tools and on a desk, I found my passion for pet photography when I started fostering for an animal rescue organisation. The challenges from this experience ultimately shaped how I interact with my pet clients.

I work with your pet in a responsive, calm, and patient manner to help them be as comfortable with my presence and my camera as possible. This approach is reflected in my photographic style which tends towards natural looking and gently posed pet portraits.

Meeting Lola

October, 2013. I was trawling my facebook feed when I was halted by a gorgeous brown-eyed, brindle girl staring out at me accompanied by the words “needs foster care urgently, time up this week”. What was this? Why would a beautiful dog not have a home? How is it possible that an animal is actually at risk of dying because there is no one to love it? WTF world?!

I have always been an “animal person”. I’m that person who seeks out and makes friends with the resident pet at any party, and I can’t watch animal movies (or anything vaguely animal apparently… not even E.T. according to mum’s-most-embarrassing-stories-from-childhood) without bawling. My idea of bliss is a contented kitty purring me to sleep or a big warm pooch curled up next to me on the couch providing a handy book rest.

I felt that heart string tug and reached out to offer my home to a newly formed animal rescue organisation by the name of WISH.

That brindle girl ‘Lola’ became my first foster dog.

I’ll be completely honest; she was a challenge. She didn’t like my husband At All (he nicknamed her Lilith) and she had numerous noisy and destructive obsessive behaviours that slowly turned our happy little home upside down. I thought “I can’t do this”, “I am hopeless with animals”, and finally “she’s a rescue… there must be something wrong with her. Broken.”

Well.

I did eventually ask for help and ended up working with dog trainer extraordinaire Cazz. The thing with dog trainers is that you get this funny feeling that they aren’t so much training the dog as they are training you. I learnt that in my efforts to comfort and show pity to Lola (because poor rescue dog) I was reinforcing those obsessive behaviours. Anxious? Scared? Here let me show approval of that behaviour by petting you and giving you attention.

Lola didn’t want pity. Lola didn’t understand pity because Lola was a dog. What she did understand was that I wasn’t confident enough to take care of shit. So I put on my big girl panties and showed Lola that she didn’t need to take care of me. I totally had this. I showed Lola love by giving her what she needed when she needed it (not when I did). I built her confidence by showing consistency and direction. So we learnt a thing or two in our 3 months together, Lola and I. Not least of which is that she bore witness to my headfirst dive into the world of pet photography.

Eventually Lola found her forever home, the next soul needing a home came into my life and I continued to photograph them. The rest they say…

Lola