This is my dog Bird. My parents brought him home the same week my mom found out she was pregnant with my older sister. So, for my whole early childhood all the way to tweendom I didn’t know a life without Bird. He was an incredibly smart, loving, and patient dog. And I don’t have a single good picture of him. This dog that meant the world to me and my family for over 16 years, who saved me from falling off the little tikes picnic table when I was 2, who herded my friends and I in the back yard while we ran and played make believe. This maybe digital maybe film picture printed on standard printer paper that I had to then scan back onto my computer is the absolute best picture I could hunt down in our albums. That is a big bummer for me.
I know I’m overly sentimental, but the day I brought my puppy Charlie home in December of 2016 I looked at her little baby brown face and thought there is no way I’m letting any of her life pass by without photographing it.
Now you may not be in dire need of hundreds pictures of your dog the way that I am… But nonetheless why let their time pass by without documenting it? Why not obtain some proof that they were here and they meant something to you? Our pets are part of our families, or even if you don’t view them as family they’re still a loving long term companion to you. So with that in mind the reason you need pet photography is primarily twofold:
- Because celebrating the things you love while you’re still in the moment with them often goes overlooked. And
- Because one day down the line I’m sure you’d really like to look back at a picture of a pet that made you feel happy and loved, or amused, or frustrated. And when that moment comes why not let it be with a beautiful work of art? One where you can really see the different colors in their eyes or the texture of their fur, and feel for a few moments like they’re there with you again.
The points I’m making here add up to why I personally adore pet photography. Why it means the world to me, and why I think it should mean the world to everyone else who owns a pet. I understand right now lots of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe you’re pinching pennies and trying to figure out what is paramount to spend our money on in a time when there’s not a ton of it to be spent. Or even if you’re doing well for yourself it’s sometimes hard to justify spending money on things that can be considered silly or frivolous.
I’ve had so many friends and clients tell me to not sell myself short by calling what I do silly but I don’t think silly is a bad thing. I think we need silly. Purple studio portraits of dogs with their ears inside out are silly. Photos of cats bending over backwards after they’ve had catnip for the first time? Absolutely silly! And I like it that way. I personally think it’s often when you probably shouldn’t spend money on something silly that you need to the most. Do something that makes you happy just because. The fact that it makes you smile is reason enough. Who knows what’s coming up next, so why not have your dog licking peanut butter off his nose as your cellphone lockscreen?