Pet Photographer - Dog Meets Girl
Your name: Shannon Sweetman
Your business name: Dog Meets Girl
Tell us a bit about your business:
I have been a Lifestyle Photographer for roughly 8 years now. I managed to find my Niche which happens to also be an incredible love of mine , which is Dogs & Photography. I started Dog Meets Girl with the intention of building a Brand where I could be a voice for animals, teach healthy pet ownership, and work with top commercial brands-all through Imagery & living the lifestyle. DMG is big on supporting rescue organisations therefore giving a percentage of my earnings to Dogs in need.
How long have you worked as a photographer?
As a working professional I'm almost at 8 years.
Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
Photography caught me off guard. Having always worked as an entrepreneur in the creative industry, I went from Music to Photography. It started as a hobby - an escape, an opportunity to be present in the moment. The love affair grew instantly! Having never studied Photography, not knowing why a lens was so special, having no clue what all this Shutterspeed talk was all about, I dedicated my time to strengthening a muscle I never knew I had. And continue to wing it to this day :) I guess, no, it didnt take me very long. If you're determined to succeed you will! The fruits of your work is what takes time. I'd say 3-4 years into my career I started to see the work paying off.
If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
I was a DJ for many years, So doing odd gigs here and there would help me along. If I needed to sit behind a desk to do admin for a company unrelated to Photography & incredibly boring (for a creative like me,) I did! As I knew my determination would drive me to achieve my long term plan.
Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
It absolutely chose me & I feel so lucky for it.
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
That's a loaded question:)
Define stable nowdays? It is risky to give your life to the corporate world where you are pretty disposable. It hasn't always been easy as I have this burning desire to go against the grain & do what makes me feel alive . I like to be different & I feel far more secure knowing that I have the freedom to choose my path. I am a very depressed individual if you had to box me in four walls, with set times in place, 5 days a week. Without sounding TOO dramatic, but that absolutely kills my soul. Even when I've tried to take on a 9-5 I've had to leave it and pursue what's good for me & my life. Opting for the unpredictable, stressful, all time consuming , but wonderful life as a Photographer. Thankfully within this I have a great interest in business & marketing which helps when running your own company.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I don't think the day of NOT doubting yourself ever arrives ESPECIALLY as a creative. I doubt myself most days if not everyday. However this is not always a bad thing. I will have days where I doubt my ability, doubt my knowledge, feel insecure for not having a degree - I feel sorry for myself & then I take that energy & begin filling my mind with knowledge, I strengthen my ability & I remember that my art is my own therefore there is no right or wrong, but there is always improvement. You can only get better!
What is your favourite accomplishment?
Most recently I was approached by Woolworths to shoot their entire pet range which is beginning to hit the shelves now. I couldn't be more proud . An absolute honour.
Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
In the near Future I hope to offer basic dog photography workshops. As well as workshops on the language of our pets. For us to give them the best life by us understanding their language and not the other way round.
Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings?
I am very active on instagram and facebook under @dogmeetsgirl or alternatively my website www.dogmeetsgirl.com
What is your favourite lens and why?
Canon 50mm 1.4 - love at first click. I am a sucker for depth of field. What's not to love! Detail, depth of field, it draws your subject to you in the most beautiful way.
Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
I am , but I can't spill the beans! :)
JUST FOR FUN
What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
Right now is ColdPlay ! They nail every single song on every single Album. Huge fan.
What’s your favourite ’90s song?
Other Side by Red Hot Chili Peppers
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Ideas ideas ideas! I love coming up with concepts for business . Both a curse & blessing
What were you like in high school?
Moody! I wanted to be anywhere else other than school. I was a very sweet harmless rule breaker. Thank goodness for friends & lunch break!
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
You are not going to have it all by 20 shan, you're basically in diapers!
Your website: www.dogmeetsgirl.com
Instagram handle: Dog meets girl
Facebook: Dog meets girl