Behind the Camera



My name is Erica Abernathy. I started Memphis Mutts Pet Photography when I was 18 in 2012. I started this business with money I received as graduation presents for successfully getting through high school. I have lived in Memphis my entire life. I love photography, but my main passion in life is animals (more specifically dogs), and I am constantly expanding my knowledge by reading about animals. I am fascinated by the behavior, history, uses, training, nutrition, impact, etc. of every animal I read about. Because of this passion I went to the University of Memphis to earn a Bachelor of Science in biology. While most people were working towards the same degree hoping to turn it into a medical degree of some sort, when asked my answer was always the same: "I don't know what I'm doing with it, I just love animals."

When I was 15, my mother lost her job during the recession. She did what any sane person would do and started her own business, What A Pet Wants pet sitting. When I turned 16, I started working for her. Because of her I have gotten more experience with animals and have received the chance to take pictures of animals with different personalities (from shy to outgoing) and in different environments. I bought my first DSLR in 2010 with the money I earned working under my mom. I would like to thank her for NOT buying it for me and making me buy it out of my own money. I have a feeling if she had just given it to me, I would have never devoted myself to learning about my camera (and photography in general) and it would probably be sitting on a desk collecting dust instead.

When I work with a species of animal I don't know much about, expect lots of questions, and know that I really am interested in your answers. Because of my passion for learning about dogs, I've read a lot about dog training and behavior, so if you have an aggressive dog, feel free to message me, I am not someone that will instantly turn you down at the first hint of aggression. We should be able to figure out a way to safely get pictures despite any issues.