I am admittedly one of those people that dress their dogs up and take pictures. If they were "humans", I would totally show these pictures later in life to their prom date or future spouse. So, it comes as no surprise that I also take them to have their picture with Santa and the Easter bunny. And that was how I met my friend, Sharon Hardy of Sweet Potato Pet Photography.
It was Halloween last year and I was taking the dogs to a Halloween get-together given by Happy Angels Dog Rescue. The paperwork was not quite finalized on Tokki and I wanted to appear like a good pet parent, so of course we were going to show up and show off our successful 3-week fostering period. But afterwards, we were going to hurry back to Pasadena for our spooky pet portrait sitting at Centinela.
When I arrived, there was a pet photographer taking photos of all the rescued dogs and their respective mommies and daddies. Mookie had a great time mingling (Tokki was still on the reserved side so she spent time cuddled in my lap, which of course, made her more adorable.). At one point, I was watching Sharon work (she was so great with all the different dogs and their personality) and it hit me. Why am I rushing back to get pictures done when great photos were being done right here? I called up Centinela and cancelled the appointment and it was one of the best moves. The pictures I got back from that day were so amazing. Also, I was so taken by Sharon's altruistic spirit. At the time, not only was she donating her time and energy for Happy Angels, she also donated half of the proceeds from pet sittings to the favorite charity of your choice.
A few months ago, I approached her to take photos of our Animal Care for Artist team for Strut Your Mutt. She immediately said yes and Laura and I were overwhelmed with her generosity. She took some unbelievable photos of our team "babies."
|Strut Your Mutt 2011|
|Strut Your Mutt 2011|
I have taken hundreds of photos of Mookie and Tokki, and will take thousands more I'm sure in their lifetime. But none of them will ever manage to capture the essence of their personality quite the way Sharon does. While Mookie and Tokki always look sad in my photos (I'm not sure if it's the costume or the photographer; it's a toss-up), Sharon's photos reveal their true character.
Pet photos may seem like a waste or an unnecessary extravagance to some people. But I know when the time comes and my babies leave for Rainbow Bridge, I will have some amazing shots to go with my memories of long ago.