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Animal Image Makers

Education in the Twin Cities

My life has gone through many changes in the last two years. Two summers ago, my (then 13) niece, Lynden, moved in with us. It was a whirlwind last minute transition that none of us planned. We welcomed her happily into our home, but as new parents of a teenager, we were in for some quick hard parenting changes.

Like most things though, as life changes quickly, we must adjust, and adjust fast. My business took a hard hit, I quit picking up my camera almost entirely. It was a shell shock.

A year later, however, I picked it back up and started photographing the Color Guard, that Lynden had joined. Doing so re-sparked me, and helped me feel normal after the year of chaos had started to calm.

Then, out of nowhere, I saw a random post in one of the many photography groups I am involved in on Facebook. Something new was happening. The first-time event of its type, a photography conference geared towards ANIMAL photography, Animal Image Makers.

I had to be a part of it.

Then as things progressed, I became more excited, I had purchased my ticket with no real idea what I was going to do there. I’ve only ever taken a class from Nick Fancher on lighting, and a film class in school to learn to develop film and am basically self-taught on everything else.

Boy was I in for the ride of my professional life.

I planned to arrive two days early just so i could get a feel for Minneapolis. I have never traveled alone so this would be a tiny vacation for me.
The weather had other plans though and a freak blizzard tried to attack the city, leaving it under many inches of unexpected snow. I made do and traipsed around the immediate area I was visiting, Bloomington.

What a wonderful little town. I found some amazing food and something else inspired me while I was there.

Ive wanted to honor Lola, my business namesake, and finally decided on an idea for a tattoo. I did some brief searching on the airplane ride and fell in love with Sarah from Minneapolis Tattoo She made a beautiful rendition of Lola’s ears and crinkled forehead. I am in love with it.

The first evening, I quickly made a group of friends, we all sat down and had drinks and got to know each other personally, instead of just the work we know of each other from online. This would be the core group of people I hung out with the entire time.

I even met the AMAZING and POWERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography. She was, in fact, our Keynote speaker, and stayed for the whole conference, and took classes alongside us.

She changed me. Her words were just so much, and her stories, and her struggles, and her rewards were so educational.

I wish I could write all the amazing things I learned there in one blog post, but it’s just so much. So I’ll leave you with what inspired me the most from Kaylee.

“Light yourself on fire and people will come from miles to watch you burn.”

My flame has been lit.

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Address: 400 West Rich Street, Columbus Ohio
Mobile: 614-219-9489
Instagram: @LuckyLolaStudios

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