I participate in a weekly photography project with many other pet photographers all over the world. Each week we are challenged with a new topic. The topic for this week’s blog circle is ‘repetition’ or finding a way to use some sort of repeating element to add interest to our photos, whether it’s an object, a pattern, or whatever else we can think of. I began a very personal photography project last year that has the repeating element of a therapy vest! I am working on a book called ‘Hug Tails, Portraits of Therapy Pets.’ I am photographing these wonderful dogs and cats in my studio and ‘at work.’ This week I had the pleasure of photographing Toby, Portia and Cara, all wearing that beautiful vest. As much as the vest is a repeating element, I am striving for the images themselves be unique and reflective of the animals’ hearts!
This is Portia and Cara –
This is Toby –
It has been a few weeks since I have been able to participate in the weekly blog circle, and during that time, my boy Jack was accepted into our Therapy Program! Here is his handsome, proud self!
His sister, Ms. Serious Julie (at least in this image) has been a therapy dog for two years. I just had to photograph them together!
If you would like to see a brief video of my early work on this project, here it is! (Helps to increase the quality to HD).
My Project 52 begins this year with the most wonderful theme – JOY! I named my business Share the Joy Photography in honor of the joy our pets bring into our lives, and most specifically the impact that therapy pets have on people who are sick, sad or facing the end of their lives. I bring my dog Julie (and soon Jack) to visit hospice and hospital patients, kids who are coping with the loss of loved ones and nursery school children who have been traumatized in some way and at the tender ages of 2 to 5 already need dedicated therapy and intervention. I see the joy in their faces when I arrive and the relief in their faces when they hug her neck. Julie seems to know which ones can handle kisses and which just need her to be still. She amazes me every visit we make together.
Jack and Julie are both smiling golden retrievers. They are three year old siblings, raised together, but separately too. They have gone to separate training classes since they were puppies to learn to be therapy dogs and also to learn to be content without the other one with them. There is always one sure way to get them to smile and that is to get them running. With my husband’s help I was able to capture these happy faces. He held onto both pups until I got a good distance away and then released each one. I think the looks on their faces are a wonderful reflection of the joy in their hearts. My project 52 this year will be dedicated to these two pups and their adventures. I can’t wait to share them with all of you!
This is a blog circle so you now have the wonderful opportunity to see how other talented pet photographers around the world interpreted this beautiful theme. First up is the wonderful work of Black Newf Photography in Portland, Oregon. Click on the link at the bottom of each post to follow the blog circle until you end up back here. I expect that you will be smiling the whole way! Enjoy.
To become a Therapy Dog, Julie first had to pass the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test and then was evaluated by the two groups she participates with. We visit a therapeutic nursery school, hospice and hospital patients and work with young readers at a local library. She loves doing this and so do I!