This year has taught me a lot of lessons. Some have been a long time coming, some have brought me to tears and every single one of them has been essential in helping me grow as a creator, collaborator, business owner and human. Out of all of these lessons, there is one that stands out as possibly one of the most important of my life.
The lesson is that even though I have everything I need within myself to do great work, that work pales in comparison to the greatness that is possible when I collaborate with other people who are in alignment with my vision, values and motivation. This wasn’t an overnight discovery. It has taken years to get to the point where I know myself well enough to recognize the people who are “my people.” It just so happens that this is the year when I learned that working together with these people is pretty much the most magical thing I could ever imagine.
I have collaborated with a lot of incredible people this year. Whether it was through a conversation on my podcast, hosting special events with other animal-loving people or one of several ongoing creative projects with pet-loving businesses, these collaborations have been amazing. Eventually, I will create posts for each of these, but today I’m here to tell you about The Limelight Pet Project, a collaboration with my friends Tracy Campion and Sarah Bous-Leslie of Pet Connection Magazine (two incredibly talented and brilliant women whose work consists of creating connection and lifting up community).
The focus of The Limelight Pet Project is to shine the light on harder to adopt animals in the greater Seattle area; to tell their stories because their stories are worth telling. It’s not just about the animals, though. It is about telling the stories of the people who are doing the work to help these animals every single day. We use video, photography and heartfelt connection through conversation to do this. There have been many occasions when we have wrapped up a session with tears in our eyes because we were deeply affected by what our interviewee had to say about the work they do.
If you’ve heard me speak about my work as a pet photographer, you know that I believe the work isn’t only about the animals. It all comes back to people. My clients are people. You reading this right now, are a person. There are people working every day to improve the lives of the animals we all love, and it’s important to acknowledge that without them, none of this works. That’s what we bring with The Limelight Pet Project; an opportunity to let these people shine their light to inspire the rest of us.
We started The Limelight Pet Project in August 2019, but officially launched the website at the beginning of November. Every week, we feature a new animal from one of our partner rescues. The animals we feature are not just dogs and cats. We wanted to give the opportunity for wider coverage to some of the other types of animal rescues, so we also feature horses, goats and rabbits. I’m sure our list of animals will grow as we do, but for now we are having the time of our lives getting to know more about the great work these rescues are doing for the animals they support.
The Limelight Pet Project was founded by three passionate women who own pet-related businesses in the Seattle area, but we aren’t alone in creating space to share these stories. We currently partner with animal-loving local news channel Q13 Fox to feature harder to adopt animals every Saturday morning. Our friend, Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography, recently joined our team to help capture portraits and behind the scenes imagery at our Limelight Pet Project feature sessions. Collaboration is the key to doing our greatest work, and shining the light together illuminates us all.
You can visit www.thelimelightpetproject.com to learn more about the work we are doing. Things are constantly changing during the process of telling these stories, so to stay up to date on what we’re up to, follow us on Instagram and Facebook as well.