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Rising Stars: Meet Anne Yarbrough

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anne Yarbrough. 

Hi Anne, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I went to school at UGA for photography, it was a fine art degree program focused more on documentary-style photography. I loved it, and we were shooting only film at the time (before digital). Fast forward after graduating with my degree… I worked at a high-end portrait studio in Athens, Ga, and always had a feeling I wanted to start my own thing – or do things my own way. Also, I wasn’t ever crazy about posing people… but learning that aspect and getting out of my comfort zone taught me the skills I use with portraiture today. The experience there was great, I remembered he used a squeaky toy at just the right moment to get the dog’s attention in family shots… and he was sharp at capturing the exact right timing for his subjects’ expressions for the final wall portrait selection. He knew exactly when the child had the right glow and expression, and when to capture the smile so it wasn’t too huge, watching for the nervous white knuckles, all the details in flattering people in the best way. I learned so much from those 6 years of assisting him and also shooting as his 2nd photographer. 

Fast forward halfway into working at the studio… my mom decides I need a dog, and selects this scruffy little terrier mix from the pound in Waycross, Ga (my hometown), knowing she is absolutely perfect for me (moms absolutely do know best). We fell in love at first site. Rudee became my muse quickly, and I took her everywhere and she would sit anywhere I found unique enough to suit her scruffy beauty. I started realizing how I loved to be around her, and started noticing people interacting with their pets and was like DING!!! I can capture natural candids of people when they’re around their pets! Finally, I found the niche I wanted to pursue on my own. 

I bought a white vinyl background (that I still use), and did my first event at Z-Dog Bakery in Athens, Ga. It was a Valentine’s event for Athens Canine Rescue, and we had a volunteer dress like Elvis and pose with the pets. He was so awesome and the event was a big hit. I started doing more events there, and then started doing in-home sessions as well and started kind of a following. Those people turned into clients I would keep for years and years, shooting their pet portraits, engagement sessions, weddings, babies, headshots, etc. Most of these I would get to incorporate the pets in everything, and I absolutely loved it. 

The space I had to shoot in was really small, and some pets were challenging but I learned to love that part… the chaos of it. I would just keep shooting, and the wilder the better and more hilarious shots I would get. I would do one shot with a pose and head tilt, getting attention with a squeaky toy or noise, then I let it flow. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Well, about 4 years ago we moved to Bradenton, Florida and I’ve had to re-establish myself here. I felt I had a large community there, well established from years of doing photography and building relationships. I’ve quickly gotten to know people in the pet community here though, by getting involved with the Humane Society and also thanks to meeting the lovely Anna Cooke, of the New Barker magazine. She has helped me with so many opportunities, I’m so thankful for our relationship. We also now have a 4-year-old daughter, who is equally as photogenic as Rudee. Needless to say, they share the camera attention. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I specialize in photography of pets with their people. I love capturing street shots of pets and animals as well. Of course, I am trained as a portrait photographer, so I offer branding style photography, lifestyle family portraits, headshots, interiors, etc. I do a bit of everything, but I LOVE incorporating pets in any shoot. 

What are your plans for the future?
I do have ideas; photography is my passion and career. Not sure what I’ll be going for but always thinking and praying for the right things to come along. 

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