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If I have one piece of wisdom to pass along to dog-loving folks right now, it’s that you need to be in photos with your dog this year.

In 2021, I booked two professional photography sessions with my dog, Kerouac. I knew that we might not have a lot of time left together as she was beginning to slow down quite a bit. I didn’t want to miss the chance to have beautiful photos taken with her, so I made the call, and booked our first photo session with Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography.

Holly is a dear friend of mine, and I was not at all surprised to find out that she and my husband were trying to work out a way to surprise me with a photo session. In true “Marika gets shit done” style, I ruined their surprise by scheduling a session before they could surprise me. Ha.

In the end, it didn’t matter whose idea it was because the photos were so wonderful. Holly captured a photo of the three of us that is my all-time favorite family photo. I had it printed as a large canvas to hang above our couch, and it brings me a lot of joy every single day.

 

This is how I had my favorite photo from our session with Holly Cook Photography printed.

The second photo session happened only two days before Kerouac’s earthly journey came to an end. The night before our session, Kerouac and I were hanging out in our backyard during golden hour (the hour before the sun sets when the light is absolutely magical).

As I watched her walk around the yard, I knew that I needed one more chance to have us captured in this light. I knew it was last-minute, but I reached out to Amy Soper of Amelia Soper Photography to find out if she had any availability over the next two evenings.

Amy is primarily a wedding and people photographer, but she also enjoys including dogs in her sessions. I’ve been a fan of her work for years, and I reached out to her because I knew she could capture what I was looking for for this final photo session with Kerouac. We got lucky, and were able to meet the next evening at our favorite park in Shoreline.

The moments captured during that sunny August night were exactly what I wanted to have to remember how Kerouac and I were together. I now have this beautiful book full of my favorite photos from our session, and even more motivation to inspire you to do the same for yourself.

The three reasons to be in photos with your dog this year.

 

No matter where you’re at on your journey with the dog in your life, here’s what I want you to know about why you need to be in photos with your dog this year:

 

1. You’re a part of their story.

Reason number one to be in photos with your dog this year: you’re a part of their story.

When you book a photo session with me for your dog, we’re going to tell their story together. We’re going to pick a place they love where they can do their favorite things in the most beautiful light, and we’re going to capture them in photos.

And you’re going to show up in those photos because you, my friend, are a part of their story too. The most beautiful part. 

The ways you choose to show up in photos is up to you, but we’ll work through it together to capture your best moments. This is your story, and having someone witness and capture it for you is a beautiful gift to give yourself.

 

2. You’ll be so glad you did it.

Reason number 2 to be in photos with your dog this year: you’ll be so glad that you did it.

 

Whatever your hesitations are about booking a photo session for you and your dog, I want you to know that when you do it, you’ll be so glad that you did.

The night I realized that I needed to book one last photo session for Kerouac and myself, I hesitated for a minute. A lot of doubts ran through my mind before I picked up my phone to book the session.

I worried that I would be too much of a mess emotionally, and wouldn’t look good in photos. I didn’t want to get my hopes up in case we couldn’t book a session in time. I wasn’t even sure how much money it was going to cost. I was scared of all of it.

But then I looked over at Kerouac, and remembered what mattered most – being with her.

It didn’t matter if I looked like a hot mess on the day of our session because as long as I was with her, I would feel beautiful. The only way we were going to have photos taken was to reach out to a photographer to ask. No matter what it cost to make it happen, I would pay it because I will always be able to get more money. I would never have this chance to have our light captured again.

So I booked the session to have photos taken with Kerouac, and I’m so glad that I did.

 

3. You deserve it.

Reason number three to be in photos with your dog this year: you deserve it.

 

It’s so easy to find excuses to not be in photos. I get it. I’ve done it for years by being the person taking the photos instead of being in the photos. The thing that got me to stop avoiding being in photos, was capturing beautiful moments of my clients with the dogs they love.

Seeing them in their element together inspired me in ways that I hadn’t expected. It made me want to have more moments like that with my girl. And it made me want to capture more moments with more amazing dogs and the people who love them.

You deserve to have photos of yourself experiencing moments like this with the dog you love so that you can see how magical the two of you are together.

Whether you’re at the beginning, middle, or coming to the end of your time with the dog you love, it’s time for you to book that session. 

 

Let’s connect to start the journey to a beautiful photo session for you and your dog.

 

 

 

All around the circle

I have the pleasure of working alongside some incredible folks doing great things in the world of pet photography. One of the spaces I get to be a part of is a blog circle where we share stories, insights, photos (of course), and all kinds of brilliance. You can click through to read each blog until you find yourself back here. Next up in the circle you’ll hear from Atlanta pet photographer, Courtney Bryson, shares why her 2022 New Year’s Resolution is to be in photos WITH her dogs.