Back With the Best of Both Worlds!

Well hey there, folks!

Nope – I didn’t drop off the planet and I didn’t take a crew position on the H.M.S Galactica. In reality the answer’s a bit more boring.   Life’s been busy, projects have been in flux, and work’s been less visual and more consultation-based.

Over the last 6 months I’ve acquired some new clients, started fresh projects with previous clients, and been on a number of adventures.  Why, I even started teaching at an accredited institution and have been presenting a growing series of motivational presentations directed at upcoming professional creatives.  (So, I can safely say you should be expecting some content that’s excited to jab at your cerebral cortex.)

To kick things off, I’d like to showcase a recent project.  It took about a month to put together and ended up producing one of the best outtake reels I’ve ever shot. (That’s coming a bit later).

Going on a year and a half ago, I put out this post for a recently finished project.  Canine Resolution contracted me for a branding package, photo series, and promo packets.  It’s now 18 months later and video’s the name of the game.

I’ll give you a quick rundown.

Canine Resolution is the Metro Area’s best dog training institution.  No – really.  They just won 1st place in the 2014 Detroit A-list Competition for “Best Dog Trainer.” They work in all programs from puppy and the A.K.C Canine Good Citizen Program, to agility, scent training, and schutzhund (attack training). Their program shuns shock collars or negative reinforcement and promotes simultaneous training of owner and dog.  All things considered, it’s pretty awesome.

So, let your eyeballs be entertained and soak in the official Canine Resolution Commercial.

– Jon

The Golden Gang

A friend of mine has a golden retriever.  His name is Mondego (after the character in Alexander Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo).  He also happens to be the smallest fully-grown male golden I’ve ever met, tipping the scales at something like 40 pounds.

But that’s beside the point.

This dog is a member of an extended family that also loves goldens.  Parents and siblings included, there are 6 golden retrievers… and I got to photograph them.

Oh, and there’s a cockatoo as well.

Here are a few of my favorites.

– Jon

History Repeats Itself

When it rains, it pours.  When it rains dogs… well, speaking in meteorological terms, that’s impossible, but the idea of it is straight awesome.

The last three posts were all about our fuzzy, drool-covered, blanket-hogging, best friends.  So I see no need to stop while we’re on a roll.  Here’s dog post numero 4.

Back in another life (it was something like 6ish years ago) I worked at a dog training company for about a year.  Recently I got back into the whole Rescue League scene and organized a pet adoption fundraiser (That post down there has all the nitty gritty).  Well, in the process of organizing the whole thing, I found myself in touch with that very same trainer.

You’ll never guess what happened.

OK, you probably will.  I mean, why else would I be writing a post about this?  So to answer the question that’s clearly been screaming from the dark recesses of your mind: YES!  Yes I have taken even more pictures of dogs.  Not only that, but I also re-branded his company.  It looks pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.

Also – not sure how many of you fine folks have adopted or are about to adopt, but I would like to mention that Canine Resolution has my highest level of approval when it comes to learning how to make the best of your time with your best friend.  Tell ’em Jon Kopacz sent ya.

Here’s some pretty stuff.  Have a gander!

– Jon

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Head Of The Pack

I would apologize for three dog posts in a row… if it weren’t awesome.  But, as it is, dogs are pretty much the best thing in the entire world.

Everyone agrees?  Great.  Let’s move on.

So back at the beginning of the month I mentioned that I was doing some work for Pedigree’s Dog Adoption Project.  While that was an awesome experience, it was only the tip of the iceberg.  I got the Pedigree job as a referral from The Michigan Animal Rescue League.

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Back, about 2 and a half years ago, I did a bit of volunteer photographic work for the Rescue League.  You can check out some of the images in my fine art gallery (click that image on the right to link to it).  It culminated in a couple small photo shows at local galleries and a bit of work for the Rescue League to use on their site and such.

This time, while I was already digging in, I figured I might as well give it my all…. so here’s what’s going down:

The Rescue League needed a commercial.  This place has been helping you find your best friend for over half a century.  People should know how awesome they are.  So that happened.  Check it  –


While I was working on the commercial, one of the volunteers came up with the idea to strap a camera to a spoon and give peanut butter to all the dogs.  The whole concept made me feel like a child ’cause I wasn’t smart enough to come up with such an awesome idea… but that’s beside the point.  For your viewing pleasure, here’s a boat-load of dogs eating peanut butter:

All the media is fine and dandy, but I felt this time around it would be better to keep pushing and put together an event.  So here’s the deal.

My longest-running client owns a bowling center and restaurant in Commerce, MI – Wonderland Lanes and The Mad Hatter Pub.   He happens to also love dogs.

He’s graciously agreed to host a pet adoption fundraiser on May 5th.  There will be food, music, glow bowling, art sales, and – of course – lots of dogs and cats ready to love you forever.  Here are the details:

Pets N Pins Poster Print WEB RES

You should totally come.  Even if you don’t bowl, the food is great, it’s a great cause, and how else would you rather spend a Sunday than playing with puppies and kittens?

See you there!

– Jon

A Legacy For The Ages.

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This Tuesday my golden retriever, Murphy Riley Kopacz, passed away.  He is 11 & 3/4 years old.

It’s sad.  The events of the last 3 weeks cycle through my head on a loop and it hurts.  But that’s where it stops.  Everything else is happy and, frankly, hilarious.  I just have to think about who he is and not about what happened.

He pooped on a shrew at the park in February.  That kind of thing doesn’t happen.  He hunkered down just as the little guy popped out of its hole to see what was going on… imagine what went through that shrew’s mind.  Hilarious.

We ran out of dog food one morning when he was about 5.  So we gave him a can of SPAM.  You ever see a dog try to eat a cube of SPAM?  It’s terrific.  Every time they try to take a bite it slides across the floor.

I was about 22 when I was hanging out with him on the beach.  A couple of rather attractive young ladies walked past and exclaimed how “OMG absolutely adoooooorable he was and if they could PLEEEEEASE pet him.”  Knowing precisely how to use my dog’s charm for my own gain I of course said that they could…. then he brought them half of a rotting dead catfish.  That one was probably funnier to him than it was to me.

Here are a few of the things he was by my side for:

  • The end of high school
  • 2 cataclysmic exes
  • The best relationship anyone could ever have (her name is Ashley and he ran to HER when he was in trouble).
  •            – Fun fact: Ashley was terrified of dogs until she met my 100 pound, teeth filled, carnivorous beast.  Now she loves dogs.  Yeah – Murphy did that.
  • 2 degrees
  • The entirety of the development of my career.
  • weight loss
  • weight gain
  • He was also the inspiration for me to undertake the longest-running project of my career.

He’s my hero.

If you knew him, you already knew how awesome he was.  For those who didn’t, here’s a look at Murphy

– Jon