Pets leave impression on Edmonton couple
Jim Dobie and his wife Terri Schindel first met while walking their dogs. “I had a golden retriever and Terri had two Welsh springer spaniels – it was kind of a Brady bunch as far as a fused household,” Dobie recalls.
The couple now live in Edmonton, Alta., where Dobie is employed as a senior associate with an architectural firm and Schindel is the associate dean of undergraduate programs at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Dobie has successfully blended his architectural career with his lifelong passion by establishing Jim Dobie Photography, a part-time business specializing in architectural photography.
“It just sort of happened,” he explains. “I’d been taking photographs for a long time, and more people were asking me to do it for them – not just our firm but other firms and other building contractors. Sometimes you don’t know that the need is there, and then it kind of finds you.”
In addition to buildings, landscapes and people, Dobie’s diverse portfolio includes photographs of search and rescue dogs. A long time friend of the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta’s training director, Dobie helps with the group’s promotional material by taking portraits of the dog and handler teams as well as by photographing them during training sessions.
While the highly trained search and rescue dogs are usually co-operative subjects, Dobie also photographs pets for friends and family – a much greater challenge that he takes on just for the fun of it.
“It’s kind of like photographing kids,” he explains. “You can’t force them to do anything, so you try to get them into a position where they’re doing something they want to do, and then you get yourself and the camera into position so you’re ready when the moment occurs.”
Dobie is also providing photographs of Banjo their little Welsh springer spaniel, to a children’s author who is working on a book describing a dog’s journey from his birth to the day he moves in with his new family.
Both Dobie and Schindel enjoy animals and value their pets as a huge part of the household.
“Our two dogs, Banjo and Parker, contribute to both our physical and mental health,” says Dobie. “We’ve got a collection of friends that we would never have met if it weren’t for the attraction that our dogs have when we take them for walks in the local off-leash parks. They’re just a huge part of our lives.”