While in NY I felt the need to find something for me, I had done the stay at home Mom and the Navy wife thing for 13 years. I needed to find something I was passionate about, something for me, and so Amy O'Banion Photography came to life in 2011. I started the business and learned the trade and truly enjoyed capturing moments for my clients, who I like to call friends. I grew the business, moved it...twice, and when we got out of the Navy in 2014 and moved back home to TX, Cliff, my husband, came on board and now we shoot as a team. We have changed the name to O'Banion Portraiture to include him and we enjoy working the business together. I knew now that were settled back in TX I wanted to find a shelter or a rescue to volunteer with and donate the trade that I learned, photography!
In January of 2015, we were forced to make the tough decision to put down one of our babies, this was the 3rd time we had to deal with the loss of one of our fur-babies and not an easy decision to make, but he was in pain and couldn't get up anymore and we knew it was time. We were back to 2 and we didn't really have the intention of going back to 3, until we were at Tractor Supply in April of 2015 getting food for our ducks and there was a table set up with a crate full of puppies...I knew I was in trouble and, well, so did Cliff. He went on in to get the food while I hung back and visited with a friend of the Executive Director of a fairly new rescue called A Life to Live. I had been looking for a rescue to work with and donate our time and photography to and also donate some profits to from a pet mini session event we had set up and this just seemed perfect. We visited with Jay and offered our services and asked if he would like to be the rescue we donated the proceeds from the session to. We also fell in love with a puppy out of the 4 that were there, I just felt we needed to honor our Jasper and bring another pup into the home. We now had the land and a nice home and, well, lots of love to give to a new pup, we chose a beautiful pup named Mazey...now Lily. I cannot imagine life without this pup and I just feel like it was fate that we met Jay that day, this began my journey in animal rescue. I have been working with A Life to Live for a little over a year now and I just have to say it has filled that void, that urge to help those in need! I cannot say thank you enough to my husband and family and all the support they have given not only to me through this journey and the need and want to help but also all the support and time they have given to A Life to Live.
We volunteer at events, provide photos to help get the animals adopted and help promote A Life to Live, we have also fostered for A Life to Live. In 2015 we saved a Mom and litter of 6 pups from a high kill shelter and fostered them until they were all adopted and, yes this is where our 4th pup came from, we had a foster fail with our little Olaf. A lot of people say I cannot foster because I would keep them all...Yes, it is so hard to foster and not get attached but I am so happy to know that all the pups and momma dog found wonderful homes! It truly makes it worth it, even though it is hard to see them go! It was not always easy, and there were many days I wanted to pull my hair out but in the end to know we saved 7 lives felt truly amazing! We had some sick puppies in the beginning and the momma dog was not in too good of shape either, but we as a family nursed them all back to health, I weaned the pups and trained them and then we sent them off to their new homes. We also fostered a boxer that was found, as a stray, by a friend who is also involved in animal rescue. She needed help as she had a house full so being a boxer lover and knowing she needed help and does so much to help others out I offered to help and reached out to Jay and asked if we could foster him. We brought Chief into the program, got him up to date on shots, neutered and fattened him up and got him ready to go to his forever home. He was such a sweet boy and just wanted to be loved, we found him a perfect home with an experienced boxer owner and he now lives with 2 other boxer siblings.