Posted on June 11, 2016
When I was first contacted by Angela Adams, asking if I would be willing to give an interview for her column in the Professional Imagemaker Magazine, I was quite stunned.
Professional Imagemaker Magazine has graced my office for many years. One of the many perks of my membership to The Societies Of Photographers, it’s articles have provided endless inspiration and learning, featuring some of the worlds best photographers. I genuinely never even considered that I, would one day feature in the very same publication, let alone over three pages.
Of course I would accept, after all it really was an honour.
At first I did not realise the impact the article would have. Many people know me, know my story and have shared my journey. But it was the one person who knew me best, and knew more of my story than others, that was to be most affected. That person was me.
Why? Well you see, I felt so strongly that I should respect this opportunity by giving careful consideration to each question. However, in doing so I began to appreciate my own journey. It was like I got to travelled that same road, but this time I was able to actually pay attention to the views.
Through hard work, physical and emotional dedication, my dreams began to became reality, but I was almost too blinkered to realise. In life we spend so much time hiding in the shadows that we often do not realise when the shadows have disappeared.
Thanks to Angela’s interview, I was able to take a fresh look and realise how far I had come in such a short space of time.
I hope you enjoy reading the article and feel free to leave your comments.
(Please click on the images to enlarge them, making them easier to read)
Specialist Commercial & Corporate Pet Photographer Goes Behind The Scenes At The Cromwell Veterinary Group, Cambridgeshire.
Posted on May 10, 2016
Our Commercial & Corporate photography service has catered for many companies over the years, ranging from Solicitors firms to large Airlines. However it will come as no surprise, that being a Specialist Pet Photographer, our services are often called upon by those within the Pet Industry.
One such company is the Cromwell Veterinary Group, with whom we have had the pleasure to work with over the past two years. Our time working at the various surgeries has also provided us unique, “behind the scenes” access to the amazing world of veterinary practice, and a chance to capture some “fly on the wall” documentary images, which show the genuine, everyday goings on.
This first image was captured today without the staff being aware. This is a scene we have witnessed time and time again . The affection expressed by staff to all the animals visiting or in their care is heartwarming and a testament to the quality of the team. And as such it was great to get the chance to capture it on camera.
The second image is not just of a cute puppy. It is in fact one of a tiny little chap, born prematurely and rejected by his mother.
His siblings all died and his chances of survival would have been nil had it not been for the remarkable care and dedication given to him by the staff.
Due to being born prematurely he required care that machines could not replicate. He was carried carefully by staff, inside their clothing so he could be reassured by their heart beat and kept warm at the same time. However, his 24 hour care needs meant he would also go home with staff each night, and they would tend to him around the clock, forgoing any idea of sleep!
His survival is proof of their dedication and commitment to go beyond the call of duty and it was so touching to photograph him today as he played and then feel asleep in the hands of those that gave him the chance of life.
We look forward to working with the team again soon and thank them for their openness and hospitality.
Posted on March 11, 2016
Over the years we have photographed hundreds of pets from the usual Dogs, Cats and Horses, to the not so common, Bearded Dragons, Macaws and Syrian Hamsters. However, the most popular pet so far is the dog.
Man’s best friend, originated from Wolves and has been bred for thousands of years to work and live alongside humans. Today, for the lucky ones, they are very much a part of our families. Bringing joy and friendship to young and old, we care for them deeply which of course means that when the time comes to say goodbye, the pain can be unbearable.
As such we here at Detheo Photography, we know how important it is to capture the very essence of a pet’s personality within the images we create, be that from the way they lay with their favourite toy or the way their face looks when they are running.
However, in order to capture these special details, we believe it is important to become apart of the dog’s world. This is why we rarely book Specialist Pet Photography Sessions at our studio. Instead we believe that the best place to work with dogs and other pets, is where they can express themselves most naturally. For dogs, this would be at home, or at a park a forest, or woodland etc.
Outside in familiar places dogs will behave more naturally, sniffing and exploring and have space to engage in play, without feeling anxious or nervous about a new environment.
Studios are quite an un-natural environment for most pet dogs, which can result in excessive pacing, panting and salivating. Others may seem calm, however they are very much aware of the photographer and will be expected to behave as per the photographers requirements.
Instead, for many of our photoshoots, we work mainly from a distance, following and capturing the dogs, as they go about their usual behaviour with little to no interaction form us. Others will have a combination, incorporating time where we may encourage a certain behaviour, include some interactions and even capture some specific portrait images.
So, if you would like stunning images of your dog that really capture their personality, but have been put off by the idea of having to take them to a studio, then our service is exactly what you need.
You will find plenty of information on our website about our Specialist Pet Photography and a link to our prices there too.
You can also see examples of some of our Award Winning Images too.
Detheo Photography specialises in working with all animals catering for all of their individual requirements, including dogs who may be extremely nervous / fearful or unwell. Please enquire to learn more.
Posted on January 30, 2016
Recently, I asked my children if they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our daughter had a few ideas, whilst our son, the eldest, had none. And why should they. So many fantasise about a career in one profession or another, yet the reality is more often than not, far from as glamours as they had envisaged.
What did I want to be when I grew up? Now that is an interesting question. Guess what, the one thing I never considered was a Professional Photographer.
The day to day running of any business is challenging, even more so sometimes, for those of us who do so on our own. Switching off is not always an easy option, even when we know we should.
So there I was, head buried in paperwork when the messages started to arrive. “Congratulations Maria, hope you are well”.
Now, anyone who uses LinkedIn will know that it has this cleaver way of asking people to congratulated others on their new job or in this case, the anniversary of their employment. And on this occasion, I was the one being congratulated.
So “Thank You” to everyone who messaged me, because your messages made me stop and realise what had happened.
5 years ago I started something totally new. Something small and personal, with no expectations, and looking back, definitely no idea, just where it would take me.
In the early days, I seemed to be finding my way in the dark and I know now the mistakes I made were plenty. But I am so grateful for those mistakes. For without mistakes, one can never really appreciate how to do things right.
I also seemed to run into many brick walls, not realising know how important their presence was. Not only did they force me to pause a while and think, but they also taught me how to preserver and use my determination to find my way around them.
Looking back, it is quite overwhelming to see how far I have come.
As I prepare for another busy week, I wonder, what will the next 5 years bring?Whilst I have learnt never to try and predict too much, I do know that the plans are plenty.
In the beginning Detheo Photography was just a name. Today it is a rapidly growth photography business, committed to providing a personalised service to each and every client.
With an already established Specialism in Pet Photography, I know have a thriving business that also caters for Weddings, Families, Beauty Unveiled & Boudoir and Corporate & Commercial Commissions.
Whilst my journey has been challenging at times, I have been blessed with many wonderfully supportive people. My husband and children, my mentor and friend John Denton, my closest friend and whip cracker, Laura, and so many amazing friends (too many to mention but you know who you are) whom I met through the Society Of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP).
Little did I know 5 years ago that I would be an Award Winning Photographer, running my own business, being commissioned by some of the industry leaders in Pet Insurance, Veterinary Care and Maritime Security. Or that my passion for Pet Photography would attract invitations from international renowned photographers to teach in this genre, on their behalf.
So, I am excited for the future and hope you will accompany me along the way, because I know it is going to be amazing.
Why not visit our website http://www.detheo.co.uk and take a look at what we do, the amazing images we have won awards for and read the reviews from some of our clients.
Posted on April 14, 2015
So proud to announce that I have been awarded both a Gold Award and a Highly Commended Award in the March 2015 Monthly National Photographic Society (NPS) Competition.
Having photographed hundreds of pets over the years, I feel very proud of the images I have created and to each of those clients, those images are perfect.
However, when you are submitting images for competition, you are treading on very different waters! Being judged by those at the top of their career, alongside so many other professional photographers is very daunting and what once seemed like the perfect image, beings to fall apart at the seams.
The judges view the images of the first time without the emotional attachment to the subject that the owner has. All they have is the image itself. Therefore, images submitted must have impact, engaging the viewer and translating their story without any words.
As an animal lover who has adopted two rescue dogs, I am often engaging with animal charities and rescue groups throughout the year and doing a little to support their cause. As such I often read very sad and quite disturbing reports of cruelty and suffering, but also reports of amazing individuals who dedicate their lives to saving animals both nationally and internationally.
This inspired me to create the following image that was awarded GOLD.
The second image submitted was captured during one of the many shows we attend throughout the year. Often at these shows, I can photograph up to 100 dogs on one day, in an environment full of noises and smells, capable of distracting even the most well behaved of dogs.
The Rottweiler, just like many other breeds, has been stigmatised for so many years as the “devil dogs”. Misunderstood as aggressive and dangerous, so many wonderful breeds are wrongly labelled this way, with the media ready to pounce when something seems to have gone wrong. The general public never discover the truth behind the story and the stigma deepens, yet the importance of education and understanding of canine behaviour is diluted even further.
I chose this image, which was awarded a Highly Commended Award because I felt it expressed perfectly the true, gentle nature behind our large canine breeds.
Thank you to all the wonderful people and their pets who are such a pleasure to work with.
If you are looking to capture your pets character, to preserve their memory so that it can be treasured for a lifetime, visit our website www.detheo.co.uk to discover more about our Specialist Pet Photography sessions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialist Pet Photographer, based in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire / Essex borders – The Passion Of Pet Photography.
Posted on July 21, 2014
It is often those who do not have animals in their lives that immediately appear surprised when I say I am a Specialist Pet Photographer. They regularly question if there is a market for such a specialism. Then there are those who are aware of other photographers who photograph pets, but have little understanding of the genre and what it truly entails.
And why would they? For like all genre of photography, there is a huge diversity of standards, often driven by the personal values of each photographer. What is seen by the public is merely a snipped. Once they become a client, they then get to read the whole story.
As such, in this article I hope to share with you the passion and values that underpin our “Specialist Pet Photography” title, taking you to the core of what we strive to achieve and why.
Animals have played such an important role in human history and continue to do so in our everyday lives. From guarding to herding, guiding the visually impaired to active war duty. Rightly or wrongly we have used animals to help us hunt, test our medicines, help us travel, and keep us company for thousands of years.
The connection that many of our clients have with their pets is one of great intensity. It is a relationship that conquers the barriers of communication from one specie to another and is far more innate than many give it credit for. With all this in mind, we know that preserving the memory of that relationship is very important. It allows us to celebrate the bond we have now, and continue to honour what we had, once they are gone. Like all photography, the images we create can act almost like a psychological time machine, with the power to instantly transport us back, igniting the memories of touch, smell and sound.
As an individual I spent all of my life around animals always seeming to gravitate towards them. My extended family owned horses and I would spend hours out in the paddocks watching them and talking to them. My mother still recalls my childhood dreams of one day having my own horse and riding it everywhere. Over the years I shared my life with rabbits, hamsters, cats, dogs and birds. I learnt to ride and could be found every weekend, for many years, at the stables. So it was a natural progression that once married and living in our new home, we would share our new life with animals.
Throughout my life a camera was rarely far from my side, however many many years would pass before fate guided me into professional photography. It was to take major, life altering events, to send me in a new direction. But when it did, that innate connection drew me directly back towards animals. With early life experiences as my foundation, I set about building my knowledge further. At this time I had recently come to meet an amazing lady, Laura Shambrook, who ran her own pet services company Pawfect Friends. Little did I know then how hugely influential she would be, not only to my life, but to the future of Detheo Photography.
We met Laura when looking for a reliable alternative to kennels and almost immediately I started to learn so much from her. I volunteered at a local rescue centre and found my new knowledge gave me even more understanding of the dogs there. Over the years I absorbed as much as I could. A sponge soaking up the knowledge she would share with me. It is therefore no surprise to look back now and see that since starting Detheo Photography I have photographed hundreds of pets including dogs, cats, horses, reptiles and rodents.
Our most popular subject is be the dog. The domesticated ancestor of the Grey Wolf, who has been a part of our pack for hundreds of thousands of years, we see all varieties and all with their own unique personality.
Working primarily out on location, photoshoots are designed to enable the dogs to feel relaxed. As such photoshoots are held in gardens, fields or forests where the dogs can behave naturally. We spend time making sure the dogs are comfortable in our company and with our equipment, which often means having to clean some slobbery lenses!
Over the years our skills have grown, both photographically, and through our greater understanding of animals. In turn our reputation has grown and we are regularly called to photograph dogs who other photographers would not, or could not work with. These dogs may appear to be aggressive and some have even bitten through fear. Others are frail and suffering life limiting conditions. Many are just nervous and traditional photographic studios are far too overwhelming.
The ability to work with these dogs and give their families what they once thought impossible fill me with such a huge sense of pride. It takes a great deal of patience, understanding and determination. But it also requires a vast amount of trust. Not only from the family, but from the dog themselves.
Against much pressure and possibly some common sense, I stuck firmly to the passion and the values, that from the start helped build my vision. I have learnt so much along the way and am always learning.
Laura Shambrook, now very much seen as an important part of our family, still runs a very successful pet services company offering excellence in boarding, walking, grooming and training. Her many years of experience and training finds her company head and shoulders apart from the many whimsical start ups we see come and go on a daily basis. So it is with great pride and overwhelming honour to know that Detheo Photography and Pawfect Friends are actively working on some amazing ideas for the future, whilst continuing to integrate services for our ever growing client group.
And as if this was not exciting enough, last year Detheo Photography’s Pet Specialism started gaining recognition within the commercial work of marketing and specifically within the veterinary world. Commissions already have included both leading Veterinary Insurance companies and large veterinary groups. The projects have each been challenging, but an amazing experience. We have met such talented and skilled individuals, with whom we have thoroughly enjoyed working.
And we believe this is just the beginning!
Posted on March 5, 2014
It was during a charity Coffee Morning event that I remember helping a lady with her buggy. We started talking and she noticed the display of my work and commented on how she loved my images. She mentioned she had a friend who was getting married very soon and thought they would be interested in looking at my work, so I gave her a business card and suggested she ask the couple to visit my website.
However, she had other plans, and picked up her mobile, calling her friend to explain the situation. The next think I knew I was talking to a lady and arranging an appointment for her and her partner to visit the studio.
It was lovely to meet Jane, Stephen and little Lewis on that first visit. Their wedding was due to take place in less than eight weeks time, not far from our studio, at the magnificent Down Hall Country House Hotel, in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.
As we always do, a personalised package was created especially for Jane & Stephen. However, on this occasion we needed to include a special guest appearance. Jane explained that she had booked someone very special to appear in the evening and the couple would want some images taken together with the start before he made his entrance – but it had to remain a surprise.
On the day, the hotel was decorated ready for Christmas and set such a beautiful scene. Everyones seemed to have a brilliant time and the guest appearance definitely took them all by surprise.