As a pet photographer and animal lover, I am always delighted when my clients want to be photographed with their fur babies. This particular session was bittersweet because Kathy and Ralph's beloved Belgian Malinois Star was recently diagnosed with cancer, and that was in part the impetus for our session. On a very personal level, I could relate to Kathy and Ralph's desire to capture some beautiful images of her and of their family all together before Star makes her journey across the rainbow rainbow bridge; earlier this year, my soul cat Chico passed away from feline anemia. I have my favorite picture of him hanging in my room, where I can see it every day when I wake up. I miss him every day and am grateful to have the image as a way to remember him.
Despite Star's diagnosis, I would have never been able to tell that she wasn't feeling her best that day. From the moment she came down the stairs of the patio into their lovely backyard in College Park, she was all smiles and sweetness. She even put on her best face when asked to pose with her pesky little brother Frito, an energetic Jack Russell Terrier.
For me, one of the coolest things about the shoot was watching Kathy and Ralph interact with their dogs. Ralph is a professional dog trainer and he is fantastic. It was amazing to witness Star and Frito following their parents' commands, and it certainly made my job easy. I am honored to have been able to capture the special and loving bond between them.