Kate Owen of Pony & Pup Photography has always enjoyed photography as a hobby. After a legal career in the City for the last twenty years, Kate has had the opportunity to rebalance and launch her own photography business. Samantha Hobden caught up with Kate recently in Haynet’s Tea in the Tack Room series to find out more about the personality behind the camera and what Kate plans are for the future for Pony & Pup Photography:
Your love of dogs and horses shine through your images. Tell us about your how your love for a career in the photography industry started.
Thank you, I’ve always loved animals and taking photos. I’ve always enjoyed watching the world go by and seeing the beauty in the every day and have wanted to try to capture that in photos. I was lucky enough to be able to move to a part-time role in my day job which was the perfect opportunity to spend more time on the photography.
Have you always been interested in photography? Why are animals such a passion for you to capture on film?
Yes, my first photo album dates back to 1983 where I took photos of my dog and some donkeys on a family holiday in Torquay, along with a few of my family too! I’ve always loved animals and felt more of a connection with them than with people. Animals are more straightforward and just live in the moment.
What are your aims for Pony & Pup Photography and what plans are for the future of your business?
I love spending time with and taking photos of horses and dogs and hope that people can enjoy some of the images I create along the way. It’s still very early days for the business and as a start-up, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to do too much too soon. For now, I’m just enjoying it. At the end of my first year, I’ll be taking stock and setting some goals.
Tell us about the triumphs and challenges running an equestrian and canine photography business. What part of it are you most proud of?
It’s a very competitive field, there are so many talented photographers and it can be quite intimidating if you compare yourself to what others who have been around longer and are more established are doing. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in such a short space of time whilst still doing my day job. In particular, getting my first press accreditation for an event was a special moment.
You use Brand Ambassadors to promote Pony & Pup Photography. How useful have they been and would you recommend that other rural businesses use these as a form of marketing?
Yes, my brand ambassadors are fab, they all enjoy social media and are able to produce a lot more content that I would be able to do on my own. It’s also great to feel like there are other people out there supporting your business. I would definitely recommend using brand ambassadors but it’s important to pick carefully as they have to be right for your business.
Imagery is key in social media. What would be your piece of advice for rural businesses to use the right images in their promotions and social media posts?
Imagery is critical, social media is very visual and so great images will stand out and help create positive brand awareness. Equally poor quality or the wrong type of images may create a negative impression. High quality images creating the right ‘look’ for your brand will help your potential customers to get to know you as a business and what you do. It creates a professional and consistent look and feel for your brand.
Animals can be notoriously difficult to photograph? What would be your top tip to get the best moment captured?
Not to worry about it too much! Sometimes, it’s best to let them do what they want to do and you can capture some really lovely, natural moments (or some funny ones!). For the more posed shots, it’s always useful to have an assistant to stand behind the camera with some treats!
Have you any animals in your life? Tell us about them.
Yes, I have quite a few! First, there is the pony in ‘Pony & Pup’ – he’s a dun Connemara gelding who is just such a dude. Pup is my 3 year old Havanese called Charlie who is soon to be joined by new puppy Bella, another Havanese. I also have 2 cats, Billy and Milly .
On a rare day off, where would we find you?
Enjoying the outdoors, taking my dog for a walk or playing with my pony, probably with the camera close by too.
Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
Probably still doing the same thing but I might have gathered a few more animals by then!
Against The Clock Questions
Champagne or Gin
Silver or Gold
Silver or white gold
Night In or Night Out
Night in, I have to be up early for all the animals!
Spend or Save
Spend, life’s too short not to enjoy it
Music or Films
Music, I spend a lot of time in the car or lorry singing along (very badly) to my favourite playlists!
Fluffy Mutt or Smooth Pedigree
Can I be awkward and have fluffy pedigree?!
Big Horses or Small Ponies
Small ponies – they just have the best character!
Please visit: http://www.ponypupphoto.co.uk/
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