It’s been another crazy year for Debora and me at Houndstooth Studio.
Our travels took us to Bali (to photograph for the Bali Animal Welfare Association), Cambodia (to photograph for Wildlife Alliance, Free the Bears and For the Animals), Norfolk Island (to stay with our dear friend Sorrel Wilby and her fab family), Cairns (to photograph crocs and cassowary’s), Melbourne (to hosting an exhibition of our Bali images at the Bali Street Dog Nights event), and Tasmania (to photograph for Brightside Farm Sanctuary). Between these trips and our wonderful studio clients, we photographed more than 1200 animals, including dogs, cats, mice, ferrets, donkeys, monkeys, sugar gliders, rats, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, birds, turtles, possums, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes and lizards. Naming them all one by one is a whole other post, haha!
There were TV appearances, business and photographic awards , images published in books and on magazine covers, photos going viral online and viewed by millions, and over a dozen media articles written about our work and studio. This was all fabulous recognition for what we do…
…but the three most important things for us in 2012 involved charity, friendship and a new pup:
GIVING BACK – Charity
Giving back is a large part of what we do. We are compelled to use our images to contribute to the greater good, and this is something we value greatly. Janice Girardi, founder and director of BAWA paid me the greatest compliment earlier this year by saying “Alex does not choose to adopt an animal charity in order to promote the social conscience of her business – she is the social conscience of her business. Her actions are living proof of this.”
In 2012 Houndstooth Studio donated in excess of $500,000 worth of photography services, images, vouchers and/or sponsorship to over 40 state, national and international animal charity organisations. Whilst this makes us very proud, it pales in comparison to how privileged we feel to work with these amazing groups and people who are changing the world. You are our heroes.
Speaking of People….
KINDRED SPIRTS – Friendship
Working with animals 24/7 brings the amazing bonus of meeting many like-minded ‘animal people’. We are blessed to call these people our friends – Janice and Kim from the Bali Animal Welfare Assocition, Anne Fulwood, Emma and Lizie from Brightside Farm Sanctuary, Jen Skiff author of the Divinity of Dogs, Cam the Badpiper, Dave, Geoff and Sahara from Diggers Herding, Amy and crew from Animal Amnesty, Rebecca from For the Animals, Suwanna from Wildlife Alliance, Suzie from Animism, Rach and Dave, Dr Tiff from Kalamunda Vet, Debra from Oscar’s Law, Morgan Marks, Christine from Keep Talking, Jayne from Heart of Horsemanship, Matt from Free The Bears, Lisa Baker MLA, all of the dedicated staff and vollies who give their time to the charities we work with (Bob, Colin, Karen, Pat, Mel Y, Gaye, Ruth, Nicole, Dave, Liisa, David S, Roz, Nat F, other Nat, Tan, Nick, Edie, Sue, Melita, Katrina, Anita, Cate, Dana, Ash, Mel J, Paula, Sue, Nicole T, Carmen, Lyn, Karen, Sue T, Sharyn, Lisa C, Lisa R, Jeff, Dave T, Jan, Lora, Donna, Kerryn, Helena, Tina, Deanna), our Team Houndstooth members (Dan, Vicki, Talita, Anj, Shannon and Caitlin), and the countless others. You are all family.
PIP THE PUP
Possibly THE BEST event of 2012 was adopting our puppy Pip from Greyhound Angels. She is indeed an angel herself and brings joy, love and light wherever she goes, even in her moments of bouncy puppy madness. We love her more than anything and she makes our home complete.
THE GOOD WITH THE SAD
2012 also brought some sad times and we know for some it was a year they would rather forget. In May my dear friend Richard Barry, a talented photographer and rising star, took his own life. Our BAWA photo exhibition, held just 3 weeks later, was dedicated to him and when his lovely wife Sam won the huge raffle prize, I wondered if maybe he was somewhere there too. I miss him every day yet am grateful for the new friends I’ve connected with since his death, who were his friends too. It’s nice to know that even in the darkest times, there are shinning lights.
There was an outpouring of grief when news broke about the passing of Koko kelpie, star of Red Dog the movie. I had the pleasure of photographing Koko, as recently as September. He was a one-of-a-kind superstar without the ego. May he live on forever in Red Dog; a movie masterpiece if ever there was one.
We want to extend the biggest thanks to you, all of our loyal, kind and supportive clients, friends and Facebook followers. Your excitement and joy for our work gives us the encouragement to keep striving for perfection and continue doing what we love most. We couldn’t do it without you and we promise you wonderful things in 2013 as we take Houndstooth Studio to the next level. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
In closing, our wish is for everyone to consider doing just one extra thing to make the world a better place for all animals – volunteer, adopt, foster, assist with shelter dog walking, help with transport, run or attend events, fundraise, donate unwanted bedding or towels, buy pet toys, give food, skip the pork at Christmas, help out in the office of your local rescue, choose cruelty free, sponsor a bear, orang-utan, farm animal or koala, sign a petition … no matter where you live or how much you earn, there are 101 simple ways to make a difference and it all adds up.
Stay safe, hug your pets for us, and see you back here in 2013!
Happy new year!