Hi there! I’m Jessica Wasik, the snap-happy and somewhat (OK, completely) obsessed dog mama to my husband and mine’s fur kid Hunter, a Siberian retriever and Bark & Gold Photography’s Frisbee-catching, bed-hogging Head of Shed. Hunter is my heart dog. He is the reason why our home is a little hairier, our bed a little tighter, and our hearts a lot fuller; he is the inspiration behind Bark & Gold Photography.
Since the day I first held this big-headed, floppy-eared boy at just 11-weeks-old, Hunter has been the best part of my life. I remember asking my husband with an I-can't-believe-this joy if he was ours to keep forever.
And so began our forever. Days of exuberant curiosity toward all things new and unusual morphed into months of shark-tooth puppy bites and later years filled with chin scratches, adventures, snugs, and laughter. My world is a better place because of Hunter.
When Hunter turned 10-years-old, it hit me hard. Despite his puppy-like playfulness and good health, celebrating those double digits came with the reality that, as pet parents, we are not privileged to forever. Hunter is my heart dog, the one who made me a pet photographer.
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The Professional Furmalities
Jessica is an award-winning professional pet photographer focused on celebrating the joy and love between Pittsburgh pets and their people. She has been featured in Pawsh Magazine, Shutter Up Magazine, Color Shot Magazine, The Open Lens Magazine, and on Daily Dog Tag. In 2020, she was named among the top 100 professional pet photographers in the Portrait category of the International Pet Photographer of the Year 2020 Awards and is recognized among the best pet photographers in Pittsburgh by Peerspace and by NEXTPittsburgh as one of the seven Pittsburgh businesses dog owners will want to know about.
As someone who values tangible products and who believes her job is not finished until every client has photos on display, ready to be enjoyed and handed down from generation to generation, Jessica is a proud Certified Printmaker, continuing her education on the best ways to create a truly boutique experience for every client and striving to provide the best practices of workflow, processes, design strategies, and client support.
In addition to capturing pets through playful portraits, high-energy action shots, and small moments in time, Jessica also gives back through her annual pet calendar contest which has welcomed hundreds of entries and raised tens of thousands of dollars for Pittsburgh's local rescues and non-profits. She is a guest instructor in the Hair of the Dog Academy with a course on this very topic and was interviewed on the Hair of the Dog podcast in June 2020 and an expert with The Pet Photographers Club whose podcast she was also featured on in July 2020.
Jessica is a coach in the Flourish Academy's elite business coaching program, Elevate, where she specializes in pricing, in-person sales, and client management software/automation. Additionally, she offers one-on-one mentoring to photographers throughout the Pittsburgh area to help them run their business profitably while delivering the ultimate client experience.
What Else You Should Know About Me
I'm a southern-born and Pittsburgh-bred black and gold girl at heart who makes no apologies for the amount of dog hair I may be covered in or the silly sounds that come out of my mouth when I'm behind my camera. I love sunflowers, gluten free macarons, the color pink, and eye-roll-worthy puns/bad jokes (seriously, the cornier the better). I believe there's nothing in life that a slobbery kiss can't fix, that our perfect companions are those whose heartbeats thump at our feet, and that no outfit is complete without the iconic muddy paw print signature of a happy-go-lucky dog jumping with joy upon making a new friend.
You may be surprised to learn that I'm also a multiple U.S. Figure Skating gold medalist, Canadian ice dance medalist, professional figure skating coach, and American Ice Theater certified choreographer who's been skating since eight-years-old. (Yep, that's me competing at the 2007 Eastern Synchronized Team Skating Championships.)
My extensive training in competitive figure skating, coupled with nearly 20 years of coaching experience, translates into an ease of handling the fast-paced fun of pet photography, a relaxed approach to your session, and a results-oriented drive sure to exceed your expectations.
Want to learn even more about me? Check out this post.