This is Annabelle.
She has a home with John; they live in Manhattan.
Annabelle is going to be the face of a fund dedicated to helping Stray from the Heart with vet bills, so she needed a photoshoot.
I have no idea what she’s doing in this picture, but I think it’s pretty funny.
Isn’t she cute?
I’m back to selling photography! See my new store here!
I had a go at selling on Etsy a while back, but didn’t like it. On Etsy you pay a tiny fee per listing. That’s fine – it’s an amount I could cover with the coins dug out of my couch cushions – but it was annoying to pay given the lack of volume of business my store did every month.
I closed up shop and let it sit dormant. My best sellers were my copyright violating P*ep photos, anyway, and I couldn’t continue selling them.*
One of the beauties of SxSW is the people you meeting hanging out in the hallways, at the parties, in the bars, and at the dinners. I serendipitously wound up one night at a table full of people who were launching a start-up called “Store Envy” storenvy.com
It’s a similar concept to Etsy; the biggest difference for me is that they don’t have a fee per listing. Like Etsy, it’s free to launch a store, although it’s in private beta now. (They currently have Pro stores available that offer warehousing and shipping for a 15% fee) I requested a free beta store and got one, because they like me.
You can visit it by going to theambershow.storenvy.com Right now I’ve listed nine different 8×10 and 8×12 prints.
One thing I’m going to do in the near future is offer custom-cut mats. The problem with the way I (and a lot of people) shoot is that we compose our images in 2×3. That’s normally a 4×6″ photo, and if you blow it up again, 8×12″. Most frames, of course, come in 8×10″. There would be a HUGE market for anyone who starts making reasonably-priced frames for 8×12″ prints, as many of us are loathe to cut off those two inches for many of our favorite pictures when we blow them up.
Since no one has thought to make millions doing this yet, custom matting is the solution, but Hello! Expensive! So I’m going to start offering custom mats (bought in bulk), sized to fit both 11×14″ frames (a standard size frame you can find anywhere) and 11.75×15.75″ frames, the size of the most common RIBBA frame from IKEA, and frame of choice for cheap people everywhere.
Go check out my shop and pass it along to your friends, if you would. I’d appreciate it so much. If you have a suggestion for me, please share. Currently, 100% of the profits from the sale of every $10 print will be going directly to getting these little guys off the beach and into a good home. They are puppies born recently to a dog called Patches that some of my Puerto Rican dog rescue friends have noticed on the beach. We really don’t want them to languish in the filth they’re in, but there is currently zero dinero to help them with. Since I’ve gotten a handful of emails asking whether some of my prints were for sale over the past few months, this seemed like a good move all around.
*For you newer readers: I got a cease-and-desist letter from the maker of P*eps, telling me I couldn’t use their image for commercial purposes. If you’d like one, I still have a few of both “Godzilla vs. P*ep” and “4 P*eps” available, yours free with a $10+ donation to Manos Por Patas. Just forward your receipt to me with your address and I’ll send it along.
I looked into buying a full-frame DSLR camera. Holy mother of dog! They are expensive! Even the prices on refurbished ones had me reaching for a paper bag to breathe into. I had no idea. This is what I really want, a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Last week I was asked to take photos of dogs for an organization called Stray from the Heart. They place dogs in foster care and try to find them “forever homes”. Most folks don’t have good, clear photos of the dogs they’re fostering and don’t know how to take them. But good photos go a long way to make a good first impression on potential adoptive owners, so they’re pretty important, and since I take pretty good photos of my own dogs they reached out to me for help, and I was thrilled that they did.
My first session was Sunday in a dimly lit apartment. I did the best I could and managed to get some good shots, but I got frustrated at the noise in the photos and the lack of rapid-focusing I needed. The experience hammered home the point that I’ve maxed out what I can do and learn on my Rebel Xti, and I’m ready to take on something beefier. The research begins.
In other pet photography news, Sarah from Things are Better with a Parrot exchanged some of her printed note cards for a photography session with pet photographer Li of Fat Orange Cat Studio. I spent an hour today pouring over Li’s website. She’s just started her business a year ago, and my favorite parts of her site were reading the “learning” parts of her blog. It’s so inspiring!
Happy one year of Tino to me, Rob, Matty and Leeloo! A year ago I picked him up at the airport. He was supposed to be under anesthesia for the flight, but when I collected him he was wide awake.
It’s been a long year, honestly, but I’m so glad we have him. He’s pretty awesome.
My coffee is organic, fair-trade, shade grown and whole bean. Always. I’m a total hipster snob about it, I know. I also love micro-roasters, which, like a micro-brewery would for beer, make small artisan batches of coffee instead of churning it out, loveless style, in a big factory. Also, I have always loved small business, especially ones that employ eco-friendly, socially conscious practices, so I was pretty excited to find out about Good Dog Coffee, which is a micro-roaster based in Maryland. They brew coffee that hits my four requirements, and they teamed up with Manos por Patas [the organization in Puerto Rico that helped us rescue Tino] to make a “Sato” blend ["Sato" is the slang term for strays in Puerto Rico.] A portion of the proceeds goes to help them.
I waited until I’d had a few cups before I talked about it, because I didn’t want to endorse a product that sucked. This is why the bag in my photo is opened and rumpled, not pretty and smooth. This is serious journalism going on here!
I love the coffee. It’s up there with some of the best I’ve had, and the price, $12.95 per pound, is exactly what I would feel comfortable paying for a coffee of this quality with the proceeds going to charity.
Greetings from Puerto Rico!
I thought getting wi-fi would be easier than it has been, so I didn’t bother posting the “I’ll be away for a few days” message. Turns out it’s available in the rooms for $15 a day, which I’m NOT paying, but there’s free wi-fi in the lobby of the resort we’re staying in. Because of this, it is only now, after my first full day of basking in the sun, that I’ve had a moment to come sit and type away.
It’s beautiful here: 80-something and sunny, and with palm trees and blue water and shit. Tropical stuff. It’s great. There’s a part of me that is so, so heavy, though. It was just about a year ago, here in Puerto Rico, that I first laid eyes on Tino, broken and abandoned. It was the single most painful moment of my life; he absolutely broke my heart.
Of course his story has a happy ending so it was worth the pain, and through coming in contact with all the people that helped save him I have learned so much about the plight of dogs here in PR. (Oh gawd, I hear you thinking, there she goes again.)
I am glad to know, but I’m disgusted with the Puerto Rican government for letting this go on, and for their callous treatment and dismal standards of conduct in regards to these animals. I actually feel a bit guilty being here supporting the tourism business (although I’m not paying for this trip, and, in the end, family unity won out).
Of course, then I think: who says things like, “I’m disgusted with the Puerto Rican government?” Me, apparently. I don’t talk about it too much because it’s impossible to do without sounding like a total jackhole, but learning what I know changed me forever. I am glad to be informed; on the other hand it is a horrible thing to be informed of.
Speaking of dogs, I miss the trio terribly. I’m having fun, I love Rob’s family, but I miss them so badly. Carissa is watching them and house sitting for me, and I sent her three or four excessively long emails detailing how to feed them and care for them. I’m a nervous mother! I stopped short of writing down the lyrics to “The Song for Chubby Dogs”, which I sing to them daily, but I considered it. (I’m not kidding.) They can live without the song for a few days, I’m pretty sure. (Oh, I hope! Maybe I should call her and sing it, so she knows the melody…?)
A lot of people asked if we are going to bring home a fourth dog this time around. We’re not, we have a lease with a landlord that had to be talked into accepting three dogs, but if we still lived in a house… maybe. I’d be tempted to snag one of these little girls. They look like Matty Minis!
I don’t know if I’ll be blogging anymore while I’m here. You can keep up with my twitter feed if you miss me, and I’ll be posting flickr photos when I can, mostly via mobile uploads with my iPhone.
If I don’t check in before then, happy New Year!
This morning I extended my palm to Tino and asked him to “give me paw”. It’s something we’ve taught all of our dogs, a handshake for a treat. Matty and Leeloo learned fairly easily, but in the nearly-a-year we’ve had Tino, he hasn’t gotten it. He started raising one paw slightly in response to the command, and I would take it, shake it and praise him, hoping it would click sooner or later.
Today when I asked his tiny paw landed with soft “pat!” in the palm of my hand. I was stunned, and then thrilled! He learned something! I squealed and loved on him, and he looked very pleased with himself although it was obvious he was totally unsure about what all the fuss was about. I made him do it a few times to make sure it wasn’t a fluke; it’s not. He learned a trick! This is huge, and I am one proud mama.
At Thanksgiving with Rob’s family, a “pick a name out of a hat and buy for that person” idea was suggested for Hanukkah gift exchange. I happen to like this method, but Rob and I have already decided that we’re doing donations this year in lieu of gifts. One, it’s less expensive. Even though we’re ok and will be for a long time, we’re being cautious. Two, there are people we love doing work we believe in, and they need help. I’d rather save lives than give unnecessary things. In my own mind (or “heart”, if you will), this kind of holiday has been a long time coming, and I’m excited. I’m not condemning frivolous gift-giving; it’s fun, and joyful! But right now it’s not where we’re at.
I have to figure out how to present a donation gift. I was thinking individual pictures of dogs that we’d be helping printed onto cards. My sister-in-law gave cards out when she donated money to Noah’s Ark, and those were cool.
Any other ideas? I don’t want to be cheesy.
P.S. Be sure to check out my gift guide, coming on December 8, which will feature fun and frivolous gifts, as well as where and how you can find charities to donate to for holiday gift giving. I will share all the methods I’ve come up with on presenting these humanitarian gifts. Also, if you are doing a gift guide on your blog, send me the link and I’ll feature it here. I’m curious to see what my fellow bloggers are cooking up!
Oh no! Why are these adorable bunnies all blurred out?! Have they committed a crime?
Do you know that the image of a Pe… er … “certain brand of marshmallow bunny” is copyrighted, and that you can’t sell photos on Etsy of these “certain brand of marshmallow bunnies”, even if you don’t use their proper name in advertising. Even if you’re just a nice girl, living in Brooklyn and selling art prints to raise money for charity. Even if you write the owner of the image after receiving a (very nice but firm) take down notice of this certain brand of marshmallow bunny and ask nicely, because, Oh my God they’re just photos and THEY’RE SAVING DOGS AND DON’T YOU KNOW THAT SAVING DOGS IS IMPORTANT WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?
I know. I should fight the man. But The Man is pretty big, and I’m not even certain if I’m right. Lots of really smart people have gone back and forth about copyright laws in cases such as these, but I personally am not sure what the legal correct answer is. All I know is that I got a take down letter from the owner of the image of this “certain brand of marshmallow bunnies”, and I can’t sell my prints of them any more in my sad, empty Etsy store.
I’m giving them away. I still have some copies of each of these left, and I am upset because they were my best selling prints and made a lot of people happy. So, lemons into lemonade.
If you would like one for free, here’s what you do:
1. Make a $10+ donation to Manos por Patas/Hands for Paws here. (I was selling them for $10 and kicking $5 from each to them, but now they get the whole thing. Also, postage is free for you. I’m eating the shipping, so bargain! Woo hoo!)
2. Send me proof of your donation, your home address and print preference to theambershow at gmail dot com
3. Feel smug knowing you were able to help a worthy cause, damn the man, and save the empire.
You’ll be getting rid of my prints for me and helping out some great little pups who are way cuter than marshmallow bunnies.
We need artwork for the Puerto Rico sato family reunion for Nov 9. I’m looking for someone to translate my thoughts to paper. My concept is a “We Are Family” slogan with a group of cartoon-like dogs all gathered around each other, arms over shoulders, etc…. We need a design within 10 days max so I can get the t-shirts ordered. I’m throwing it out there for anyone to send me mock-up of their design idea. Thanks guys! ginny
This is a call for help from Ginny, the woman who helped us rescue and rehab Tino after we found in him Puerto Rico. If you are so inclined to help out with your super-awesome drawing skills, drop me a line (theambershow at gmail dot com) and I will pass on your info to her.
Tino says thanks!