Getting down to the deadline – Author and pet photographer musing on his creative process or a procrastinator hard at avoiding work

Photography books are a labor of love.  They take a lot of time to photograph, write and edit and that assumes that you have a publisher with a creative staff to do the layout, repro work, text editing, printing, promotion (and so on).  Securing a book deal brings a certain amount of elation followed by terrified moments of wondering what the heck I got myself into.  As the deadline approaches, more the latter than the former but once everything is safely in the hands of the publisher, much more of the former than the latter.   It’s a delicate balance.

It’s funny how the mind works.  As I lay in bed at night planning out all of the things that I need to do the next day or week, blogging isn’t usually on that late night list but once I sit down with my laptop, I find that if I don’t do a bit of pre-writing (in the blog or elsewhere), I have a hard time getting to work on the book.  I wonder if that’s a normal sort of process for most writers.  So here I sit, fingers on the keyboard, listening to a bit of music, getting ready to work.   Here’s hoping for a good and productive day.

I’ll wrap up today with a few lyrics with a song rolling around in my head.  Hopefully I’ll be feeling good with today’s progress once bed time rolls around again.

Feeling Good (by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse)

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good

 

 

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Dog training – What a pet photographer does for fun

Proud of my Spring after her first obedience class

Proud of my Spring after her first obedience class

My dogs Spring and Lyle both had a bit of obedience training when we still lived in Lexington, Kentucky and it was clear from the start that Spring LOVES class.  After we moved to Richland, Washington, we enrolled Spring in the Canine Good Citizen class at our local Petco where we met professional dog training Krystal Ellingson.   Spring had a ball and was a better dog for the experience so we signed her up for a trick class.  Then life got too busy.

Fast forward to January.  Krystal now has her own dog training business (for a while actually) and we signed Spring up for K-9 Nose Work.  The point of nose work (in the grand scheme of things) is to get your dog to find target odors.  We started by having Spring find treats in boxes.  Then in rooms or outside.  She finished up her first class last Sunday and now we’ve moved on to the next level – target scents.  Using a bit of anise on a tissue, Spring is learning that when she smells the target odor, she gets rewarded.  Starting Sunday she will start working with birch.  Check out the clips below (sorry not high quality – they were captured with my Droid phone) to see her in action.

If you are in the Tri-Cities, WA area and looking for a dog trainer, Krystal is definitely the one to call.

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Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) Liaison for the state of Washington

I’ve been named a liaison for the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program for the state of Washington.  As a liaison, I’ll be available to help photographers interested in receiving the designation through the application process.  If anyone is interested in the program or would like to sit for the exam, please email me at mike@michaelkloth.com.  For information about the certification program, please visit certifiedphotographer.com.

While it is not strictly necessary to be certified to work as a professional photographer, I believe that the designation can be an important step towards building a successful career in photography.

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Tri-City Digital Photography Club Talk by Pet Photographer Michael Kloth

Still talking. I wasn't keeping very good track of the time. I hope I didn't go over.

Last night I had the good fortune to speak to a fairly crowed auditorium at the Tri-City Digital Photography Club.

Pet photographer Michael Kloth introducing himself to the Tri-City Digital Photography Club

 

I was invited to talk last December about my book Shelter Cats and to give an overview of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom at the March 3rd meeting with each presentation lasting around 20 minutes.  I’ve known about the photography club for most of my time here in the Tri-Cities but hadn’t yet found the time to connect with the group so it was a real pleasure meeting so many of the members last night.

The Tri-City Digital Photography Club offers a host of opportunities for only $25/year and after seeing a glimpse of what they have to offer, I’d definitely encourage anyone interested in photography to join.  Someday when I have a bit more time (does that every happen?!?), I’ll probably join too.   I don’t want to give away any of their secrets but they offer everything from photo critiques, to print competitions, to some really fantastic destination photography trips.  Not to mention all of the speakers and workshops they offer.  I was told that their membership numbers at somewhere around 400 photography enthusiasts – from beginning hobbyists to seasoned professionals.

I had to use a microphone there were so many people at the meeting.

During my Adobe Photoshop Lightroom demo. It would have been nice if I could have faced the audience for this part instead of looking at my computer.

I also had the pleasure of catching up with a number of friends and with a current Academy of Art University student who up until last night, had only been a “virtual friend” on Facebook.  I brought along my camera knowing that I’d be able to convince at least one photographer to document the night for me.  It was tough conditions (and I didn’t give her an off camera flash tutorial before hand) so she had to bump up the ISO to get decent shutter exposures but despite that, Andi did a great job.  Thanks Andi!  The more that I see photos of myself at these kinds of events, the more I realize that I talk with my hands.  I never would have guessed.

So then, all that’s left is to say thank you to the members of the Tri-City Digital Photography Club!  I appreciate your taking the time to meet me and hear a bit about my work.  Happy shooting!

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Shelter Cats – Larger than Life Exhibition – Pet Photography by Michael Kloth

You’ve seen the book.  You love the book (well at least I hope you do).  You think, these cats are beautiful but I wish I could see what they look like printed on gallery wrapped canvases.   And then you think, wow, I wish I could hang one of these beautiful fine art prints on my wall…

Well, relax my friends, I’m happy to announce that all of you wishes are coming true with the Shelter Cats – Larger than Life fine art pet portraiture exhibition at the Washington State University – Tri-Cities Campus Art Exhibition Center.

Okay, so forgive my over reaching a bit but I am very excited the exhibition opening on Monday, March 7.  I set up fifteen prints of some of my favorite cats from the book (and three prints representing a super secret sneak peak of the book I am currently working on) this afternoon and I think they look great on the wall.

The exhibition runs through April 1, 2011 and there is reception on Wednesday, March 9 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm that is open to the public.  The gallery wrapped canvas prints will be on sale and a portion of each sale will be donated to the rescue group that cared for the animal featured in the photograph.  Also, as a special thank you for attending the exhibition in support of animal adoption, I am leaving coupons for half off session fees booked by April 1 (and completed by May 31, 2011).  This offer is limited to the first ten takers so don’t delay.

I sincerely hope to see you all there next Wednesday.

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