About Hair of the Dog

We're a whole lot like you

Who We Are

dog photography course

We are people that go all in on our dreams.  We are people that inspire each other and lift each other up.  We realize that life is damn short and this is it.  This is our LIFE and we better make it count.

We are chasing our dreams like our hair is on fire…and that looks different for everyone.  We are people that are happy in their day job but have this pet photography passion on the side, we are people that are giving it their all to build their business to leave their 9 to 5, and we are people that have made the leap and are doing pet photography full time.

What do we all have in common?   We are living a life that we have designed.  We are doing the things that we love to do and living our best life.

We are Hair of the Dog.

Let's Create Community

Values are basic and fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate attitudes or actions – they are the motive behind the action. Here at Hair of the Dog HQ our number one value is to create community.

There aren’t many people in our regular day to day lives that really understand what we do. We’ve created Hair of the Dog as a place for you to connect with other pet photographers but also as a place to support you and nurture your growth. We believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.

The leader of the pack

Nicole Begley

pet photography course creator

Nicole Begley, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, is a zoological animal trainer turned pet photographer and educator. She created Hair of the Dog in 2012 to empower pet photographers to turn their dreams into reality by helping them improve their craft and grow their pet photography business.

Nicole has authored a book “Pet and Equine Photography for Everyone”, available on Amazon. She established Nicole Begley Photography in Pittsburgh, PA in 2010 but now serves the market of Charlotte, NC.

Nicole shares her home with her husband, two small humans, and her Puerto Rican rescue dog Zoey. Oh yes, she is also Chief of Staff to Emma the cat. She is the creator of the #selfiedog series, a travel addict, and a chocolate martini connoisseur.

Hair of the Dog Academy Coaches

pet photography course contributor

Heather Lahtinen

Flourish Academy

Heather Lahtinen is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the founder of the award-winning Weddings by Heather and the Flourish Academy has been a professional photographer and instructor for 16 years. 

As an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, Heather has also been teaching and instructing photographers in both Lightroom and Photoshop. Heather is driven by an overwhelming desire to see others succeed and, as a result, her workshops do more than just instruct, they inspire.

pet photography course contributor

Terran is a Crazy Dog Mom, dreams of living off-the-grid high in the mountains (with high speed internet and Thai takeout), and thinks road trips make the best vacations. She's a foodie, Netflix binger, and loves s’mores roasted to golden perfection over a roaring campfire.

She discovered her love of photography and design in high school (but we won’t talk about how long ago that was). She started her career as a graphic designer, working for businesses of all sizes, from solopreneurs to Fortune 500 companies.

After adopting her pup, Terran realized she was meant to be a photographer, too — a dog photographer! Now, she works with private families and commercial pet brands, like West Paw, P.L.A.Y., and GoldPaw, to tell stories through bright, colorful, and emotional imagery. Terran absolutely loves what she does and loves teaching others the skills they need to do it, too!

pet photography course contributor
Kim Hartz, M.Photog.Cr., CPP, has always been an animal and photography lover.  Over the years she has honed her art, specializing in pet photography, gaining recognition within the photography industry, earning the distinction of Certified Professional Photographer, and producing award-winning images.

The images Kim takes for her clients capture the unique essence of each subject, producing a true work of art that is both timeless and precious.  Kim teaches pet photography and business of photography workshops and consults with studios all over the country.  She is dedicated and experienced instructing students on the creative process and building a successful photography business.

pet photography course contributor

Charlotte is an award-winning Australian photographer based in Brisbane with over 12 years of experience photographing pets through Charlotte Reeves Photography and 6 years teaching pet photography. Her style incorporates creative use of natural light, location and expression to produce vibrant and emotive work highly praised by her clients.

Addicted to creating lightbulb moments for students, Charlotte has been teaching pet photographers in person and through online courses since 2013 at Learn Pet Photography. She relishes simplifying tricky concepts and helping people achieve their goals by making the learning fun, practical, and positive.

Join the Academy


I want you to think back to the most insanely decked out brunch buffet you have ever experienced. You know the one…not just with an omelet station but the crab legs, bloody mary bar, and ALL of the toppings for the waffles. Now, imagine if that buffet was all geared towards helping you grow as a pet photographer.

The Hair of the Dog Academy not only gives you all of the content, but also gives you full access to the largest and most supportive community of pet photographers in the world. By becoming an Academy member, you will have full access to all of the Academy content for as long as your membership remains current.

These programs have a value of over $5,000 if purchased separately.

Here's just a taste of what you will have access to inside the Hair of the Dog Academy:

  • The Business of Pet Photography course
  • Post-Processing for Pet Photographers course
  • Pet Photography EDU course by Kim Hartz
  • Office Hours with Nicole Begley
  • Critique Corner with Charlotte Reeves
  • 1:1 Laser Coaching with Nicole Begley
  • Guest Instructors from the world's leading photographers

And if all that isn't enough, Academy members have access to some of the best pet photographers in the world in our private community.

You'll feel understood, supported and inspired.

If you are ready to become the pet photographer that you want to be – the Hair of the Dog Academy can help you get there.

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