You don’t have to own a Pit Bull to know that they get a bad rap. Any dog owner could tell you who Michael Vick is, and even if they’re not a fan of Pit Bulls, they wouldn’t agree with the practice of organized dog fighting. Having owned 3 Pit Bulls at one time (my middle child passed away in May 2017, you can read all about that here…warning: you may need a tissue), I know first-hand the negative Pit Bull stereotyping and judgments that are thrown in the faces of Pit Bull parents on a regular basis.
For those who don’t know…imagine walking your dog and seeing some one cross the street in front of traffic just to avoid walking passed you. Imagine being forced into a home you can’t afford or a town you don’t want to live in because they don’t allow your dog to be there. Imagine meeting a fellow dog lover who suddenly wants nothing to do with you because they discovered what breed of dog you have. This is the kind of treatment Pit Bull parents receive regularly. It’s just not fair to them, and it’s not fair to the dogs.
Think about it…it’s one thing to dislike a certain breed for whatever reasons (maybe you just aren’t fond of big dogs, or your need a dog that serves a specific purpose), but for those who are hating on Pit Bulls just because of their past are literally holding a grudge against some one who was forced to do something against their will. These dogs don’t WANT to fight, they’re being forced to. There’s dogs in China that are being forced to wear kid’s clothes and walk upright on their hind legs just for some viral video craze, but no one holds a grudge against them. They feel sorry for them. But because of what the Pitties were forced to do (kill other Pitties), suddenly they’re classified as horrible, vicious dogs.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, a significant amount of progress has been made in preventing dog fighting from existing, as well as educating the public on all the good qualities that Pit Bulls have. Take Gigi, for example…she spent her childhood unwillingly participating in the Missouri 500 dog fighting games. The organization was busted in 2009, freeing Gigi, along with over 350 other dogs who were brought into shelters in hopes of finding loving homes. Shortly after, Gigi met her soulmate parents who have since rehabilitated her and certified her as a therapy dog. Despite her brutal past, which is evident by her scarred appearance and one blind eye, she now happily volunteers at Love on a Leash Pet Therapy. Together with her mom, they visit veterans, seniors, and adults with mental disabilities to brighten their days with her wagging tail and infectious smile.
With that said, we have a long way to go before Pit Bulls and their parents are “accepted” in society the way other breeds are…the way they deserve to be. And it’s up to us to do something about it. Trying to convince the public that Pit Bulls are sweet, loving animals will not be easy. They are, in fact, genetically dispositioned to attack and destroy. And they do, in fact, account for the majority of fatal dog bites in the U.S. BUT, I believe we can help minimize the chances of these types of incidences from occurring. With education and responsible pet ownership, we can help Pit Bulls become the dogs they’re meant to be. It’ll be a long journey to get there, but we have to start somewhere. So, to begin, there’s one simple thing you can do to help show the public how wonderfully beautiful these dogs are, inside and out.
What’s that one simple thing? Share pictures of your Pittie. Seriously! Show the world how loving they are by photographing them giving kisses to you and/or your family members. Nothing says “what a sweet pup” like a photo of a dog licking a baby’s face or the two of them getting along like best buds. Praise their skills by sharing pictures of them performing tricks and other talents. These are dogs are eager to please which makes them fast learners. They’re smart! Make a commitment to teach them a new trick every other month, then share it. Get them certified and take them to visit hospitals, veterans, elderly homes, kids with special needs. Take pictures of them interacting with these people that benefit from having them in their lives.
Dozer may be a big Bull, but he’s not a bully. Having almost not survived his first few days of life, he was rescued and now lives happily with and his brother, Sawyer. And they are two peas in a pod. They sleep, play, and eat together. Dozer even lets Sawyer ride on his back like a horse!
Hurley & Titan have a sister with Down Syndrome who they absolutely adore. And it goes without saying that she adores them back. Pit Bulls like Hurley & Titan are the epitome of “family dog,” showing nothing but unconditional love for their family members.
If we all show the world how big our little Pittie’s hearts really are, we’ll continue to make progress towards their acceptance. Pit Bulls deserve to be given a chance. With out help, they can be treated with the same love, respect, and kindness that other breeds receive. Like I said, it’s a long, tough journey ahead, but we’ve got to start somewhere. Every little step we take towards educating ourselves on responsible ownership, and educating the public on our progress helps. So join the cause, learn about the breed, practice safe ownership, strengthen their non-violent skills, help raise awareness, take some pictures of your Pittie and share them! If you’re not the best photographer and you feel you can’t do your dog justice, call or email me. I would LOVE to help you 🙂
Want to help stop negative Pit Bull stereotyping in a bigger way? Donate to your local Pit Bull non-profit. Awareness groups and rescue organizations (like San Diego’s “SD Pittie Parents” and “Passion For Pitties“) are always looking for help. Also, keep an eye out for my special promotion that I’ll be having during National Pit Bull Awareness month (October)!
Photos taken at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.
Many clients go into a photography session thinking they want all the photos as digital files because it’s easier, cheaper, faster…The truth is, most clients THINK they want digital files because they simply don’t know the true value in other, more tangible products. That’s why I’m here to explain the pros and cons of purchasing digital files, so that you can make the educated decision (as opposed to an assumption) on whether or not you should buy them.
1. Freedom to DIY
If you’re like me, you love to create. And having a stockpile of professional photos in your creativity toolbox offers endless possibilities for crafting. With digital files at your disposal, you’re able to rock your DIY skills in a way you probably couldn’t do if you had taken the photos yourself.
BUT…this also requires you to DIY. If you’re like me, you’re also pretty darn busy. So, trying to find time to create something just for fun is not always easy. Before you know it, it’s months, even years later, and those digital files are still sitting on that USB drive, waiting to be transformed into a work of art.
2. Longevity of files vs prints
Despite the fact that technology is ever-changing, a JPG file is still more likely to last longer than a 16×20 print. This is simply because of it’s form – files can be kept safe on a computer or hard drive, while prints are out on display for all to see and touch.
BUT…what’s the point of having those files if no one gets to see the photos? Isn’t that the point of getting professional pictures taken? To display for all to see, to show off how adorable your pet is, to showcase your family’s unconditional love?
Plus, just because your digital files are safely stored on your computer, doesn’t mean they can’t accidentally get deleted or lost. It’s a lot easier to lose a dinky little JPG file in a sea of photos and other computer clutter, than it is to lose a 16×20 framed print.
3. Instant gratification and ability to share
In today’s world, most people desire instant gratification, especially when it comes to photos. They want to immediately show off their images and brag about how much fun they had during their photo shoot and how skilled their pet is at modeling. And when photos are in digital format, it makes sharing extremely fast and easy.
BUT…with patience comes great reward. A photo that is shared on social media and viewed on a screen no bigger than your hand doesn’t receive the same response as if that same photo was shared as part of a large wall gallery in your living room. If you want to really impress your friends and family, invite them over for dinner and show off your wall gallery that was designed to be admired by an audience.
With that said…I don’t believe in holding photos hostage. I really want my clients to share their photos with the world! That’s why I include a custom mobile app with every session. It provides clients with a fast and easy way to share all their photos on social media, email, and/or in person. Read more about the custom mobile app HERE.
4. Cost vs Value
Now, before I go off on a tangent, let me just say that this is the biggest misconception clients have about digital files. And I don’t blame them! It’s a common misunderstanding, so let me explain…
Professional photographers who value prints over digital files will charge anywhere from $25-$200 for an 8×10 print. And the first thing many clients think is “why is it SO expensive? It cost $0.15 at Costco/Target/Walmart!” Well, big surprise…professional photographers aren’t getting their photos printed at Costco, Target, or Walmart. We use professional labs that print our images the way they’re suppose to look. If a client takes a digital file and has it printed somewhere other than through the photographer, they run the risk of receiving a low quality print that looks nothing like the photo they see on their screen. In fact, its’ almost guaranteed to NOT look the way it’s suppose to.
By trying to save money and get prints made at a low-cost lab, you not only devalue the work of the photographer, but you also devalue the investment you made in the photo session. If you’re going to invest hundreds of dollars on a photo session, you’re only cheating yourself by trying to save a few bucks on prints.
With that said…most photographers will still offer digital files, but at a premium price. I do this simply because at the end of the day, I want you to get the products you really want, but I also want you to spend your money wisely. I charge a higher price for A La Carte digital files because I don’t want that to be the only thing you buy. By purchasing a package, you still get digital files, but you also get all the other tangible items that you’ll be much more satisfied with, and you save up to 40%!!
If you’re looking for convenience, there are tons of photographers out there who offer the shoot-and-burn “service.” I use “service” in quotes, because to me, that’s just not MY idea of “real” service. It’s quick and cheap…just shoot and hand over the digital files. Done, bye! And that can be convenient for some…not having to get together for multiple meetings with the photographer, not having to figure out what products to order, not having to do much of anything besides show up for the photo shoot.
BUT…if you’re looking for a photographer who’s going to cater to your needs, listen to your goals, invest time and energy into creating a custom experience and products designed specifically for you, then shoot-and-burn is not the route you want to take. You’re not looking for convenience, you’re looking for custom.
And digital files are the LEAST custom option when it comes to professional photography. Besides the fancy USB drive they come on, there’s nothing custom about it. Sure, the images themselves were taken at a photo shoot that was customized for you, but the entire experience is meant to be customized, so why stop at the products?
With that said…you don’t necessarily have to skip out on the convenience. My sessions are designed to be as convenient for my clients as possible. I find other ways to make it easy and enjoyable for you, like letting you sign paperwork electronically, providing payment plans if needed, sending friendly reminders and suggestions for preparing, and my all-time favorite, the Art Installation service…It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
So, if you THINK you want to purchase digital files, I encourage you to THINK a bit more about WHY you actually want them. Explain your reasons during your Consultation and I’ll help you determine what it is you REALLY want!
Want to book a Consultation to discuss it further? Have more questions about digital files? Call or email me, I’m happy to help!