I get a lot of comments about this portrait of an older black lab. I think people are drawn to the white hair and the expression of an older dog. All of us at one time or another are going to have to face our dogs getting older, getting sick and eventually dying. Their lives are so short compared with ours and we need to make the most out of our time together. The sad fact is that many people want to have a portrait to remember their dogs by but they wait until their dog is very sick before calling. When I get a call like that, I always ask, “is this how you want to remember your dog?”. More than once we have skipped the photo session and gone straight to the emergency vet.
Then again, I can’t tell you the number of calls and notes I have received from owners who are so glad they didn’t wait. They lost their dog, but they have a beautiful portrait to remember their dog.
My own dogs are getting older. Each has already been in a special album I designed for them. Both albums were done when they were younger and already I cherish the images of my dogs in their younger years.
The best times to photograph your dog is when you first get them, especially when they are puppies, when they are full grown, a group portrait whenever you add a dog or human baby to your family and when they get older, but before they are sick. The grizzled white face of an older dog is so special. It is a wonderful memory of your lives together.