Meet Me - christyhowell

Why am I a Photographer?

Hi there! I'm Christy and I'd like you to know that it's my passion to capture your pets' personality through my photography.

I have been taking photography seriously since I got my first film 35mm SLR in 1998. I learned a lot from that camera, and because I started with film; I press that shutter to get the cost.  I do not rely on a 'digital mentality'.  I also do not rely on my equipment to get my shot for me.  Aside from general enhancements - I will strive to get the shot you want; while I am still behind the lens.

Back in 2005, my best friend, "Cola" and I moved to California from Vancouver, Canada. I couldn't work for about a year, so I began blogging and photographing. This is also when I started photographing family portraits and peoples' pets. I am a serious animal-lover and I love to spend time with peoples' pets - capturing their true being; so that their families can have long-lasting memories.

In July 2012; I lost my best friend "Cola".

Losing her broke me. She is the most tragic loss I have gone through so far - but I am so lucky that I documented her life in photographs. Those photographs help me deal. I hope that my images can someday make you smile and help you reminisce on happier times as well. When I photograph pets - I try to keep it as simple as possible. I prefer to keep them in a natural environment where they will feel comfortable and can be themselves.

I also photograph people - and I want to create portraits that capture the unique character of every person I meet. I offer relaxed, flexible & fun photo sessions in your home, yard, local park or beach.

What sets me apart from other photographers?

My passion and patience for animals goes back in history since I was very little. I was always the one that hung out with the other animals and taught them new tricks or commands, or sit with the shy ones to help them realize that life wasn’t so scary.

After graduating high school, I knew that I wanted to spend my life working with all sorts of animals.   I went to College to become a Veterinary Assistant!   In my 12-years in that profession, I was able to become better at animal behaviour knowledge and communication with body language.   I have worked closely with wildlife rescue and pet rescue groups, so therefore comfortable handing all sorts of critters.   I am able to incorporate that into my photography – resulting in creating and capturing images that my clients are requesting. I understand client vision and I am convenient to the average pet owner – in that I come to you.

There are plenty of options: I can set up in your home – or we can meet at your favourite location. I will never ask you to unleash your dog or take your indoor cat outside. I have professional photography training since 2006 and I get out there and shoot a lot. I regularly photograph, (sometimes very untrained and unruly), rescues to help refine my photography talent.

I am a Canon-shooter and use professional-models Digital SLR cameras. Sometimes I will bring 2 of them with me. I keep my camera bodies and lenses all maintained on an annual basis.

I have been very lucky to have been able to spend some mentoring sessions with 2 of my favourite photographers in 2014.  I sat in on a day-long group session with Seth Casteel, (Underwater Dogs and "One Picture Saves") and then I had a one-on-one half-day mentor session with Jamie from Cowbelly Pet Photography!

I decided to become serious - so I became legal.  I have a Sellers Permit and a Business License through Orange County California - and "Christy Howell Photographer" is a registered tax-payer.

My Process:

Please email, phone or text me if you are interested in booking a session with me.   This is the time you can tell me if the session is to be booked right away and rushed. I have done a lot of “saying goodbye” sessions and I will do anything possible to ensure that I can come do this session for you immediately.

Once a session is booked, I will ask you to pay a 50% non-refundable retainer to hold your appointment for the session. This payment can be done over the phone – in person, via mailed cheque/cash or in person. Once I receive that payment – I will send you a questionnaire and release forms for your session. If I am photographing people, they will sign the model release form. If I am photographing pets, the caretaker will sign the ‘property release form’. I will be available to answer any questions you might have before your session.  :-)

I can come meet with you at your home if you have a particular space you’d like to fill on a wall with some portraiture and I can also come bring some samples of the products that I offer. We will meet at your desired location on the date chosen and review a shot list if you have one. I’ll spend some time getting to know your pet, buying their love with treats if you allow it - then I’ll spend roughly 90 minutes shooting!

Pets can sometimes benefit from having a  ‘wrangler’, as it can often be VERY difficult for me to handle the camera and catch the shot without someone in charge of the critter.  

Once we are finished shooting – I’ll collect the remainder of the session fee from you, (credit card, cash or cheque), and we will go our separate ways for the time being.

I always allow for up to 10-days to have your gallery post-processed, (basic editing), and images re-formatted to upload to my gallery. Once the images are online, I will send you the link to your album. The images will be watermarked with my logo. Please feel free to share the link to your gallery with whomever you want. I ask that you do not steal or save my photos, or alter them in any way, (cropping – applying filters), for social media as they are owned and copyrighted in my name.

Please spend some time looking at the images and write a list of your favourites, (using the file numbers provided below each image). You can then let me know which 5 images you are interested in ordering. Once you have given me a list of files, I will then spend time retouching those images. You can see some ‘before and after’ images on my gallery page. Retouching is the step that I like to take my time on. I want to ensure that each image I retouch will meet your approval. I will remove distracting objects, (such as leashes, eye boogers, lumps/bumps or even stray people in the background), adjust colour balance, smooth fur/skin etc

When your images are complete, I will email you to let you know that they are up on the gallery for your viewing. ). I want to be sure that you are  completely satisfied, so that I can correct anything necessary right away.  Then you are free to order images! I will enable the shopping cart and you can scroll through the products and sizes that are available through the various labs and printing agencies that I have chosen. Your prints will come directly to me for a final quality inspection; and I will ship them to you.

I have tried and tested the various printed products that I offer and I work very hard on my workflow in order to get your images ready to view up on my website. When retouching – I spend hours on each image in order to ensure that I believe the client will be completely satisfied with it.

I would love to hear from you – and if you have any questions – please do not hesitate to contact me!

 Christy 949-257-3756


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