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Date published: 1/11/2012

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WHO WAS YOUR MENTOR AND WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE THEY GAVE YOU? I have actually had several mentors, I first started working with two of my best friends and then had a great partner and I now work with another one of my best friends. We all feed off of each other creatively. I think the best advice I've received is to be confident in my own artistic vision and style.

WHAT BUSINESS BOOK DO YOU RECOMMEND THE MOST AND WHY? I kind of jumped into owning a business feet first, so most of my experience comes from trial and error. Not sure if this a good or bad thing, but it has sure made things interesting. I do recommend, especially in a field like photography, being very comfortable with your equipment and editing software. I am always learning and trying to improve.

WHAT IS A WEIRD/FUN FACT ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION? It is not a glamorous job. When I am done with a dog photo shoot, I am a mess. Luckily I am a bit of a tomboy, so this isn't a problem, but I usually come home covered in dirt, grass, and some other pretty gross things. We are talking about animals here. But I am always in a great mood when I'm done, since being with animals is kind of like a type of therapy for me. I find it so gratifying. Some of my other photog friends think I am absolutely crazy.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT STARTING A BUSINESS RIGHT NOW? Choose to do what you absolutely love. I started in the wedding industry, and while photography is my passion, photographing weddings was not. My passion as far as subject matter is concerned is pets. Or animals in general. If you start a business just to make money, but not because you love what you are doing, you will burn out or tire of it. If you absolutely love it, you will put that love into it, and it will show.

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The Free Lance-Star's coverage of area businesses in The Deal does not mean that the newspaper is endorsing any particular business.