A Year to Remember

2021 saw my second "official" year in business as a hunting dog and equine photographer in the Charleston, South Carolina area. It's been an exciting year in terms of opportunity and growth. Some days it feels like the work I do is in vain, but little by little I can see it paying off as more people learn about what I do.

This week I want to show some of the highlights of this amazing year.

Mr. Lee Currens of Williamston, South Carolina with his fine Treeing Walker Coonhound, Willie.

It Started in Orangeburg

I kick off every year with a weekend at UKC Grand American in Orangeburg, South Carolina. This coonhound event is where I got my start showing hounds, and it will always be one of my favorite hunts of the year.

This year I had a group of wonderful ladies that I photographed both inside and outside of the ring. A couple have supported me since the very first time I offered this at Grand American, and I'm so grateful for their loyalty!

Check out a few of them.

I also photograph the Youth Spotlight Show at Grand American every year. Take a look at some of the kids and their hounds. There were some tough handlers, but more importantly they all had a ton of fun with their dogs.

"Celebrity" Clients

I was also blessed to have the chance to photograph some EXCELLENT winning show dogs in spring of 2021. Bridgette Clary, along with her Treeing Walkers (Angus and Hank) and her Bluetick Coonhound (Nala) met me in Florence, South Carolina to gather some images for her dogs' ads throughout the show season.

It was an absolute honor to see my images accompany Angus on his trips to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and other prestigious all-breed dog shows this year. Seeing your images in publications like American Dog Fancier is always a sweet surprise.

I'm looking forward to photographing Angus to commemorate his National Grand Champion title gleaned at 2021 UKC Autumn Oaks when I see Bridgette at the 2022 Grand American next month. I'll also get to photograph Angus' son Hank again, and his beautiful daughter Lily for the first time. It's always a treat and an honor!

I also had the honor of photographing several fine American Foxhounds owned by Angela and Chris Powell of Supply, North Carolina. Angela and Chris met me at Timrod Park in Darlington, South Carolina with the main goal of creating an image of (B)CH. Crossroad Tri. Co. Sam IGWT that would be used on the cover of The Chase magazine commemorating winning The Chase Bench Challenge in 2020. It's always great catching up with the Powell's and creating art with their beautiful foxhounds.

Published! A Goal Met

Many of you may have seen my images and articles in Southern Hound Hunting Magazine throughout the year. I am, admittedly, a better writer than I am a photographer. I've enjoyed penning though provoking, informative, and at times emotional articles for this publication that truly has something for every type of dog hunter. If you haven't already, click here to subscribe. You'll also be seeing my first equine related article in The Paint Horse Journal in 2022!

Images from the Field

This year I tried my hand at taking photos while I judged several foxhound field trials in South Carolina. Being a hunting dog photographer is one thing-doing the job while you also judge running dogs is another thing entirely. Thankfully, I was able to do both successfully, and it was neat letting hunters from several one and two day foxhound field trials see their hounds in action. If you're interested in having me photograph a field trial at your fox pen in 2022, please click here to contact me so we can get you on the schedule.

Caution to the Wind and "Going Back"

In October of 2021, I decided to try my hand at horse show photography. Back story-before I became involved in hunting dogs, I was a horse girl. Literally my ENTIRE life.

I headed over to Camden, South Carolina and spent the day photographing a Palmetto Paint Horse Club show. When I downloaded the images I had taken, I wanted to cry. The photos I saw on my laptop screen looked like the images I've looked at since before I could read in equine industry publications like The Quarter Horse Journal.

I knew I had captured "correct" images, all carefully adhering to industry standard. I had no idea that the exhibitors were going to love them as much as they did though. The outpouring of love and support I received was astonishing.

Two weeks after photographing for Palmetto Paint Horse Club, the Carolina Paint Horse Club contacted me about being the official photographer at East Coast Color Rama in Williamston, North Carolina. I was nervous, totally afraid that I would fail. But I took the leap, and at the end of October I was Senator Bob Martin Agriculture Center bound.

What a learning experience East Coast Color Rama was. I loved the images I produced, but I quickly found that my goal for winter is to learn how to correctly use lighting inside of coliseums. Overall, I met a lot of great folks and learned a lot about the systems and processes I needed to implement when working as an official horse show photographer.

By far the highlight of my weekend was meeting Jaime Foutty and helping her create some stud ad imagery for outstanding young APHA/AQHA stallion, Salt on the Rocks.

Christmas Ponies

This month saw me continuing my equine photography work with a trip to the Pee Dee Open Show Circuit in Darlington, South Carolina. I spent the day as their horse show photographer, and seeing the riders smile over the photos I took of them has been AMAZING. Every time they tag me in a post on Facebook with the photos I took of them, my heart just sings.

One particular treat from the day was creating Christmas themed black background portraits of Freddie and Flint for their owners. Don't they look like supermodels?! They aren't even my horses and I would love to have them on my wall!

To Wrap it Up-THANK YOU.

I can't express how thankful I am for every single hound and horse owner that purchased even one image from me in 2021. I'm also SO grateful for everyone who has shared my words and images on Facebook-together we're presenting a positive picture of the world of hound hunting. That will ALWAYS be the main goal of Southern Sound Photography.

I hope that I'll have the chance to photograph your fine hunting dog(s) or favorite horse in 2022. If you're interested in my work with hounds, click here to learn more about what we do and to book your hunt coverage or private portrait session.

If you're interested in booking me as your official horse show photographer or want to plan sales/ad photos or horse and rider portraits, click here to learn all about what I offer as an equine photographer in South Carolina and the southeast.

Again, THANK YOU for a wonderful year. I'm so excited to see what 2022 brings.

If you'd like to see some more amazing dog photography, be sure to take a look at the next post in our pet photographers' blog ring. Seattle dog photographer, Holly Cook, reminisces about the past 12 months and shares some of her plans for 2022.