Recent session at UC Davis

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: Starting Pet Photography Later in Life

Can you teach an old dog new tricks? 

Let’s find out!

I just recently celebrated my 58th birthday!! So, I guess that makes me the “old dog”!!

And why would I start something completely new, like pet photography, at this stage in life?  

The short answer is, why not!! 

There is a bit more to the story, and my intention with this blog is to be an inspiration to others around me through how I live my life.  

Finding Photography at 50

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and after graduating college, being married for 30 years, raising two human daughters, blah, blah, blah…I don’t want to bore you with the past, I was happy, but I truly wasn’t living to my full potential at all. I always knew there would be more for me in life, but when would it start??

It all started to make sense after my youngest daughter graduated high school, we both got decent digital cameras to take an in-person (remember those days!) photography class. And that was it…I totally figured out that this was it. I was looking for something creative.  I think I have always been a creative all my life, and I found this out in my 50s???  There was no time to lose.

Journey on Becoming a Bay Area Pet Photographer

So, I have just kept at it for the last couple of years. My first photos were not good, absolute garbage, but I just kept at it every day. Taking photos of anything, reading lots of books, online courses, joining photography communities, and getting my photos critiqued by professionals.

That included getting lots of feedback on what to work on, workshops, and mastermind classes. Still today, I keep up my education almost daily. And it was a no-brainer that I gravitated toward pets. If you know me, it just makes sense.

And when I decided I was putting way too much time and money into this hobby, and I needed to get paid for what I was doing.  Whoa…that was tough for me!  Who was I to charge people for taking photos of them and their pets??  That has been a whole mindset to learn, and it’s actually been really fun.

Bringing Happiness to Dogs and Their Families 

I could have easily pushed this whole photography thing aside and just decided to move forward with a less interesting, more predictable life.  No fricking way!! I want to push myself to be in situations (thank you, Andrea, for believing in me to take your family photos when I wasn’t ready at all almost two years ago) to see what I can do and if I can figure things out, collaborate with like-minded people and meet and photograph lots of dogs and their people to bring happiness and love to my community.  

Photography is just the start; I am not sure what the whole story of my life is going to look like.  But I know for sure that I choose to be happy right now while I am on my journey, and I won’t have any regrets when I am really old.

Have you thought about what your “thing” is, and are you putting it out in the world?? 

So, the question of “Can you teach an old dog new tricks?” is HECK YES!!

If you need some inspiration, here are some of my recent favorite books I have read and podcasts I listen to daily:

Angie Rose with her favorite books


(I’ll link to their Amazon page, but I highly recommend supporting local bookstores or even your library!)

  1. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
  2. You Are A BadAss At Making Money by Jen Sincero
  3. Sensitive Is The New Strong by Anita Moorjani
  4. Radical Confidence by Lisa Bilyeu


  1. Better Together with Maria Menounos
  2. Cathy Heller Presents-Don’t Keep Your Day Job
  3. The Mel Robbins Podcast
  4. Captivate The Room
  5. The Ed Mylett Show
  6. Creativity School with Grace Chon
  7. The Mind Your Business Podcast with James Wedmore
  8. On Purpose with Jay Shetty


“It’s never too late to be what you might have been. – George Eliot

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take the first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” – Les Brown

local pet photography session in San Ramon

Excerpt from: You Are A Bad Ass At Making Money by Jen Sincero

“Everybody arrives on this planet with unique desires, gifts and talents, and as you journey through life, your job is to discover what yours are, to nurture them and to bloom into the most authentic, gleeful, and badassiest version of yourself.  In order to do this, as a human being in modern society on Planet Earth, you must be rich. And let me clarify what I mean by rich lest you think I’m saying your life is worthless unless in involves a mansion and a yacht.

 RICH: Able to afford all the things and experiences required to fully experience your most authentic life.”

“Life is inherently risky.  There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs and that is the risk of doing nothing.” -D. Waitly

Thank you for reading this and being part of my story. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!