Turning A Passion Into A Job

Abby Cooper née Donaldson (Howe 2013) regularly posts wonderful images of pets on her LinkedIn profile. They never fail to make us smile here in the Alumni Office, so we thought it was the perfect time to find out more.

Abby currently balances her day job as a Marketing Manager at The Original Pasty House with her pet photography business at weekends.

Balancing her day job with her passion has meant that she is very busy! Although the pandemic meant work slowed down as she was unable to work with her clients, it did give her time to set up her own studio. This has meant she has a lot more flexibility with client bookings.

Photography has always been a passion of Abby's, "Since I picked up a camera at the age of 12, I have loved the process of photography". She did both GCSE and A Level Photography before going on to do an Art Foundation course at Plymouth College of Art – although the course wasn't quite as she expected due to its focus on Fine Art, it only confirmed that photography was the route she wanted to pursue.

She continued her studies taking BA (Hons) Commercial Photography degree at Plymouth College of Art. It was in her second year that Abby was required to focus on a specific area, and having been brought up around dogs she started experimenting with photographing her family dogs - that was when she found her niche. Fast forward to today, she has photographed hundreds of different dogs for pet portrait sessions and commercial projects.

Just looking at the photos you can really see that Abby gets the best out of the dogs she photographs. She explained that it is all about taking it slowly and ensuring that the dogs feel relaxed in a studio environment.

"Photographing dogs is my passion. I am in love with the joy they bring to our lives as humans... No two dogs are the same and this makes my job as a pet photographer the best job in the world, it means no two shoots are the same."

Whilst Abby is content with balancing her job and hobby, who knows where photography will take her in the future?

Check out her (https://abbylouisephoto.com/) website to see more of her work. She also regularly updates her Instagram page @abbylouisephoto – definitely worth following if you want a daily dose of cute animal photographs!