About The Photographer - Alex Hopes
My name is Alex Hopes. I grew up in the small town of Treynor (pop 909) Iowa. Treynor is just 25 minutes east of Omaha Nebraska.
When I turned 18 and graduated high school and moved to Maryville MO to study elementary education. Two years later I switched majors and moved to Omaha. I graduated in 2010 with a journalism degree, and a concentration in elementary education.
Near the end of my college career I picked up a six week old little mutt, who I would later name Sid. There were no dogs in my childhood, so my infatuation with this adorable creature was intense. Sid was two years old when I decided to move to Austin TX. In many ways, Sid was the catalyst for my photography career.
Obviously, everything Sid did needed to be documented. I made sure to photograph him waking up, being awake, sleeping, eating, not eating, playing, not playing and well, you get the point. I was always ready with my camera.
Once we made the move to Austin, I began taking pictures of other things, like people and landscapes. The more I photographed, the more passionate I became about my hobby. I began to realize how much there was to know about photography, and it fascinated me.
I moved to Austin with a good friend, my dog Sid and everything we could fit in my car. There was no job lined up, no idea of where we would live. I knew no one, and had never been to the city before. After sleeping on a couch for two weeks, a job and a home were found. I began work at a restaurant, as a server.
I spent six or seven months working at the restaurant and began to grow tired of the service industry. I felt I hadn't achieved as much as I thought I would when moving to Austin.
So in December of 2012, I quit my job and purchased a camera I couldn't afford with the idea that I was going to start my own business.
The idea, to me, was simple. I was good with social media and decent with photography, so I combined those things.
I picked up my first client in January, a local burger joint with two locations in the Austin area. My role was to take photos, and integrate them into marketing strategies throughout different social medias. It was successful, but I was broke. I needed more clients.
It wasn't long after that I was able to pick up another client, a local gym. Initially, I was working for free, and received a gym membership in return, but after just a month I was put on payroll! Things were looking up, and I was excited about it. It was two months later that I received my big break, I picked up five new clients. They were all bars owned by the same person and from this point forward I was a busy man.
I eventually hired an employee to help with social media. The extra help and my flexible schedule allowed me to travel. This is when my love for photography really took off.
My trusty companion at my side, Sid and I have traveled all over the nation covering more than 20k miles. He and I have hiked to the highest points at Glacier NP (BC and Montana), Zion NP, and Arches NP, to name a few. We even hiked 25 miles to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back!
It was during the fall of 2012 and the summer of 2013 that the love of travel became a huge part of my life. Now, my goal in life is to provide beautiful images for people as a way to support my travel habit.
Sid and I finished an eight month road trip in February 2015. When we arrived back in Austin, I started photographing dogs at Zilker Park. Since we were already there 3-5 days a week, it just made sense to start an Instagram account called "@ZilkerPark". Well, that idea has transformed and Zilker Bark Dog Photography was created. I'm happy to say I'm doing what I love, and constantly surrounded adorable furry creatures.
So, if ever you're at the park, there's a good chance you'll see us! And if you do, don't be shy. Be sure to say "Hello".
Alex (& Sid)