Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Underwater Puppies - R.J. Julia Event with Author Seth Casteel

Seth Casteel talks about his new book “Underwater Puppies"

Hosted at RJ Julia Bookstore in Madison, CT

September 16, 2014


I was lucky enough to get out of work early enough to catch this fun event at R.J. Julia in Madison, CT. Since Arianna couldn't make this one, with her moving so far away (sad times), I asked Marsha (she's reviewed for ShelfNotes as well) to come down with me, and we also got to meet up with Mary, friend and avid book lover who lives nearby.

My first impression of Seth Casteel, Photographer and Author of "Underwater Dogs" and "Underwater Puppies" was HOT. Yep, this guy had it going on... AND he loves dogs. I'm sure I wasn't the only one in the audience who thought so, but I might be the only one to admit it on the internet, hehe.

Moving on...  We missed a few minutes in the beginning where I believe he was discussing his charity, One Picture Saves a Life. After doing a little research of my own, I found out what this charity is all about. The basis behind the charity is to make sure as many dogs as possible get a gorgeous photo, and you might ask why? Well, for starters... which dog would you adopt? 

As you can tell, a picture can do WONDERS. One Picture Saves a Life is an amazing charity that gives away software and cameras to shelters to help them with adoption. I hope everyone heads over to that site and checks it out, I'll definitely be trying to help out in whatever way I can. I don't want to give anything away... but stay tuned, Seth Casteel might have won your heart with his philanthropic endeavors.... but they don't end there.

The majority of his talk was the history behind "Underwater Dogs", which was very inspiring. To be honest with you, I didn't do much research coming into this event and thought this 'Seth Casteel' was just another lucky guy with a lucky idea that someone else hadn't come up with first. Which, if you ask him, he'll probably say is true. But there is more to this story, not everyone would have come across this magic, only someone with a true love of dogs and photography would have persevered. 

His first underwater dog was Buster. This was an accident that happened on a commission, one that was offered through Groupon no less! Seth was fired from Disney for being a bad "multi-tasker" which led him to think things over and he decided to try his hand at pet photography full time. Groupon was offering assignments to photographers for $59/shoot (minus whatever Groupon takes for listing it). This sounds okay but when it came down to it, some of the shoots ended up being 3 hours away and would take multiple hours to do. After all is said and done, Seth would find himself in the hole. 

At one of these Groupon sites, he met Buster the (Cocker Spaniel? Brittany Spaniel?), who loves the water. Now, he was commissioned from the owner to take a nice beauty shot of this dog... but Buster had another idea. The dog jumped in the pool and came out looking like this: (The picture is a little dark but we all know how attractive a wet dog out of water looks).

So instead of scrapping the shoot and admitting defeat, Seth heads to the nearest store to buy himself an underwater camera (disposable). Again, remember that Seth has already LOST money at this point, so spending more money just sounds crazy, right? If you think so, you'd be wrong because look at the pictures he captured from this:

Seth pretty much told us that he owes this dog more than he'll ever know. BUT that's not all folks. Casteel isn't done yet, oh no! His next adventure involves PUPPIES! Okay, so you probably knew that since you've read the title of this. Why puppies? Why not? So cute, adorable... and wait... they can drown? Why are you telling me this?!? Yep, puppies can drown and in the United States it happens quite often due to lack of awareness and the amount of unfenced pools. Seth decided to head out and spread awareness and take it one step farther... even TEACH these puppies to swim and be comfortable getting in and out of pools. Meanwhile, if he caught a good shot during these lessons, GREAT. If not, that's okay too. Is this guy the bomb or what? His story is that timeless rags (okay maybe not that low) to riches story that evolves into something even more beautiful, art for a cause. Here are a few of the puppy shots:

So I could go ON and ON about what types of equipment he used, some of the cute stories, or even statistics on how many dogs he had to shoot or how many states he had to go to... but I won't. I felt like I've taken up too much of your time already. Seth Casteel is already working (almost done?) on his third book which will feature "Underwater Babies". My question to him was "what was next?" and as much as he'd like to do an "Underwater Cats" series, he isn't sure if the possibility will arise. He HAS bought the domain name though... just in case? He even suggested that a possible "Underwater Creatures" which would cover various wild animals, but alas, this type of project would be quite costly. So here is my plea to you... BUY all his books, and then he'll have PLENTY of money to make this book. We can do it! The link to buy both books & 2015 calendars is down below... now go do it! 

Last but not least... The New Haven Animal Shelter attended the event and brought us a puppy that needs a home. Please contact the shelter if you would like to adopt this adorable puppy (Toby) or ANY of the dogs that need a home. Website -- Adoptable Pets.

Toby from the New Haven Animal Shelter

P.S. - I'm not using links for the ebook, because really? Why would you want this beauty as an ebook? Nope, buy the Hardcover already! 

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