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Week 134 - Michelle Bailey

For the 134th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Michelle Bailey is a pet photographer from the PNW now based in Michigan after finding her passion in Washington state.

4EVRGRN: Hey, MB! Tell us a little about yourselves.

MB: My name is Michelle Bailey and I’m a Veteran based in Fowlerville, Michigan. However, my business, Shocks Photography, originally began in Washington. I have dedicated my life to telling stories of pets through photos, because I know whatever happens in this world your pets will be there for you, like mine have been there for me. They’re there to comfort us during the hard times, and they’re there to celebrate the good times. I photograph pets, because I want to capture your pet’s unique personality and the bond you have with them, so you can treasure them for a lifetime.

What was the most memorable shoot you’ve had?

MB: I’ve been fortunate to have many memorable shoots, but the one that will always stand out is when I photographed a Sphinx cat at a beach. His name is Harry and he’s the bravest cat I’ve ever met. He did amazing at the beach and I got so many great photos of him.

How did you decide to go into pet photography instead of other traditional styles?

MB: While getting my master’s degree in Photography I had an assignment to interview a local photographer. I expressed interest in opening my own business, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialize in. Since I had talked about my cat, Hickory, a lot during that interview, she suggested I look into pet photography. So, I started volunteering at a local animal shelter, and completely fell in love with photographing pets. I never wanted to photograph anything else after I found pet photography.

What’s something you’d like a pet owner to consider before hiring you?

MB: Typically, pet owners like to focus on what location looks the prettiest, which isn’t a bad thing, but for pets the main focus should be where they’re most comfortable. Even if that means the owner’s yard, some of the best photos I’ve captured have been in a client’s backyard. Some pets can go anywhere and be fine, but others need to stay in their comfort zone and that’s okay.

What’s the most popular pet in the PNW between dogs and cats, who have you, photographed more of?

MB: Dogs have definitely been the most popular pet I’ve photographed. However, I’m very impressed with how many cat clients I do get. When I first started my business, I was told to expect very little cat clients by other pet photographers, but that hasn’t been the case with my business and I love it.

What’s a unique trait of PNW pet owners?

MB: I’ve never seen so many pet owners have so much enthusiasm and creativity with their pets than the people in the PNW. They’re pets also seemed to have a unique name and people had the most creative costumes for Halloween. Also, most of the pets that I photographed, whose owners were from the PNW, were very well trained.

Favorite place to do pet photo shoots in the PNW?

MB: There are so many wonderful places to do pet photoshoots in the PNW, especially if clients want to go on a hike. However, I think my favorite place is Wanschers Park in Lacey. It would have beautiful flowers in the spring and the fall would have so many leaves. It’s pretty small, but people are rarely there, so it feels really private.   

Favorite local pet product (or shop)?

MB: I love Marie Wulfram Photography. She is another pet photographer and since I’ve moved to Michigan, I’ve been referring all my Washington inquiries to her. When I was in Washington it was wonderful having another pet photographer to talk with that was close by. She creates beautiful photos for the pets she photographs.  

Get to know more about Michelle and her amazing work: