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Ep. 49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

By May 5, 2020July 21st, 2023No Comments

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Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

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Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

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Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

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And here we go for another episode of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs!

Today’s guest has a keen eye, steady hand and patience galore for her target audience! In this digital age, we often forget to preserve and take them off our phones.

Our guest today is Lisa Brice from Brice Photography. She fell into pet photography and when she discovered she had a great ability to work with animals.

Tune in to hear about some of her crazy moments capturing these little ones.

Connect with Lisa @ Brice Photography


Barb McGrath 0:01
And here we go for another episode of The Secret Life of entrepreneurs. Today’s guest has a keen eye, a steady hand, and patience galore for her target audience. In this digital age, we often forget to keep our memories, preserve them, and take them off our phones. So let’s hear from our guests today. Lisa Brice is the owner of Brice Photography here in Regina. Welcome, Lisa. Hi. It’s great to have you here. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Lisa Brice 0:39
Thanks for having me on your show.

Barb McGrath 0:41
Absolutely. Um, so tell me a little bit about breast brace photography, what was your inspiration and what made you decide to get started?

Lisa Brice 0:51
About two years ago, I branded off to pets. Um, I also do families as pets and just regular families because some people don’t have pets, but I have my own dog. And we got her about four years ago. So obviously, you start photographing them, and I’m a member of professional tours of Canada. And we have opportunities to enter competitions. So I entered a couple of images of her and they got accepted and they haven’t reached a merit or excellence, but they got accepted. I thought, Oh, hey, why not try this this is this is really fun. Opportunity. So I, you know, I hired a mentor and kind of niched onto pets so it’s really good.

Barb McGrath 1:35
So pets like To me, that’s, that’s to pets and bees, right? on them to respond at the right time looking at you capture it quickly. Like to me, you’ve got to have just the fastest trigger finger in the world. How did you? How did you get to a place where you’re like, a I like this, but be really felt like you’re doing well at it? Because I think it’d be so challenging. We have so many terrible pictures of our dog. Right? Yeah. Like, how do you get on to it?

Well, basically, you have to come and figure out, you know, what, talk to the client and figure out what works for their pet. So I meet with them ahead of time, and figure out okay, what, what kind of what do they like? What don’t they like the pet specifically? So, um, as I was telling you before, you know, squeakers I don’t use treats lots people think I use trigger words. And I think we’re gonna do some examples with your pet. Exactly.

Yeah. Do you want to try that now? Yeah, we can, we can.

So this will help. Hopefully the viewers you know, feel at ease, bringing their either photographing their pet because lots of people I can’t get them to sit still. Or exactly know. How do you how do you get them to sit still, or I’m

Lisa Brice 2:50
not bringing my

Barb McGrath 2:52
Pet? You know, that’s ridiculous. You know, because they’re not they’re not patient with their own pets. Right. So I know you’d said that. Your dog likes balls. Yep. So even if I brought the ball into the session and showed him the ball, what would happen like when you’re holding the ball? What happens?

If my husband or I are older holding the ball? He’s just like, all over it like crazy. All over it. So one company, right? Oh, gosh, yes. Yes. So I would not use the ball for my in my session. So if he’s not triggered by a sweeper, I might use a squeaker.

Okay. Many cameras. Come, he went ahead. Can see I can see it in your lap dog. So let’s see what he does. Let’s see. Let’s see if we can get him to look. He’s looking sounds coming from
a treat. Would you like a train? Do I know?

Yeah, exactly. No, I’m not seeing the W word. No, we’re not seeing the W word. I can see it. He might look at this one. And go for a walk. Go for a walk.

So that got that attention right there. It got it pause the dog. Don’t go for a walk. It’s pausing, right? It’s not. It’s like where’s that coming from? But if I’m seeing it, it’s fine. Usually if the pet owner says what? So I want the ears up. I want the ears up what the head tilt I want that, huh? kind of look. I don’t I’m not one to have the tongue hanging out or BAM like panting actually, if they are panting because either they’re hot or you know, they’re excited. I will keep my trigger finger on my camera and assume they’ve closed their mouth to swallow. I will take the photo. Oh, yeah, cuz, you know, after they swallow that, yeah.

So I will actually sometimes wait for that moment where they’re ready to sew. And people say, well, they won’t sit still, for me, all I need is the sound of a like that the trigger. Yep, what other you said some other words that might when I go any critical for your face, you want to go for it?

Lisa Brice 5:35
Right? Don’t go and go to a park ride. I go for a check ride.

Barb McGrath 5:44
No, we’re gonna fall off the back here, or even a ball like if, but you know, if nothing else works, then we’ll bring out you know, the treats or the ball. And if that’ll not work, then we’ll leave them I’ll leave them on a leash, you know, well get the pet owner and hold the leash and like you just this is not working. I’ll just retouch the leash. Oh, no big deal.

So there’s times I’ve had, there’s times I’ve had to do that. I’m like, do not take your pet off the leash. They’re gonna destroy my studios.

So um, our old dog. He was great with that stuff. Like anybody could take a walk and truck ride and squeak the ball, and he paid attention. Um, we’ve had, you know, pictures done a couple of times and nannies he’ll respond to us and the trigger word. So what we’ve had to do is we’ll go like stand by the photographer. So that you know he’s looking our direction will sweep the ball will work. Right Guess What time’s right. wouldn’t come through who said those things? Well, but I know he will come. Especially if we tell him to stay. He won’t necessarily come. But you’ll get the response. Like you’ll get the head Tilton right. You’ll get all of that keep hold on now he wants bucho he’s all confused. Like, why are you saying all these fun words for me Mom, and then nothing? You’re not and nothing’s happening.

Lisa Brice 7:13

Barb McGrath 7:16
Oh, the craziest I’ve ever it’s like, Oh, we don’t hear.

So another like going through that I could give people is if you I mean, light is a huge I can go into like a topic about light. You know, light is huge. When it comes to photography, it’s basically it’s not the camera use it’s out of shape. The light camera is just the tool that you use, it’s no different than a hammer and a carpenter. If I could give another pointer to the viewers, it’s put your pet in the same spot that you want to photograph them in, like the same light same and then keep feeding treats or feeding them, you know, playing with them in that area. And then it’ll be easier for them to photograph them and not area where the they’re gonna get light. As well as like, I hear a lot of people with black animals like that their eyes blend in. So there’s, there’s lessons actually on my Facebook page.

Oh, that’s a good idea.

Yeah, there’s four, five to 10 minute little lessons. While people can photograph their pets at home, you know better because I hear a lot of Oh, I can get my black cat’s eyes to show up. Right. And the reason is, is because they don’t have catch lights in their eyes.

Okay, okay, that makes me.

Yeah, so if people don’t know what that is, they can look that up or so, um, why I’m gonna play dumb for a second. Like, why would people spend the money to take pictures of their pets? Tell me about that.

I hear a lot of stories. You know, when I first ventured into pets, I didn’t realize there is a need for it. So when I go to pitch shows, and I talk to people and I go to whatever expos people are showing me images of their pets on their phone. We’re constantly I’m even doing the same thing showing, you know, taking images, but what I do is I bring up that picture is how clear is this picture? Can I even printed an eight by 10. And I’ve heard you know, one lady specifically, was talking about her cats to me and she said, I can even print this in eight by 10. So she was super disappointed that she couldn’t even print her favorite image off her cat off her phone. On people really get attached to their pets like they’re there more than they’re basically your second children. You know, and it just preserves their memory as well as people are so devastated when they lose their pet right? They are looking for them. They go searching for that iPhone photo then they go searching for all the images like check the last 10 years and then they’re trying to print that favorite one or they’re I’m in the pet connection. I have a lot of pet, you know, related business that I’m kind of, you know, I know in Regina, one specific one does drawings. So she’s busy, so people are contacting her when their pet passes. So people want that memory, people want to preserve that afterwards, anything think you said something really important their pets become part of our family. And in the same way we take all the pictures of our kids and you know, especially in the early days, we tend to take a ton of pictures, maybe we print a few for an album or, you know, something like that. But now, we print so few pictures, and compared to what we would have done, you know, 20 and 30 years ago. So by having good images, whether it is your pet, or your family or your kids, having those good images, is really important, because whether it’s for yourself in the future, or even right now, he will to show my kids pictures from when I was their age, they get such a kick out of it. They’re like, wow, Mom, you were so young.

The photo albums like I’m old school, so folder photo albums, like when he went, yeah, when we had like negatives, when you have to print off negatives and had those Yes, or the occasional time, I’ll pull those?

Well, and remember, so you would, you know, have this 24 roll of film. And you know, you didn’t want to spend the money on a 36 rule, because that was a lot of money, especially when you had to prove it. So you’d have this 12 or 24 rule. And you take all these pictures. And like, honestly, out of the 12 or 24 pictures, you probably got two or three that were good. And really, you had to pay for everything you couldn’t pick and choose first. So what a difference, you know, in terms of, you know, photography and pictures, we have a digital camera upstairs that we won in the hospital’s home lottery A few years ago, and we have been taken out of the box, because we’ve got a great look, we haven’t even touched it. So I said, you know, we should sell this on garage sale, or my son is really starting to express some interest in photography and film and anything in that creative arts realm, to be honest, especially will keep him the camera or you know, sell him the camera, he can earn it because he’s gonna have a ton of crap on there. Right. And so yeah, I mean, if if there’s an interest there, and then you Mazal build on that and right, and it’s a good thing to build on. Um, so you mentioned before we started the show, that, you know, you’ve been at trade shows, and you hear some of the stories. So tell me some of those stories.

Where I think I mentioned before, yeah, so people not being able to print off their phone. You know, Rob, actually had one lady crying in my booth because she just lost her Kendra ago, a year ago. Because I do ring. I do Rainbow Bridge sessions. Actually, this one is print back here with a rainbow bridge. That’s deal. And he graces my studio that was taken at the pet owners home. And yeah, like Bill, deal favorite ball in the image. So the pet owner wanted that in there.

So I sorry, I don’t understand what’s Rainbow Bridge.

And it’s a common. It’s a common in the pet industry. I guess. That’s a common thing that people say when their pet passes over the rainbow bridge or, you know, passes on its own kind of thing.

It’s Yeah, it’s quite commonly used, I guess.

Yeah. So a lot of that. And then people wishing they had this done prior to their pet had passed or things like that. So yeah. Okay, no, I like I kind of I may have heard that content before, but just you know, wasn’t familiar with, you know, rainbow. Oh, yeah. Now, you mentioned that you also do family photography. Um, tell me about your approach to family photography.

Um, I tried to include the pets as much as possible. And last year, I did you know, I did a graduation and the pets were supposed to be in there. And then they had to change their minds because they didn’t think that pets would cooperate in the park. Which pot? You know, possibly they did. They might not. Yeah, we were there for quite a long time. I think we’re there for an hour and a half just getting as many different things into the image like the grad with her daughter and the whole family together.

Okay. Yep.

Yeah, so doing older type couples, sometimes with their children and their children and their Pets brings a lot of meaning to because a lot of their they’re super happy about getting, especially when their kids move home. Move out, you know, they don’t have that recent family image of their family. Yeah.

Yeah. And you know, that’s really, that’s a really good point. Because so often when you do family pictures, like you want the whole family, and yeah, absolutely. We went to a park there is new way. It’s no way our dogs cooperating, you could be like, I want to sniff everything possible.

Right? Yeah. So what I do is I tell people to cut ahead of time, get their pet accustomed to the environment, even in my studio, I don’t like I let pets just roam around for 510 minutes, let them snap, let them get accustomed to the environment, and then they’ll settle down. So it’s not like, hey, let’s get let’s go. Let’s hop to it, you know, they’re not going to settle down in a new environment even further. So it’s kind of like kids that way, right? Because when you take kids for pictures, you can’t expect them to walk into a whole new environment. Lots of times they don’t understand what’s happening if they’re little, and then be like, Hey, sit and smile, like it doesn’t work. Right? minor printing, and they still wouldn’t sit and smile so or they wouldn’t call again. We’ve gone through that stage. Um, tell me the craziest story that you remember in terms of, you know, trying to get the pets to cooperate, or what’s the craziest pet you’ve had to to photograph?

Well, it’s the crazy ones. So I finally said, Okay, let’s put them on a leash and just hold them there. a funny story would be, I was doing a I do a fundraiser every year for lucky paws dog rescue a local rescue here in Regina. I partnered with them two, three years ago. This year, the event will take place in July. Okay, we were to do it because of COVID. We postponed it. But um, the first year I did it, I did it in Moose Jaw as well. So I would do because they’re both Regina and Michelle affiliated. And we had a dog come in and I had set up a training facility with a document who’s the pet owner had taken them to the washroom outside and that’s what I recommend. Take your dog for a walk before you come into the washroom. You know, because it’s it’s messy if they don’t, but so this dog sniffed around my studio space, it set up, peed on my backdrop pooped in this facility. You know what? The pet owner and myself were just laughing because he just thought it was funny. I mean, you know, if you, you have to see the humor, because they’re a dog, like there’s their head.

But I mean, and that’s what’s so great about photographing pets, the pet owners are more a little bit more relaxed for the most part. I mean, there are times that pet owners will call their dog’s names like,

Lisa Brice 18:10
Like we shared with you before. I don’t know if I can.

Barb McGrath 18:14
Um, but yeah, we were laughing. I mean, what if a child did that in my studio, where I had an accident? How would the parent react? Right? So, you know, the session would be over? If it was a child of some kind, right? That was, that was fun. I think I’ll just remember that for a long time. It was so super fun. And what about the hardest session? You’re and I don’t mean hard in terms of the the pets response. But you know, I think lots of times we we forget to get the pictures until our pets are older. So what was the hardest session for you?

Lisa Brice 18:54
Um, somebody had called me I’d photographed a few images on my website under Rainbow Bridge she had

Lisa Brice 19:03
She was a girl in university in her 20s. And she her cat she had her cat or life. So her cat was I’m on death’s door stuff. So actually went into her home with photograph the cat. And the pet owner was you know, upset and teary eyed during the session. So those those can be hard for sure. Because they’re in tears, and then I’m in tears. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, like there would be just a ton of emotions at that point. Right? You would just be Yeah, your heart would absolutely be torn, so to speak. Yes. Especially if you’ve lived

Lisa Brice 19:49
In or you’ve lived with your pet all your life. You grew up with your pet right? onward. So this cat was 21 years old. So it lived Really good life? Yeah.

Barb McGrath 20:04
You know, and isn’t that funny because, you know, cats do tend to have some pretty long lives and dogs, you know, depending on their size. We our last dog was 18 and a half when we had to put them down. And he was a three time cancer survivor, like this dog was his. He was the entertainer, Energizer Bunny, and it was absolutely soul crushing when we had to put him down because he had been with me since the month I graduated from university and live to be 18 and a half, right? So he, oh my gosh, he moved to like, 10 different places with me. And I was just terrible. It’s just even talking about it now, years later, like, it’s terrible. There they are. They’re part of your family. They’re part of who you are. And there’s so there’s, they stay children forever,

Lisa Brice 21:13
it seems because they’re so reliable on you. Like, you have to feed them, you have to walk them. And I think that’s what makes it harder, because they’re so independent. They’re so dependent on you opposed to a child that grows up, it kind of does its thing, you know, my daughter’s 12? She does I don’t see her all day, sometimes when we’re at home. You know, she does her thing. Where’s the dogs Niamey for? To get outside or feed or whatever, right? They’re always either beside you or they’re dependent on you. Yeah. And there’s still a right so you could have a bad harridan horrible day and it just doesn’t matter, right?

Barb McGrath 21:50
Yes. Well, and I I’ve heard or read that pets kind of see like two year olds, they’re somewhat independent, they can, you know, go places do things on their own in terms of in the house and in the yard. But they constantly come back to check in with you, you know, get an ear rub, right? Like they want that constant attention, or not attention through attachment to you. And so yeah, it’s very similar to when the kids were little. They always wanted to know what I was doing. They’d go off and do their own thing for a short period of time. But then they were back and they wanted to check in again. Right? And that’s, yeah, that’s exactly the way I see the dog is, he’ll come down every once in a while. My studio is in the basement, and he’ll come down every once in a while and just kind of check in and like, what are you doing mom? Yesterday, he came down. And I’ve been working on the main floor with the kids because of course they’re home right now. And I you know, so I was spending most of my time on the main floor with with the kids. And so I was downstairs working in the studio. And so the dog comes down and like, you know, get some pads and get some scratches. And then you can see him He’s like, come on, mom. It’s cool. Like, let’s go like, let’s, let’s go back upstairs. And I’m like, No, like, I got to work down here. And he sat at my door. Just waiting for you for long, right? It’s like, come, come come with, like a cap on me. Like I gotta stay down here. Yeah, so he’ll be back you know, anytime, you know now and just like check in Kevin be coming upstairs. We’re gonna go for that walk or go for that trick, right? Great.

Lisa Brice 23:31
All our dog follows me everywhere. Like if I’m in the bathroom, there’s a bed in the bathroom kitchen, there’s a bed for her. You know, and she is such routine. Like my husband gets up. He, you know, gets out of bed. And then the dog will go our dog Chloe will go have her breakfast and then pop on our bed and cuddle with me till I get up. You know, I don’t get cuddles from my 12 year old anymore. You know? well beyond that know?

Barb McGrath 23:59
Exactly. Lisa, we’re pretty much at a time here. Just as we wrap up, can you share with all of the audience how they would find you online and get in contact with you?

Lisa Brice 24:10
Yeah, so I’m on Instagram, at Brice hashtag at Brice Photography, Instagram and Facebook. And as well as you know, my website, Or I don’t know, you know, Phone Email is bricephotography SF. Tell dotnet Yeah, or Yeah. Or through the website for sure.

Okay. And I think you’ve got some work samples on your website that people can take a look at and kind of get a sense for your work, right.

Lisa Brice 24:30
Yeah. And then the web, the fundraisers coming up in July to take root cause F on the website

Barb McGrath 24:37
To see the name of the fundraiser one more time.

Um, it’s Lucky Paws Fundraiser. It’s listed under the website. But yeah, so this is a great opportunity for people to

Lisa Brice 24:48
Get a portrait of their pet done.

Barb McGrath 24:52
Yeah, so I will be booked or even follow us on Facebook too. I’ll be putting up an event as well.

All right, that sounds awesome. Thank you so much, Lisa. It’s been a fantastic show. We are at a time. And I want to thank everyone for joining us today on this secret life of entrepreneurs. Lisa, thank you so much for joining us to talk about pet photography, family photography, and the importance of capturing those moments. because very few people do nowadays, they don’t take the time to capture them anymore, or at least not professionally. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, you can email me at Barb at Google or just reach out on our Facebook and Instagram page at Above the Fold. ca. Just a reminder, you can even submit your questions in advance of the live show on our Facebook page. I’m your host, Barb McGrath, local business owner and Google girl. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.


Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.