I met Shannon a few years ago outside a Balboa Park dog park when I was posting a business card to the bulletin board. Tawny was with me and went crazy at seeing Shannon’s adorable apricot fluffball dog Bella, but we still managed to exchange info and met for coffee soon afterwards. Shannon had a pet care business while she was working on her MFA writing degree, and after that coffee meeting we hung out at San Diego dog events and did a photo shoot for her business as well. She then moved to Oregon to finish her MFA, and returned to the San Diego area last year. In January Shannon asked me to photograph her book cover, and I was not only pleased to accept, I was very impressed that she finished her book AND earned a book deal with a major publisher!
Pound for Pound is “the brave, inspiring story of one woman’s recovery from a debilitating eating disorder, and the remarkable shelter dogs who unexpectedly loved her back to life. For seven years, Shannon Kopp battled the silent, horrific, and all-too-common disease of bulimia. Then, at twenty-four, she got a job working at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, where she found the inspiration to heal and the courage to forgive herself…Pound for Pound vividly reminds us that animals are more than just friends and companions—they can teach us how to savor the present moment and reclaim our joy. Rich with emotion and inspiration it is essential reading for animal lovers and everyone who has struggled to change.” (Amazon)
I read her book in one evening and couldn’t put it down! It is awe-inspiring how much Shannon has gone through, reading about her journey is very moving and emotional. It is uplifting to hear how shelter dogs bring healing and happiness!
The cover photo shoot took place in February at Project Unleashed, which is on a mountain in Malibu, California. Project Unleashed gives at-risk youth in the Los Angeles area the opportunity to learn “responsibility, leadership and compassion through their own personal self-discovery by working with rescued dogs.” The photo shoot started in the yard of the founder of the program, Alicia, then we packed up her van and headed further up the mountain to a second location where the ocean could be seen in the background, which was where the winning cover photos took place.
During the photo shoot we tried to get a variety of photos to choose from, as you can see in the small sample of photos shown here, to make sure Shannon has a lot of options to present to her publishing team for everyone to agree on. Speaking of teams, thank you so much to the whole team of people who made the photo shoot a success, including Shannon and her husband Danny, Alicia and Chip of Project Unleashed, Sweat Pea’s adoptive parents, and more! It was a group effort for sure and Shannon did a lot of work preparing for her cover photos. I think all of our hard teamwork paid off in the finished cover photos!
The blue gray pittie on the cover with Shannon is Sunny, now called Sweet Pea, and you can read in the book about how Shannon saved Sunny from euthanasia and the shelter in LA where she was volunteering at the time. Alicia from Project Unleashed agreed to take Sunny out of the shelter and find her a forever home, and that is why this particular location and dog were chosen for the book cover, they had a lot of meaning for Shannon. Sunny/Sweet Pea occasionally alternated her dog modeling duties with a red pit bull named Eloise who can be seen in one of the sunset photos in this post. Pit bulls and pittie perception are a topic dear to Shannon’s heart, and she included a history of pitbulls in the end of her book. On a related note, she will be signing books at San Diego’s Pitties in the Park event at Liberty Station on October 25.
Thursday night Shannon Kopp had a book signing for Pound for Pound at Barnes and Noble in Mira Mesa, San Diego. You can watch a snippet of her reading the first chapter below, or check out more on her Facebook page. Thanks to all who came! Thanks to Shannon’s husband Danny for taking a photo of Shannon, me, and her book, in front of a big wall full of her books, so neat!
Next signing date:
Shannon will be selling and signing books at the San Diego Humane Society on October 17 from 11am-1pm.
Several other local pet-related authors will be there. I’ll be there, and I hope you will be there, too! More info.
Please note that I do photograph people with pets for editorial and commercial work, but I do not photograph people for private clients (pet parents) since I don’t think people photos generally make good art for your home, the purpose of my pet photography shoots for pet parents.