Today, August 28th, is Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day. It's a day set aside to remember the pets that are no longer with us and was founded by author Deborah Barnes after the loss of her cat, Mr. Jazz. I often think of my and my husband's first dog together, Penny, who we said goodbye to on January 3rd, 2011. The name Penny Whistle Photography honors her memory.
When we lost Penny, I was not yet a professional photographer and cell phone cameras still left a lot to be desired, so what I have to remember her is a handful of snapshots. At least I have those, but what I wouldn't give to have even just ONE beautiful portrait of her that showed just how handsome a dog she was. As Week 35 of Pet Photography 52 Week Project coincides with Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day, I thought I'd write a post with the top 5 reasons you should photograph your senior pet NOW so you don't have the same regrets that I do.
1) Because they're part of your family
We don't call them "furkids" for nothing. Pets give us unconditional love, are always happy to see us and are the best ego boost out there. Your family member deserves to be beautifully captured by a professional photographer who will create wall art and keepsakes that you will cherish for a lifetime.
2) Because you want to remember them looking and feeling well
Don't take life for granted (and it's easy to do). Penny wasn't sick until she was, and then it was fast and devastating. I have these few snapshots taken on the morning we had to say goodbye because I wanted just one more picture of her. It's nothing I can hang on the wall, or place on my desk, and it's never far from my mind that these were the last images of her. She was gone moments later. If only I could turn back time I would have hired a photographer to capture her strength and striking look. If only...
3) Because you never want to forget the little things
As part of the consultation process, I always ask what you love about your pet. What do you want to make sure we capture? Do they do something that you absolutely adore? Or have a favorite toy that is their constant companion? This gentleman said "He's always at my feet, I'd like an image that captures that".
4) Because YOU should be in the picture as well
I'm just like you, I have loads of cell phone images of my pets. I'm constantly snapping all the cute things they do...and I'm never in any of the images. Even when I photograph them with my "big girl camera", I'm still not in the picture. Working with a professional photographer will help you create images of you AND your pet. The bond that you share and your favorite things they do that you never want to forget.
5) Because they're never with us long enough
It's the tragedy of giving your whole heart to an animal; they're never with us long enough and unfortunately sometimes life is even crueler and takes them from us all too soon. Whether you have a kitten, puppy, young adult or a graying senior, don't delay. Photograph your pet while you have them with you and how you want to remember them. Read this heartbreaking letter I received from a client who unexpectedly lost her heart dog. I cried as I read how much the photographs we took of her dog meant to her after their loss.
I've learned my lesson
Even though I'm a professional photographer, I still can't photograph my own family! I cherish this image that Sylvia took of our family - but alas it needs updating as we added Rooney to our family last December. I know what we'll be doing this fall!
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. She is the dog mom of four; three rescues and a border collie puppy, as well as servant to Jiffy the Cat, another rescue that she picked up along the way while volunteering at local shelters.
Penny Whistle specializes in both on-location and studio photography providing pet, equine, family, couples & engagement and high school senior portraits as well as corporate headshots and commercial photography services in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake, Flower Mound and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.