How to choose a dog photographer for your End of Life Photo Shoot
The hardest time to hire a dog photographer is when you know that your dog may not have too long left. It's breaking your heart, and you really want something tangible so that you can look back and think of all the amazing times you shared, but equally you don't want to put your dog through something that might cause them stress or even pain.
Finding the right photographer to do your End of Life session is so important, because you want to ensure that everything is as smooth and easy and relaxed as possible for your dog.
Here are my top tips on what to consider:
Does the photographer offer an End of Life or Senior dog package?
It's always a good start if your photographer offers a package specifically designed for elderly dogs. This usually means they'll have an understanding of the limitations that they are likely to be working with in terms of your dog's health and physical capabilities and won't expect them to manage a list of challenging poses.
They'll also understand that this session is all about capturing the moments that mean the most to you - not the ones that demonstrate their technical or creative skills!
Do they have the option for a more relaxed, lifestyle session?
Whether your dog is unwell or if they are just elderly, it's likely that they won't tolerate being asked to pose in various positions for long, if at all. A lifestyle session is more relaxed and designed to capture natural moments of your dog mooching about, or spending time with you, which is ideal for an End of Life session
Where does the photo shoot take place?
You want to make sure everything is as comfortable as possible for your dog, and that probably means you want to be somewhere that's calm and familiar. You certainly don't want to be packing them up into a vehicle for a long car journey to a new and unfamiliar place. Choose a photographer who will come to your home or a nearby location which is local and comfortable for your dog
Is there a time limit?
Photographing a dog at the end of their life needs a lot of flexibility. It might be the case that your dog would benefit from a longer, relaxed session with lots of opportunities for breaks, or they cope better with a short and sweet session without too much intrusion - you want a photographer who can adapt and work with whatever situation best suits your dog
What happens if they pass over the Rainbow Bridge soon after your session?
When the worst happens, particularly if it's just a short while after your End of Life photo shoot session, you might feel that you just can't face seeing those pictures quite yet. Check out what your photographer says about this - a respectful dog photographer will be happy to delay your Viewing & Ordering session until you're ready
Is there a pressure sell?
For obvious reasons, you're going to be hugely emotional when you do see the images from your dog's End of Life session. In that situation, it can be very easy to end up spending much more than you expected, particularly if the photographer tells you that this is your only opportunity to buy before the images are gone forever.
Make sure you choose a photographer who is upfront about what's included (and what's not), and ideally who will keep the images indefinitely, so you don't feel emotionally blackmailed into buying everything now because you don't want to lose any of them.
THE TWILIGHT DAYS MEMORY SESSION
I offer the Twilight Days Memory Session which is specifically tailored for senior dogs and End of Life sessions. It's a relaxed, non-intrusive and respectful experience taking place at your home or another familiar location, and includes a Classic Memory Album with all your chosen images so that you can treasure every memory from the photo shoot.
If your dog does pass over the Rainbow Bridge soon after your photo shoot, just let me know. There's no rush to arrange your Viewing, and we can wait until you're ready. In addition, I keep all the images indefinitely, so there's no pressure and if you do decide you'd like to order Wall Art and other products at a later date, they will always be there for you.
If you'd like to know more about the Twilight Days Memory Session, check it out here.