Dog Rainbow Photography

Well hello there! Welcome to my brand new blog! Buckle up, this first post will be a doozie and fairly long. 😊

Many years ago, when I first picked up a camera and fell in love with photography, I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer at Winchester SPCA and take photos of the adoptable animals. This was a very challenging project for someone brand new at photography. It helped so much in learning my camera, how to do the technical aspects and be able to do so very quickly. I learned about different lighting, from indoor to natural light and how to switch between the two. This was all in addition to figuring out how to get mostly untrained animals to “cooperate” and for me to learn to focus quickly on where I wanted. This can be very difficult to do with years under your belt, let alone a few months. While I was fairly comfortable with (dogs especially) different temperaments and personality, it taught me so much more on how to get their trust to have a black box that clicks in their face. Understandably, most were not a fan. Once I was more comfortable in being able to use my camera, I branched out and began to photograph humans. Of course, I delved right in and loved it, especially families with young kids. All that time, I still yearned for dog sessions and was always ecstatic when someone was interested in one, or brought their dogs to their family session. I am a huge animal lover, and it just made my heart soar to be able to meet and love on so many furry family members. 

              These past 2 years, I was so lucky to have so many fuzzy dog sessions. I loved playing with bubbles and having birthday cakes, pretty flower collars, cute bandanas, ties, and bowties. There is just nothing like running and playing fetch and having a blast. Along with these sessions I had a handful of dog end-of-life or rainbow photoshoots. These are meant to celebrate and memorialize the bond between dog and family. During end-of-life photoshoots there are lots of cuddles and very often, tears (including my own). I’d never had such powerful and emotional sessions before. Most of my experiences were happy and celebratory in nature. I fell in love with the impact these silver sessions had on both me and the family in front of the camera. 

              In spring of last year, I got the devastating news that my angel doggie Kenzie had degenerative myelitis. This means that the nerves branching out were degrading and she was losing feeling and control of her legs and back end. I found out in spring and was told there is no real way to estimate how long I’d have with her. I knew I had to have a rainbow session with her before it was too late. In May I scheduled a session with a fellow photographer friend to have her document Kenzie with all her cute details I didn’t want to forget, her sitting with “her” baby and of course lots of snuggles with me. I am so completely grateful that I did. I still can’t look at the photos, but when I can I will print them out so I always have them. Taking a million phone photos and practicing on her when I was starting just wasn’t enough. I needed professional and beautiful photos of her. Looking back, I definitely regret not taking my own photos of her with the rest of the family at that time too. I planned on doing it as well, but we ran out of time.

              This experience with my Kenzie and having lost 2 other dogs in really traumatic ways has really cemented for me the importance of this particular type of session. It can be so very painful to have them taken, especially if your doggie has open wounds or tumors that you don’t particularly want to remember. I try and encourage clients to be okay with it, as it is part of your precious family member’s journey through this life. You may feel like you don’t want to remember that part, but I promise you will regret not having captured your sweet baby as they were at the end. 

              So, this very long blog post is mostly to say that this year I want to focus a lot on dog sessions, and dog end of life photo sessions as much as possible. It has become a passion of mine to spend time and give this gift to grieving families. You just never know how much time you have left with your fur-family, and having beautiful art showing your connection is just priceless. I will still be available and so excited to document all of your other milestones or just because moments too! I will just be working towards adding more of this important session. I will have a super exciting announcement regarding this very soon!