This is the first article in a five-part series celebrating women entrepreneurs in the Bay Area this summer.
I met photographer Ingrid Gordon on a balmy Saturday morning at Crissy Field. I was worried I wouldn't be able to find her because, well, it was a balmy Saturday morning at Crissy Field. But the moment my Uber pulled into the east parking lot, I quickly realized this woman could be spotted from a mile away.
She was standing next to a white van covered in photos of dogs, holding a bag of GoPro cameras in one hand and the leashes of three pups in the other. Gordon, you see, is the Bay Area's only GoPro photographer who specializes in capturing the lives of dogs by the bay.
"Here, take this," she said, handing me a bucket of water. "We'll tire the dogs out and set up the cameras before my client arrives."
Among the canine trio was Charlie, a six-year-old Shih Tzu–Maltese mix and shelter rescue who's living her best life thanks to Gordon. A few years back, when working as Charlie's sitter, Gordon had made a video for the dog's owners, who were frustrated in training her, during a weekend stay, "to show them that they had a great puppy that needed to learn some manners. But when they came to pick her up, they said they were taking her back to the shelter."
You already know how that story ends: Today, Gordon and Charlie are inseparable; the dog surfs a lot, has been the cover girl for "Bay Woof," and will soon be featured on the can of a new locally brewed beer.
But Charlie isn't the only positive to come from those dog-sitting days—that video turned into a side hustle and is now Gordon's full-time job: Her business, GoPro Dogs, guarantees dog parents frame-able photos of their fur babies in action; you can even book the experience through Airbnb.
Using several different cameras, Gordon is guaranteed to always get the shot.(Megan Cheek)
To get the perfect shot, Gordon sets up a handful of GoPros on the beach, and clicks the shutter from her phone as the dogs' owners throw them balls or toys. "I also like to put a GoPro on the dog's back, so we get every perspective. By the end of a shoot, I'll have hundreds of shots! Most clients have a tough time picking their favorites."
"So far, I've loved every dog and their humans who have booked my experience. The ones that really stand out are the older or less active dogs who only have dreams of running like super-dog across the beach. I have mastered the art of making their saunter-like-jaunt across the beach look amazingly active! And the shots are a once in a lifetime, priceless action shots with the majestic Golden Gate bridge in the background."
Think of it as an epic Instagram op.
"The most inspiring thing about being a female creative in the Bay Area is the support I get from other female entrepreneurs," she says.
(Ingrid Gordon, GoPro Dogs)
This editorial feature celebrating women entrepreneurs is sponsored by Sava, a women-founded, women-led company that makes it their mission to support other women-owned businesses. Sava founders Andrea Brooks and Amanda Denz have created a different kind of cannabis experience, one with high-quality standards, transparency in sourcing, education around the plant, and strong customer support. They've sought out partnerships with women who make exceptional cannabis products, and as a result, half the brands you'll find in Sava's online marketplace are women-owned. Shop the complete offering at getsava.com.