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Oh how things can change in a year...

family outside under a tree, dog sleeping by fireplace
Saying goodbye to Langley BC after twenty five years

Shelly Welch Photography | Dog Photographer in Victoria, BC

A year ago today I was wrapping my head around big changes to come in my business and my family's story.

We have lived in Langley, BC for closing in on twenty five years, raising our kids in a home that we loved. I built my business, Shelly Welch Photography, starting with Sports Photography and then transitioning to Families and Weddings but really finding my niche in Maternity, Newborn and Child Photography. I had the perfect studio for me and life was good as I watched pregnant bellies turn into tiny fingers and toes and then to chubby cheeks and bright eyes. Then bring on 2023.

My husband worked on Vancouver Island and after three years of going back and forth we thought that a change may be in order. Our kids were now adults and starting their own adventures which left me on my own in our home half the month while my husband was in Victoria. After many conversations (and tears) we made the decision to pull up stakes and make a permanent move to the Island. I found this to be extremely difficult, as our home constantly reminded me of all the memories made over the last twenty five years. I had always thought that we would retire and welcome our children's families through the front door and that vision in my head was disappearing as we started packing and preparing for the next chapter in our story.

I let my clients know that I wouldn't be nearby anymore, booked my last few sessions before packing up the studio and figured retirement was my future. My last session was with a client that was expecting her third child, I had photographed each pregnancy, each newborn session as well as milestones along the way. I loved every minute of our time together, getting a little emotional as the session drew to an close and realizing I was finished working in my little studio. Wow!

March 30th was the day my family stood in our now empty home, reminiscing, laughing and shedding tears as we said goodbye to our home and loaded up to head to the ferry. They say that your memories go with you and it is true, but if I could have picked up that house and brought it with me I would be sitting in it in Victoria right now. With an ocean view of course.

We have settled into a new routine, my hubby and our dog child Roxy. Lots of walks along the water, sitting on our balcony (as we are condo dwellers now) and enjoying a lower maintenance kind of life. But a photographer is ALWAYS looking through the lens and I was starting to miss my camera. I quickly learned that Victoria is a very dog friendly town and thought this might be an avenue I needed to explore. I started talking to some neighbours and took some portraits of their fur babies. Creating with a dog is so different than what I was used to, but also the same. They are a lot like toddlers, always on the move looking for the next shiny thing - this I was experienced creating with. I decided it was time to take the plunge and see if I could make this new genre work.

Golden lab in a forest setting

Jump to 2024. I have worked hard on my website, updated my Social Media Pages and am starting to market to this beautiful community. My focus is on capturing those special moments that paint a portrait of your dog. My first "real" booking was with a client that we got to know at a local Tiki Bar, Tora Tiki. Rocky contacted me to ask if I would be interested in capturing her Yellow Lab, Noosh, in the woods of Thetis Lake. We booked a date and I met up with Noosh and her family for a foggy wander. This Golden Lab was full of energy and being only two years old, was very much about puppy shenanigans. I was so happy to capture images of her and was thrilled with the session. The hike, the company, the images - it all ignited that creative spark I needed. There is much more to tell you about my time with Noosh, but that will be in a future blog.

I am happy to say that I am now officially open for bookings in Victoria, BC and I look forward to creating with all the amazing Doggos in this community. I'm excited for what creative opportunities this brings and I hope that you and your furry loved one will be part of one of my future blogs.

I am told that change is a good thing, to embrace it and let it happen. I really miss those walls in Langley talking to me, but I am loving my new walls in Victoria and they are starting to speak to me too.

If you are interested in a pet photography session with me, please feel free to reach out with any inquiries on my contact page. I’m always happy to answer any of your questions and talk about your four legged family members! 


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