Are you a puppy lover? Easily enchanted by their trusting eyes and playful energy? I sure am. Still, Dave and I were thinking we may be over raising puppies, particularly after the financial fallout from our last two. Let’s just say it included Dave’s brand new hearing aids, which were yet to be insured (*insert monkey emoticon with hands over its eyes*).

And then there’s house training (*insert crushed face emoticon*). But at the end of the day, any negatives pale into insignificance when compared with how puppies infuse love into life. They teach us to live in the moment. Enter Smurf, our new puppy. Long story short, we found him unexpectedly at the largest rhino breeding sanctuary in the world. He’s named after the first rhino calf we filmed there, when we were involved in a series of conservation projects. Here’s a pic of Smurf the rhino calf sucking Dave’s video camera:

Dave Estment with rhino calf sucking his camera
Since losing our older dog a year ago, we’ve recently been feeling the loneliness in our Golden Retriever Storm. He needed a brother, and Smurf needed a home. They’re a perfect match, best buddies from the start. With rescue parents (mostly German Shepherd father and mostly Labrador mother) Smurf’s lineage is questionable, but not his nature.

Dave, Storm & Smurf, photographed by Naomi Estment
It’s impossible to be cross with him when he wakes me before 5am, wagging his excited tail to say hello. He usually makes it to the lawn to do an impressive wee, thankfully saving our carpets. By then I’m awake. With the result that in the 3 weeks since we brought him home, I’ve finished editing the first draft of my book, mainly between 5 and 8 every morning.

My book is provisionally titled Visual Marketing Mojo: 7 Steps to boost your brand via photos and videos of you. The first draft was transcribed from 8 hours of video interviews with me, answering 120+ key questions that have come up through the course of Dave and my 16+ years of professional photography and videography experience.

The full manuscript is being reviewed by a leading publisher, at their request in response to my query letter. Whatever transpires, I intend to share the final version with you as soon as possible. In the meantime, THANK YOU for reading my blog and contributing valuable inspiration along the way. And special thanks to Smurf for helping me to get it done.

His message is clear. “Life is for living and living is free” . . . with a big dose of puppy love!

P.S. If you have any questions about how to make the most of photo or video shoots (before, during & after), leave a comment below. They may be included in my book 🙂