Julie Ireland

Julie with dogsLike most kids, I was crazy about animals at a very early age.  We lived in Estes Park, CO when I was little; one morning a tiny kitten showed up at the back door. Elated, I let it in (I think my parents were still sleeping) and decided that it needed some food so my three-year old mind told me to serve it cottage cheese.  Not a hit.  But from that moment on, I was on a mission to help every creature I could - (I scooped toads out of the basement window wells, asked my parents for a baby pool so I could create a resort for all of the neighborhood frogs and once saved a nearly-drowned nest of baby bunnies that I’d found in the front yard).  I loved to draw and paint all types of animals and when I entered teenager-dom, I became obsessed with my Kodak Instamatic with which many photos of various four-legged creatures were taken.

At 18, off to art school I went, majoring in Fine Art and Graphic Design (in Seattle, then San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and then finished at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, CA).  I never took a photography class which seems very surprising, in hindsight, but once out of college, I discovered the thrill of zoom lenses and SLR cameras.  Another passion developed - making greeting cards for my family and friends (typically humorous ones).  By the time I reached 30, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in photography and started a business shortly after moving to Vermont in 1990.  I photographed nearly 300 weddings, portraits, events, bar mitzvahs, etc., and, of course, animals (my favorite subjects).  Into my 50’s, I decided to veer away from weddings and focus on “Day in the Life” shoots with owners and their four-legged companions…now this brings me JOY!  (as does capturing my own beasties doing their hilarious, beautiful and heart-melting ‘thing’).  Also, in efforts to help the many animals in need of homes, I love to donate my photography time to local shelters and rescue leagues; there are always events to be documented and the images can then be used on their media platforms to promote adoption. (I always have to exercise great self control when visiting these places, however).

I’m thrilled to finally be creating my own line of humorous, animal greeting cards - I have spent countless hours in Photoshop, laughing to the point of tears.  Another new endeavor is creating ‘commemorative DVD’s’ of those beloved animals who are either elderly or who have gone to heaven.  Having lost several of my own ‘best friends’, I am grateful for the privilege of having thousands of images at my fingertips, with which I have been able to create slideshows set to music.  I want to give others such a treasure that tells the story of their precious animal’s amazing life and, most importantly, their relationship with them….

I live with my love, Jeff, in Shorewood, Minnesota, with Grey Bear, “the amazing boy with the amazing rescue story”…Otis, the gorgeous and tenderhearted Landseer Newf…Sasha the sweet, little English Cocker…Bevis, the orange Maine Coon, and Chuck, the RagDoll. Everyone loves each other and has a wonderful life here in the beautiful north-country.

Julie Ireland Photography