It all started with a pitch to Cheshire Life
If anyone wants to learn how to pitch to the press or radio, then Rachel Spencer is your woman! (https://www.publicityforpetbusinesses.co.uk)
It’s a completely alien thing for me to do and totally out of my comfort zone. Luckily, I’d already had a conversation with the editor last year which made my approach a bit easier but it’s still a bit scary to put myself out there. But if I’m not going to do it, then no-one else will !
My idea centred around National Dog Photography Day which is on the 26th July 2022. It’s a big day for me on social media – bit like Christmas for a dog photographer!
A staggering fact for you – we take 77 million photos of our dogs every week according to Nature’s Best in Edition Dog Magazine! It’s no wonder that interest in the day is huge and in recent years it’s trended on Twitter.
The Editor said Yes!
We decided to run a competition with the local, and very successful, Facebook group Dog Walks In Cheshire. I offered a dog photoshoot and a framed print as a prize for the best photo of a Cheshire dog. We had hundreds of entries. Roger Westwood, who runs Dog Walks in Cheshire, had an incredibly hard job of whittling down the entries to a final 5 which we put to a vote in the group itself.
And Inca won! Owned by Pat, Inca is a gorgeous Flat Coated Retriever so I was delighted to meet them both in Marbury Park for our shoot. Inca was a perfect dog model for me – full of energy and a water lover!
Pat chose this photo from the selection I sent her and so it was duly framed, it now hangs on her living room wall. This is what Pat had to say about our dog shoot together.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Nicki on a photoshoot I or should I say we won, my Flatcoat Inca being the very significant other. Felt completely relaxed in Nicki’s company as did Inca, definitely a dog lover, can tell that immediately. Lots of fun and lots of photos which culminated in Nicki getting in touch to make another date as she wanted the perfect photo which she certainly got and is now framed courtesy of Nicki and hanging in my lounge. A consummate professional I wish her everything she wishes for herself in the future and Im sure we will keep in touch. If you want a treasured keepsake of your dog look no further
The Editor wanted 5 tips for the readers on taking dog photos and 5 locations in Cheshire where the best spots are for photography. Pretty easy for a Cheshire dog photographer!
I was also given a paragraph to talk about what I do and publish my contact details and website which was brilliant for The Art of Dog Photography exposure.
I submitted a few photos and left it up to the editor to pick which ones to print.
A few weeks later, the Editor phoned me to ask if I had any photos of a dog in a Cheshire sunflower field in my portfolio. She thought it’d look fabulous for the August front cover! I had to admit that I don’t but I could try & get one in time for the early July deadline.
I found a local sunflower grower who said we might be lucky to get flowers in bloom in time for the extremely tight deadline but it was all dependent on the good old British weather! But no. It didn’t happen. The sunflowers weren’t ready in time so we had to think of a plan B!
The editor wanted a bright and cheery vibe and had seen an Instagram picture of a meadow field in a Northwich park. So me and my beautiful furry assistant and model Fern had a trip to Northwich and a photoshoot in a gorgeous patch of wild flowers.
Luckily for me, the Editor loved the results and so Fern is the star of the August issue of Cheshire Life! Proud dog mum moment!
But it doesn’t end there…
I’d reckoned on a double page spread in Cheshire Life with the focus on #NationalDogPhotographyDay, the two sets of photography tips and the couple of photos I’d sent being the bulk of my feature. And I was so happy with that, especially now my photo was chosen for the front cover. What an accolade!
However, the Editor had one more request up her sleeve!
She’d love some photos of dogs but with a background that was visibly ‘Cheshire’. Now, that sent my head spinning as I looked through my portfolio. I have lots of photos of dogs in Cheshire, but not that you’d be able to recognise where they were taken.
It’s quite a skill to have a dog as the star of the shot but still retain the sense of a place within the frame.
So I grabbed (not literally) some of my four legged models, scratched my head to think of recognisable locations then headed out with my camera.
Alderley Edge was first with its famous view over the Cheshire plain: Knutsford, with its iconic main street; Bramall Hall, resplendent with the black & white timber-framed Tudor manor house; Lyme Park, where Mr Darcy rose from the lake in the BBC’s adaptation of Pride & Prejudice; Quarry Bank Mill, one of the best preserved textile factories of the Industrial Revolution.
So, with more photos available, my double page spread transformed into several pages. I am over the moon. What an opportunity to showcase my business – personalised Dog Wall Art for your workplace & Commercial Dog Photography for businesses.
Fingers crossed, the exposure and publicity will gain me lots of new furry clients in lots of new businesses. How exciting!
If you’d like to be one of my new customers, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or book a no obligation, friendly 15 minute chat Calendly.com/the-art-of-dog.
My website is www.theartofdog.co.uk