2020 Fundraiser calendar w/ Rescued and HCHS-G | Pet Photography

Well it’s 2019 and you don’t have a calendar…. Well you don’t have my calendar. I’m sure you found something to hang in its place. Yes it’s true; I did not do a calendar for this year and I am already bummed out about it. There were a lot of factors but the main reason was due to my day job work schedule. We had planned on doing a calendar but on the very first shoot, I had to cancel due to my work schedule. That, to me, was a sign that it just wasn’t the right time. So I called it off. I can’t half ass something as important as this. If I can’t give it my all then I am out. So that was it. 



Then the emptiness set in and I really was upset with myself. Was work that important? Well kinda… It is how I support myself and can afford to give my time to help animals in need. So, if I have to take a break from something I care about then I want to go all in when it is time to start back up!



There have always been two challenges with creating a calendar. The first is the time. I spend a lot of time traveling to people to take photos of their pets and then the time spent putting the calendar together and getting it to the printer in time. The other big challenge is money. What? It’s a product the shelter sells so it is all profit right? NO. The printing of the calendar is a big expense and really cuts into the shelter’s profit from the sales. But this year will be different.

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I have decided to do my own calendar. “Wait, you want us to buy a calendar from you just because?” No. I will be making a calendar and giving it to two great organizations for them to sell and raise money for their causes! That’s right. No overhead for them: just straight profit. That means all the money raised will go straight to the animals! 


This year I have teamed up with Rescued a resale shop  in Moline, IL, that donates a portion of its profits to local animal shelters and the Henry County Humane Society-Geneseo, IL. I will make a calendar for them to use as a fundraiser! 


I will have 12 spots available for purchase at my regular basic session rate of $300.00 and that includes everything in my regular pet session, with the addition of a spot in my 2020 fundraiser calendar. When completed, I will deliver 250 calendars to Rescued and to Henry County Humane Society-Geneseo that they will sell for $10.00 each with no cost to them. That is a potential of $2500 in profit. 



I’m really excited to be able to do this and help two great causes. Since 2015 Rescued has donated over $100,000 dollars to local animals and the HCHS-G has been doing great work for years. 


This deal is a win-win for everyone. You get a great photo session with your pet and the organizations get to have a fundraiser they don’t have to invest the money for.



Yes the past calendar session costs were much lower than my session fee but that didn’t even cover the cost of printing. My new plan covers that cost and makes it so the organizations will makes it so the organizations will get the full benefit.

Plus, you have been telling yourself that you were going to book a session but have been putting it off. Now is the time to book that session you’ve been wanting and you keep putting off.


If you are interested in a spot please email me at johnwangelin@gmail.com or call 309-335-0078 (you will probably have to leave a message).

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FujiFilm XT-3 for a Pet Photographer?

On my last day of work (day job) for the year I decided to take a leap and switch my camera system completely. Starting out with a D3100 and eventually settling into the Nikon D600 I thought I would be with Nikon for a long time. The plan was always to upgrade my D600 to maybe a D850 or in a dreamland maybe the D5. But for several years I had been sneaking around with another system, the Fuji X-series.

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Pet Photography | Scout's 52 week project

For the last several years I have done a 52 week photo project with one of our dogs. This year was Scout’s turn. Part of me was really looking forward to it and part of me was not. I knew going into the year that my day job work schedule was going to be rough and not allow a lot of time for photos so that was one factor in not looking forward to it. The other was me worrying that I might take a bunch of boring pictures of Scout. She is a great dog and loves to lay around so it would be easy for me to just snap a photo of her sleeping and call it a day. But I think you will see that we both did a pretty good job this year and I am happy it was her turn for the project. Since I know this is about where people quit reading and get to the photos I want to recommend that you start your own 52 week project. Maybe with your own dog or kids maybe your significant other. Everyone has a decent camera on them at all times now and to do a project like this doesn’t require any fancy equipment or editing software. When the end of the project comes it is fun to look over the photos and remember what went on that day. Here is a highlight reel for you

Week 1

Week 1

Week 1

Well as promised here is Scout getting her relax on. This is how we started the year off. This photo made it to Explore on Flickr. It’s always fun when Flickr chooses your photo to highlight for the day although all of the alerts on the phone get a little distracting.

Week 7

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Week 7 we found ourself in Explore again with over 9000 views of this photo. We took a little car ride out to Saulk trail so we could get out of the house. Doesn’t she look great in her little red coat?

Week 14

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Week 14 Pete made an appearance to make sure the Flickr group didn’t forget about him. If you read my earlier blog you know that 2018 is the last year Pete would make an appearance in Scouts photos. The edge o the deck is always a pretty good place for me to get an easy photo of any of our dogs.

Week 15

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Week 15 Scout was hanging in the yard while I was doing some spring cleaning. This was in April so I was burning the leaves I didn’t get cleaned up in the fall. This was taken with my iPhone. I would have liked to have had my regular camera with me but as they say the best camera is the one you have with you. The photo didn’t make it to Explore but was pretty popular. A lot of people thought the smoke in the background was fog.

Week 24

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Week 24 Scout got caught in a very heavy nap. This would have been in June and I think it was starting to get hot and we had come in from play time. I almost forgot about this one. I really like it because it does show her true personality. She loves to relax.

Week 29

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Week 29 we were on vacation in Colorado. So to keep up on the project and keep current in the group I shot this photo of a photo of Scout using the river behind our room as a back drop. I really look forward to going back and maybe we will take a dog with next time.

Week 33

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Week 33 she helped me out by posing next to the donkey in the backyard. This cute photo did make it into explore for that week. How couldn’t it? Isn’t she so cute?

Week 34

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This was just a quick shot so that I stayed current with the project. It is also the last photograph Pete would ever be in. He passed away the following day. I’m sure Scout is telling me something with her eyes. Her and Pete were very close and it took her sometime to get over the loss of him. Heck I’m still not over it.

Week 38

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On a beautiful September day while we were playing in the backyard I captured this. This is my favorite of the year. This photo also went to Explore with over 66,000 views! I only wish I could have gotten her to look at me. She will do her best to not look at the camera a lot of times.

Week 39

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This was just a fun little stop on a solo walk we took on a nice day. As you can see in her face she loves one on one time with dad. No pesky brother or sister to steal my attention.

Week 43

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As a pet photographer I sometimes forget to take my own dogs out and try to get great photos of them. It’s easy to just try and make the photos around the house or in the backyard. On this week we headed off to Bishop Hill to try and add a little fall color to Scouts weekly photo. This photo also made it to explore. Scout was a very popular girl this year.

Week 47

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Week 47 was around Thanksgiving so that gave us a little extra time to head out again for her photo. It was pretty nice that day so we went for a walk around Saulk Trail State Park outside Kewanee IL. The tent camping area is one of my favorite places to photograph. I like all the trees nicely lined up and you can get some pretty good light there at multiple times of day. Several of my most favorite photos were taken there. Plus in the off season it is empty. This went to explore also and is one of a very few that she is looking straight into the camera.

Week 48

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Family picture time! I decided this week I wanted to work on my skills of getting multiple dogs in one image looking at me. From left to right we have Scout (of course) Hanna, Alfie and Miles. As you can tell it was all Miles could do to wake up and look at the camera. I will be doing more of this type of stuff this year.

I think even with some of my doubts on how this year would go I have to say I’m pretty happy with the results. Now to turn my attention to Hanna and her 52 week project.

Family session-Graham/Hudson-LeClaire, Iowa





I thought I’d share a little bit of a recent family photo session with you.  I got a message from Kristy asking if I was available for a family photo.  I was a little surprised because the winter months aren’t that popular.  Well, as you know, winter has kind of forgotten to show up most of the season and it was a pretty good day in January for photos. 


I feel I need to give a little back story. Back in the Spring of 2014, I stopped by Kristy’s shop and she asked if I would be interested in photographing her wedding, which caught me off guard.  She had she seen that I had attended WPPI (a wedding-centric trade show) and thought I may be looking to expand my business that way.  I think I even said “no” at first but then back peddled into a “maybe.”  I gave it a week and then decided to do it. It went well and I was very happy how things turned out. But if you ask my wife she will tell you that I texted her that day and said, “No more weddings!”  That was my insecurity talking. After seeing the images, I was happy and felt like I didn’t blow it.



Flash forward a couple years and Kristy and Roger welcome a beautiful baby girl into their lives. Kristy asked again if I would be interested in doing newborn photos.  There are a lot of different ways photographers photograph newborns. We talked and they wanted something more natural in their home.  I was good with that because I don’t have the baby props, special blankets, antique furniture, or sometimes even a spaceship that I’ve seen others use.  Brinley is such a happy little girl so she made it easy on us. However, she does like to put her hand in front of her mouth.  No problem. We can work with that!  I was very happy they contacted me to do Brinley’s photos because, in a way, this photo shoot completes the wedding photos.  Wedding photography documents the start of the couples’ life together and the photographer is kind of the director/producer/camera man/grip/editor. To be called back for a sequel is a big honor.  Many, many years from now Brinley maybe showing her children mom and dad’s wedding album and her baby pictures so that they can see where it started. 



Ok I’m getting a little windy!  Let’s talk about the recent shoot.  They wanted to get a nice photo of all of them looking at the camera standing in front of the fireplace(This is paraphrased from the questionnaire I sent out). I don’t like using a tripod. I have one and it’s good, but I like to be free with my camera. However, with a larger group shot with kids I knew I should use it in case. I just might have had to swap a head out with photo editing software because someone wasn’t looking when everyone else was.  As luck would have it, I didn’t need to do that but using the tripod still helped me with keeping lines straight especially with the fireplace brick.  The lighting was simple: just an Alien Bee and hotshoe flash with a white umbrella for fill. 


Everyone did great. Even Brinley was smiling at the camera in the end. 

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I did a few photos of the grandkids with the grand parents and then with their parents and some of just the kids.  I was able to get a few good photos of Brinley. Man, she has a lot of different expressions. She’s hilarious. 

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After a while, the guys got tired of me so the ladies and I headed out side for some “Just-the-girls” shots.  I took this great one of all the girls and I really liked it.  It was a little chilly so Dad (Roger) was standing inside holding Brinley until it was time for the photo.  After that was done we decided to take a few photos of Kodie.



Kodie made my day.  She was dancing and jumping around like kids do, but in an authentic way. I think if I weren’t there she would have been doing it anyway.  So, I snapped a few shots of her jumping and wow!  I hit it just right.  I was really excited about it. I thought it was a cool photo and I felt like it was a true representation of her personality.  She has so much hair and the way it arched was awesome.  Then we grabbed a couple of quick portraits and, once again, those were great.  I think Kodie is one of those people who can’t have any bad pictures taken and probably never will.  You know those people; we all want to be them.



I like doing family photo shoots. The bigger the better. Sometimes it’s just for the fact that you have more ingredients to work with to bake up something nice.  I’m strongly considering doing family Documentary Sessions.  If you’ve read this far, let me know if you’re interested in something like that.  I will try and work in something special. These will be on a first come, first serve basis, so don’t wait too long if you are interested.