FAQ – RIDGEBOOK Sign Up & Scheduling

When are you coming to Ridgeville?

This is the question we hear most frequently, hands down. The most up to date schedule is always posted on our Tour Dates page. We are currently moving around the country in a counter-clockwise direction, following mild weather.  That doesn’t mean its a good idea to wait until we are nearby to schedule a shoot!  We’ve put together the following FAQ to get everyone ready for our upcoming Ridgebook tour that will take in all of the remaining states!  We hope it will answer all your questions and give you a good sense of what to expect.  We are excited to get going!!!

How do I sign up?

To lock in a shoot and a spot in your regional Ridgebook, there are three things you need to do.

1-Let us know that you want a shoot and provide your email.

2-Complete your $100 deposit (100% refundable until a date is set).

3-Cassie will follow up with you, usually the same day, to take care of the rest.

Wait a sec, I have questions before I give you my money?

We have tried to answer as many of the common questions as possible on this page. Please understand that we have 70+ shoots to schedule for this project alone. Take time to make sure we haven’t answered your question already by scrolling through the information below. We will be happy to take as much time as needed on an individual basis answering questions not addressed here.

What is your deposit policy?

To book a shoot requires a $100 dollar deposit. The deposit is 100% refundable until a date is scheduled. Once we have set a date, deposits fall under our standard refund policy.

When will the book be done and who is next?

We have wrapped up our shoots in the Pacific Time zone and have begun production of Volume 1. We are currently seeking at least one commitment in each state for the rest of the United States. When we have these commitments (a deposit is required) we will set a route to get to everyone and be scheduling dates. We anticipate two more volumes (books) within the United States. These will likely be built around time zones but ultimately will be dictated where Ridgebookers sign up, about 40-50 shoots for each volume.

That’s a lot of shoots, how do we know you can pull this off?

The easiest way to answer that is my past record: Shoots for the Pacific Time zone are already complete and the book is in production.  I have been on the road for two years and completed over 300 shoots for The Breed Project. Last summer, for the Dog Days of Summer book project, I did over 100 shoots over 93 consecutive days (summer – literally;), and covering over 12,000 miles that began in Miami and included Vermont, Missouri, Portland OR, and ended in San Diego.  In January I published the Dog Days book (that’s it in the sidebar).

 When can we expect to schedule a fixed shoot date?

We currently have a relatively tight schedule laid out for the next two months and are quickly moving towards our goal of a fixed schedule up to five or six months ahead. Through Nationals (Sep 11) we are holding off on locking in dates to maximize Ridgebook participation and allow us flexibility in scheduling your dates. You can always visit our Tour Dates page to get a sense of how far out we have locked in dates. You will also see windows for future locations and that we are moving around the country in a counter-clockwise direction following the best weather. Don’t worry Show Me State- we are also coming to the middle!

 Can I just decide later?

Committing now through a deposit guarantees a shoot. In fact, we will bend over backwards to work with your schedule. As we move towards having a commitment in every state we will begin to lay out a route and simultaneously be announcing a fixed tour schedule to the audiences for our two concurrent all breed projects based on and around your Ridgebook shoots. In short, signing up now guarantees a shoot and consideration of your schedule. The longer you wait the less flexibility we have to accommodate your schedule and fewer dates we’ll have available in your area.

 Why don’t you just fix the schedule and tell us when you’re coming?

Offering a choice makes things harder. Nowhere is this truer than with scheduling a nationwide tour. For a limited time we are prioritizing Ridgebook shoots over our other all breed projects to get the best locations, times that work with your schedule, allow you to organize multiple owners and maximizes participation. In order to offer this choice we need to know your preferences and get a commitment through a deposit.  Prioritizing Ridgebacks is a temporary condition until our all breed board of directors hears of it;)  That means a few weeks so sign up now!

Is there a deadline to sign up?

We prefer not to have Ridgebookers feel threatened by a deadline, so instead we try to incentivize commitment.  Ultimately, we do need commitments in the near term to plan an effective tour and get you all scheduled.   So what about those incentives?  Once we have reached a certain number (internal top secret #) of commitments secured with a deposit, we will be entering those commitments into a raffle and awarding one free shoot!  This will be happening soon and include only those with a paid deposit.

Our goal is to have at least one representative for each state signed up by the end of Ridgeback Nationals on September 12. We will be taking deposits for all those who would like a shoot and collecting information about your dogs, possible locations, and schedule conflicts for the general time we are coming. See Tour 2014 for current schedule.

What kind of information should we provide when we make our deposit?

Check the schedule for a general sense of when we will be in your area and let us know any known conflicts (weddings, graduations, big dog shows you’ll be attending, etc). It’s also good to know whether you need a weekend vs a weekday (shoots are the last 3 hours before sunset or the first 3 hours after sunrise). You should also provide any interesting info about your dog – where they are from, breeding, activities (tracking, therapy, agility, coursing, conformation, etc). Cassie will be in touch to gather all this information and get you in the system for scheduling.

You say taking a deposit before we have a date benefits me, huh…?

It allows us to gather dog info, but more importantly any known conflicts well in advance (travel, weddings, graduations, etc). Conversely, you should have fewer of these conflicts months in advance and can build the flexible parts of your personal schedule around your shoot.

We can look at everyone’s schedule and preferences collectively and plan the optimal route (probably 90%+ inclusion).

I can slow down or accelerate a few days at certain places in the schedule to accommodate the greatest # of participants.

I can work on other projects or build a vacation into my schedule to buy time in areas where it would make a difference for a large number of participants.

Regional flexibility – on the east coast for example, I can take 95 going north and 81/75 heading south, or reverse it depending on what eliminates scheduling conflicts and maximizes participation. This is a real situation I have going on now, with at least 5 participants in the balance. If I issued a schedule, none of them would have been able to participate.

Knowing I have a collection of 5+ shoots in NY/NJ, or as I do in MI right now, I can make a special trip (maybe even duplicate trip) to that state, perhaps at a time where I need to delay in another area, and take a route that scoops up outlier areas (rural). I did this this past spring in NY, TN, and TX, picking up singles in rural TX, OK, and NM.

What about these Other Projects?

We are moving towards scheduling further out and committing to dates in advance. There is great demand in the all breed community – many of whom felt somewhat abandoned when I launched Ridgebook – a tangent to broader The Breed Project and its stated goals. I am giving Ridgebookers first dibs and allowing them to dictate the national schedule to some degree. As dates are announced, they will be announced to all project audiences and the result will be a corresponding inflexibility in working with your schedule. That is why now is the time!

Is there any question you can’t answer?


We would like to go on ‘x’ date, can you come? This is fine if you know its within a couple weeks of when I’ve announced I’ll be in your area (see Tour 2014), but in most cases is not a practical approach for scheduling 70+ shoots across 40 states, and far more once tour dates are announced widely to our All Breed audience/projects. We do welcome you to include these special requests when we are initially collecting your info at the time the deposit is taken –  sometimes there are unexpected trips that might coincidentally fall in line with your optimal date.

Accounting for things that have to be recognized are out of our control: my bitch might be on the road with her handler. We might have just had puppies (I will want to photograph them!).  It might rain. It might be foggy and I’d like a sunny day. In over 300 shoots so far, I have found that things almost always work out to get your shoot in. During last summers Dog Days project, I did over 100 shoots on 93 consecutive days from Miami to VT to TN to WI to OR to San Diego …with zero wiggle room only two were canceled. If a shoot legitimately doesn’t work out, I will try my best to reschedule with you. As much as I might like to implement my ‘retire in Mexico on deposits’, its just not good for business.