Halloween is not a huge event in Australia although it’s popularity is growing and if there are children in your neighbourhood you tend to notice it more. We don’t have children, so poor little Bundy bears the brunt of the Halloween costumes on offer at Kmart. This year it was a toss-up between a pumpkin and a glittering red devil costume, however, as a result of my indecision neither made it into the shopping trolley. Fortunately a camera-toting, dog loving friend had underestimated the size of her wolfhound cross when buying a spider costume, and apparently, an XL costume is more suitable for a staffy such as Bundy.
The first photoshoot was conducted in bushland, I thought a natural environment would suit a big, black spider. The messy nature of the background and the floppy legs made it a little harder to see the detail of the costume, and converting images to black and white didn’t seem to help. I then tried photographing Bundy in our backyard with a less cluttered background. At this stage Bundy was pretty much over the costume and I really had to bribe him to do more than stand there and look sullen, as you can see, he still looks sullen but he did cooperate.
More recently I bought a hooded skeleton costume which supposedly glows in the dark. The glow factor of the costume hasn’t been tested, a photoshoot in the dark isn’t something I am prepared for so I am happy to wait until Halloween to see if the costume actually glows. With props in hand and treats in my camera bag, Bundy and I headed off to our bushland setting. Bundy was happy to explore while I stuck fake spider webs on the trees and lit a few candles, thankfully the day was overcast and the rain had dampened the setting minimising any risk of a fire breaking out.
The results aren’t bad although there are a few things I would have done differently:
Sprayed for mosquitoes (huge and vicious things)
Take the time to set the scene up before adding Bundy
Used more candles
Dressed Bundy in a costume that you could easily see from any angle
What do you think? What could I have done differently?
As the weather heats up in Queensland I am reminded of the rainy Autumn days that we spent in Venice in 2015. For the most part, the weather was cold and wet, a high tide was predicted and we could not have been happier. Protected by the covered passage of the Doges Palace we watched a parade of colourful umbrellas and plastic ponchos pass us by.
My life is pretty quiet at the moment, when I’m not doing housework, drawing or hanging out with Bundy I am walking dogs at our local shelter and trying to get decent photos for their profiles. A good profile photo can help draw attention to shelter dogs waiting to be adopted and it helps me by allowing me to practice my skills while doing something I love.
Anyway, here are some of the beautiful kids that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing this year.
No, I’m not having a garage sale nor am I selling all my worldly belongings on eBay in order to fund a life of travel. What I am doing or attempting to do, is to sell products that feature my art and photography. How you might ask? Well, I’m giving the print on demand service Redbubble a test run to see if there is a demand for my style of art and photography. To be honest, the majority of products will feature my photographs because very little of my artwork has been digitised and it will take time for me to build up a digital collection of art with the appropriate resolution for printing.
Redbubble is an online marketplace to which artists can upload their artwork for placement of products such as t-shirts, smartphone cases, tote bags and more. There are a variety of these services available online, you may have heard of Zazzle, Fine Art America, and Society6. Why did I choose Redbubble? For starters, it cost me nothing to set up the site and I don’t have to pay upfront for products to be created, nor do I have to worry about storage or shipping costs. All costs are covered by the commission that Redbubble takes when products are sold, a business model that does not suit everyone however it meets my needs for now. In addition, Redbubble is an Australian based company that was founded in Melbourne back in 2006.
So, if you have the time and the inclination to check out my stuff please let me know what you think. In the future, I would like to add more of my illustrations as well as a few designs that demonstrate my love for dogs. My site https://www.redbubble.com/people/sammijk is in its infancy and constructive feedback is most welcome.
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym
After almost two years of uncertainty at work, the inevitable restructure and change to my role has been and gone. The decision to stay or walk away was made for me as my role was declared surplus to requirements and the options available less than appealing. The emotional rollercoaster ride was intense, feelings of rejection, anger, sadness and fear flooded through me. My confidence was already suffering and this change saw it drop through the floor as I sat and wondered how on earth was I ever going to find another job. Thankfully, my family, friends and colleagues helped me see that there would be other opportunities and that ultimately I would be happier. Saying goodbye to the people I had worked alongside for many years was hard, but knowing that I will see my friends again makes it easier and hopefully, we will all be in a happier place.
So, here I sit, on my lounge at home with Bundy by my side, and I am okay. I miss the truly wonderful people I worked with and of course the income, but this change has been a good thing for me. Taking the time to wind down and relax is doing wonders for my peace of mind and I have more time to dedicate to the things I love. It would be wonderful to find a role that will fulfil my soul and allow me to focus on my passions, or at the very least a job in an area of interest to me. In the meantime, I am setting up an art room to encourage me to paint more and developing my dog photography skills at our local shelter. Bundy seems to be enjoying the extra time he gets to spend hanging out with me and I know he loves being able to stay inside when the weather is cooler. Now that my little boy is in his senior years I definitely love to be able to spend more time with him, making sure he is happy and comfortable.
Blogging has been part of my life for just over seven years and in that time I have dipped in and out of the Weekly Photo Challenge. My blogging is sporadic at best, however, the weekly challenge helped me find the motivation to hit the keyboard and share so I will be sad to see it end.
Although I will still continue to post photos and share stories I fear that I may struggle to find my feet without a bit of a push. Until then please enjoy my farewell to the Weekly Photo Challenge with a few of my favourite photos.