This week it's all about Newburyport on Pop.Bop.Shop. Yesterday I shared with you my incredible vegan lunch at Mandarava and today I want to tell you about a very special couple running the most adorable business called Loose Leashes.
Amy and Ron Schmidt met and got married in Ipswich, MA. After a stint in New Jersey, they have returned home to the north shore of Massachusetts and now live and run their business in Newburyport.
Ron is a photographer who got his start as an assistant in New York City on the celebrity scene. One year he decided to send a Christmas card with a photo of a dog and the reaction he got was spectacular. After that, he decided to start shooting more dogs in all kinds of scenarios. The business is called Loose Leashes because each image Ron creates depicts what a dog might do if he or she was off leash for the day.
One year into shooting these photographs, Ron and Amy decided to attend a licensing trade show to see if anyone would be interested in using their work. At that show they met a rep from Hallmark, a person who produces wall calendars and someone from Random House who was interested in publishing their photographs as a book. Nearly 12 years later they are still working with all those contacts.
Ron dreams up about 12 - 15 images per year. Amy helps scout the locations and cast the dogs. Ron builds any necessary props, shoots the images and does some creative retouching. Then those new images are used in all kinds of executions.
Though most of their business is conducted online, Ron and Amy do have a studio on Inn Street in Newburyport. The studio is easy to miss because it's down a flight of stairs, below street level.
When the weather is nice, they put out this sign to let people know their doors are open.
Inside, the walls of the studio are decorated with some of Ron's favorite prints. I love this one of the two pups paddling in a boat.
How cute is this pup in the baby swing?
My favorite shots were the ones with sweets. Surprising? Not at all.
On the back wall of the studio is a collection of some of Ron's favorites. Each print has a little chalk arrow with the name of the pup in the photo.
This is Gateau. This card was named Hallmark's card of the year.
I had almost made a full lap around the entire studio when I noticed the card rack. Look at this pup eating a soft serve cone!
Ron's work is so impressive because it's not just portrait photography, it really is high concept.
Amy and Ron have had tremendous succes here in the U.S. and now they have an agent overseas in the U.K. who is helping to spread the puppy love to multiple continents.
Before we left, Ron and Amy presented me with a gift bag. Amy said, "I took a look at your blog earlier this week and I hand selected a few prints I really thought you would enjoy."
I didn't want to open the bag while we were still exploring the town because I knew I would get too distracted and just obsess over the dog photos. When I got home that night I couldn't wait to see what Amy had picked out.
First, DOGMA, Ron's annual wall calendar. Someone was very interested in this . . .
I cannot wait to hang this calendar. 16 months of cuteness!
When I saw which cards and prints Amy selected, I was really touched. Just by reading the blog she was able to cherry pick photographs that are so Molly. She even included the pup with the ice cream cone!
The next time you are in CVS, Target or the post office, keep an eye out for one of Amy and Ron's pups. It's impossible not to fall in love with the faces of Loose Leashes.
*This post is sponsored by Shop Newburyport. All opinions are 100 percent my own.