costa rica

More from Barkarica

You took a vacation last month.  Somewhere warm, where you didn't need to wear a watch, disconnected from your digital "leash", read an entire book for the first time in a year, and enjoyed the local food and adult beverages.  It was exactly what you needed!

But now, several weeks after returning home, you find yourself in an all-day meeting, thinking about all the things on your to do list - fold the laundry, pick up groceries, call your parents, schedule a dentist appointment, buy a birthday gift, on and on...  and try as you might to stay focused, you can't help but reminisce on how wonderful that trip was.

See where I'm headed??

Let's go back to Costa Rica!

Sugar, Charlie, and Cinnamon (mama)

Sugar, Charlie, and Cinnamon (mama)

Vela

Vela

Flash, overlooking the grounds at Rafiki Safari Lodge

Flash, overlooking the grounds at Rafiki Safari Lodge

Spot

Spot

Romeo

Romeo

Mickey

Mickey

Maggie

Maggie

That was fun!  Always nice to relive happy memories and reflect on the experience.  More from my pet photography retreat in Costa Rica in this Barkarica post.

Where was your last vacation?  And where will your next one be?


Barkarica... a workcation with puppies!

How many of you with corporate jobs attend industry conferences or enroll in continuing education classes?  Usually held in a huge hotel and conference center, you have to dress up and make awkward small talk, but at least you're not sitting behind your desk staring at Excel, right?  Yep, been there, done that. 

But this was totally different.

palm trees at Manuel Antonio beach

palm trees at Manuel Antonio beach

Imagine tropical weather...

...a luxurious treehouse with a pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean...

...amazing home-cooked meals by a private chef...

...monkeys playing on the rooftop deck...

...sunsets on the beach...

...puppies...

... three inspiring, passionate, and successful instructors...

...and a small group of insanely talented pet photographers.

Barkarica.

No shoes required.  Class in the pool.  Field trips to the beach and rain forest.  Downtime in the hammock.  Now that's my kind of continuing education!

Barkarica was actually the second out-of-this-world pet photography retreat that Nicole, Charlotte, and Kaylee hosted.  I sadly missed the first one, Barkelona, because well, at the time I had a 7-month old baby to take care of!  But I wasn't going to let another opportunity pass me by.  In February, I hopped on a plane down to Costa Rica.

monkeys at the beach

monkeys at the beach

So what do a bunch of pet photographers do when we get together?  Photograph dogs!!  Our first shoot was at the Rafiki Safari Lodge - this place was well off the beaten path nestled in the mountains, known for its "glamping."  The resident dog and his buddies were our models.

Flash

Flash

Charlie

Charlie

My favorite shoot of the week was at the beach in Manuel Antonio.  The dogs ran, jumped, splashed, and played fetch with sticks and balls and coconuts.  We all got covered in sand.

Maggie

Maggie

Romeo, a boston terrier, is easily the craziest dog I have ever photographed.  Even after two hours of his crazy antics, he still wanted more!

Romeo

Romeo

a little behind the scenes...  dog paparazzi!

Photo credit:  Charlotte Reeves

Photo credit: Charlotte Reeves

Mickey

Mickey

Spot

Spot

Maggie with her mama

Maggie with her mama

Near the end of the week, we visited the PAWS (Pets of Aguirre Welfare Shelter) shelter in Quepos to photograph their adoptable dogs.  We took the dogs on a short walk to a nearby river and goodness, it was beautiful! 

Elle, adoptable dog through  PAWS

Elle, adoptable dog through PAWS

Veronica, adoptable dog through  PAWS

Veronica, adoptable dog through PAWS

Peanut, since adopted!

Peanut, since adopted!

This next dog is Coco, and her life changed forever because of our photo shoot at the PAWS shelter.  Christine, one of the pet photographers at Barkarica, fell in love with Coco, adopted her, and took her home to Oregon two days after this photograph was taken!  Coco was a little timid this day at the river, but is now thriving in her new home.

Coco, adopted during Barkarica!

Coco, adopted during Barkarica!

and the group photo... that's a lot of puppy-lovin', photo-makin' talent right there folks, representing the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK! 

Photo credit:  Sam Haddix

Photo credit: Sam Haddix

As much as I love traveling, it's always nice to come home.  Barkarica pushed me creatively, inspired me, and was just plain awesome. 

I am forever grateful to shoot alongside and learn from this group of pet photographers!  We laughed, we cried, and we continue to encourage each other daily.  And hopefully it's not the last Barka-adventure for me...