Edmonton Entrepreneur Spotlight : Teann Dhariwal of Mutt Love Photography
Our next feature in our Edmonton Entrepreneur Spotlight is very special to our hearts! Teann Dhariwal from Mutt Love Photography, who barely needs an introduction, started her business ten years ago! She is not only incredibly talented in her craft, but she is also one of our oldest friends in the pet industry. Teann really knows how to capture your pets (and you) just as you envision and takes the time to get to know you to understand how to capture your fur family members. We can’t wait for you to get to know her to see just how amazing Teann is as a person and as a photographer.
DJ: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
T: I love hiking and the outdoors. I feel the most connected when I am in nature. I have always loved animals and grew up with a household full of pets from hamsters to horses. I enjoy spending time with my family. We have two daughters, age 3 and 6. We share our home with our 3 pets. Juno the dog, Meowzer the cat and Chocolate the hamster.
DJ: Tell us about your pet.
T: Juno aka Juno Baboono, Scruff nuts, Scruffaluff and many other nicknames…is an (almost) 11 year old goldendoodle that still acts like a puppy.
DJ: What are your favourite activities to do with your pet?
T: We love going outside and exploring the ravine across from our home. In winter Juno loves rolling in the snow and in summer she loves swimming. We try to plan our adventures so she can join us as long as it’s not a long car ride (she gets very anxious on the highway). She also enjoys going shopping with us to dog friendly stores. She is most happy around other people getting all the attention!
DJ: How did your business become or get started??
T: Mutt Love Photography officially launched in July of 2011…this year will mark 10 years! My love for animals and photography have always been a part of my life in some way from a very young age. I dabbled in photographing families and even did a few weddings but never felt a true connection with either. I remember thinking, “I just want to photograph furry faces!”. There was this excitement I would feel when working with animals. As this was 10 years ago and ‘pet’ photography wasn’t really a thing, I felt a little weird wanting to pursue this genre. I attended a pet photography workshop that changed everything for me. I found a group of amazing photographers who were just like me and that gave me the confidence that I was on the right path.
DJ: How did you come up with the name for your business?
T: I did a blog post a few years explaining the meaning behind the name . I knew I wanted to have something that shared my love and passion for the work I do. In short it is named after my beloved heart horse Mr Strut, whom I called my mutt as well as Juno our mixed breed dog.
DJ: Is this your full-time gig?
T: Yes. In September of 2020, I let go of my 15 year career as a Registered Nurse to pursue photography full time.
DJ: What are some of the philosophies or inspirations for your business?
T: I believe in capturing beautiful photographs that capture the soul of an animal. Offering a full service customer experience and providing tangible products is a big part in that. Each pet is unique and inspires me in different ways. I love seeing their interaction with their owner and learning about what makes them special. I push myself to learn and grow to be able to provide the highest quality possible.
DJ: Can you tell us a bit about your process?
T: When a client contacts us, the first step is a quick phone call to hear a little more about their pet and what they are looking to capture during their session. From here we schedule a session date and a planning consultation for the week before. This step had been omitted this past year due to Covid but has now been added back in. I have found this pre-meeting so important to allow their pet to meet and get comfortable with me and allows us to discuss all the important details before their session. We then have the fun part, the session! A sneak peek is posted within the week following the session. We meet for a reveal of their gallery and selection of their artwork approx. 1-2 weeks after the session. Approx 4-6 weeks following their session
DJ: How do you come up/plan your sessions?
T: I listen to what the client is looking to capture and select locations based on what they want their images to look like. I’m thinking about many aspects such as the pet’s mobility, age, interests, the backdrop, where the light will be, how busy the area is, what it looks like at the time of year we are photographing. I come in with ideas but often they mould into something different as each pet is unique and we go with the flow.
DJ: What is your favourite tool in your craft?
T: Favorite tool…hmmm…I have many but the one thing I can’t be without is pretty simple but liver treats! They are little golden nuggets of goodness! Second to that is patience. I’ve have oodles of it!
DJ: What is your favourite part of working with your clients?
T: Gosh that’s hard to choose as there are many favorite things! I’ll share two, I love getting to know clients and what makes their pets so special to them. I now meet people in person prior to their session to get to know more about them as I feel this is so important to the outcome of the session (and it gets my creative ideas going!).
Seeing the joy on client’s faces when they open their final printed product is something I truly cherish. I am honored to photograph such important memories and this is what pushes me to continue to provide the highest quality of work that I can.
DJ: How can people find you? What are your social media handles?
T: My website is www.muttlovephotography.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MuttLovePhotography/
Instagram – @muttlovephotography
DJ: How has COVID 19 affected your business?
T: The biggest challenge I have is that we decided to keep our eldest daughter home and do Grade 1 online schooling. It means I have to wear yet another hat on top of my other roles. It has been difficult to balance doing everything I’d hoped with my business and has at times been a lot to juggle but we are finding our way. I’m grateful for the support of my husband and family.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Teann as much as we enjoy having her in our lives! Speaking from personal experience, she really over-delivers in the final product of her shoots. We’ve had our staff, and own pup photographed by Teann and we are ever so grateful. If you’re interested in booking a session with Teann, don’t be afraid to learn more about her through her website. Where you can see what services she offers, how things work, examples of her work, and contact her if you have any further questions. Promise, you will NOT regret working with her!
Do you own a pet-based small business and would like to be featured? Or know of someone who you think should be featured? Drop us a line and let us know!