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The Art of Business: Ride The Sky Photography

Ride the Sky Equine Photography is standing out as one of the areas best pet-focused photography businesses

Photography in the Chattanooga area usually falls into two categories: urban and nature. It’s either people taking photos of the city life and the many Noogans’ hitting the town or shots of the many natural landmarks around us. Betsy Bird has found an entirely different niche for her photography though with her business Ride The Sky Equine Photography.

Betsy first discovered her love for photography through her father. Her father was a hobby photographer who traveled around the country photographing nature and wildlife for presentations and books that he wrote. Later in her father’s life when he had lost the ability to walk, Betsy would take him on car rides through fields and woods so that he could take photos from the window of the car. Betsy says that these are some of her favorite times with her dad.

“I’m pretty sure I was born with reins in my hands,” Betsy said when asked about why she chose equine photography.

She grew up on a small horse boarding farm in Georgia and spent most of her school years riding and showing horses. Along with the horses, there were always stray and abandoned animals wandering to the farm. Betsy confesses that she has always enjoyed the company of animals more than people and this love would eventually grow into Ride The Sky Equine Photography.

Betsy has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, having originally started her own marketing business and just doing photography on the side. To her surprise, Ride The Sky kept on growing until soon Betsy was running both the businesses full-time. She knew she could only have time for one and so chose Ride The Sky because she enjoyed it more.

Originally the business focuses on horse events and portraits, but Betsy wasn’t satisfied with this. She wanted to get to know her clients and their animals better, so she stopped doing events for the most part and instead began taking individual clients. This has now grown into pet photography for all animals and Betsy now even does photos for small businesses that focus on animals.

“My end goal is for my clients to look at the images of their beloved animals and remember the joyful, goofy, and amazing times they had together.”

Betsy has four tips for emerging photographers. The first is that they get legal and make sure that their photography business is professional. Photographers then need to figure out their Cost Of Doing Business (CODB) so they can know how much to charge on photos to make a profit. Third, they need to find a way to stand out and be different from other photographers. Finally, it’s a good idea to find a mentor who can help you guide you.

Along with being easily accessible on her website, Betsy is also active in the Facebook groups Chattanooga Pet Business Networking and Chattanooga Equestrian Networking. Ride The Sky can be followed on Facebook and Instagram, @ridetheskyequine.