We've all experienced the sigh of relief, as a particularly trying year comes to an end, at some point in our lives. A year where not only the universe throws things at you, but some of the goals and resolutions you made from the previous new year, have long been set aside. Or maybe you've just erased them from the slate altogether.
I know. Been there. Done that.
The Things Pet Owners Say
As a pet owner, and knowing as many pet owners as I do both in my circle of friends and among my clients, some of the things we say, when it comes to a brand new year, might include:
(1) I am going to spend more time with my dog(s).
(2) This year my dog and I will attend some training classes.
(3) I will find a place to vacation WITH my pet this summer.
(4) My dog(s) and I are going to walk/exercise more.
(5) I am going to make more memories with my dog(s).
I am sure there are many more you can fill in, but in conversation, these are often floating to the top.
Jumping on the Memory Band Wagon
Number (5) - making memories - is a very high value resolution in my world. As a photographer, I am the one BEHIND the camera, and often not in front of it.
Several years ago, I vowed to change that and make sure that my face appeared in some photos with our pets. It's a carry-over resolution I pull across from year to year. Below are just some of the results of that yearly promise, including the photo bombing kitty, who jumped up last minute, when I was trying to do a website photo for Christmas in 2017.
The problem is, I am not a fan of selfies, or ANY OF THE FILTERS that go along with that medium. I like to see people as they are, including myself, and not eyes that are blown out of proportion in terms of the face, or skin that looks like it has been embalmed. But I digress. (Don't get me started...LOL!)
The second problem is, that most people can't accept how they really look. They are hyper-critical of themselves. Somewhere is quoted the following:
"There are three perceptions about every person: (1) How they see themselves, (2) How others see them, (3) How they really look."
I have a feeling this quote is not just talking about physical features, but also about "inner" characteristics, like personality, kindness, negativity, etc., which also adds to the whole picture of US! But, unfortunately, it is what many photographers deal with when photographing others. And, YES, there is some truth that a camera can cause some distortion, however, well-trained photographers will typically use lenses that minimize this problem in portrait work, and give you a TRUER PICTURE of YOU!
(Remember, life is 3 dimensional, cameras are 2 dimensional. Also remember, we are used to seeing ourselves in the mirror, which really presents a FLIPPED version of us--just put on a tee shirt with writing and you will see what I mean.)
So, why am I telling you this? I'm getting there.
The Best Resolution
It goes without saying then, that the BEST RESOLUTION A PET OWNER CAN MAKE, is to ACCEPT their physical self, and jump into more well-taken photographs of themselves and their pets!
As I, myself, experienced over this past year (2021) we don't get much time with these guys. We need to capitalize on it, and we shouldn't wait until the last minute to do so. Capture the adventures, the mundane, the daily, the lifestyle, or have a studio portrait done--all of these things will help us to remember our pets and the things we did together, when they have passed on.
In the last year, I have encouraged clients to allow me to take at least one photo of them interacting with their pet. Often, it is the one they choose, even if their first thought was to only have their pet's photographed alone.
You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to dress perfect. You just have to commit.
I am part of a weekly blogging group of professional pet photographers located all over the planet. To see what others have blogged about in this week's topic, start the blog circle with Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography, as she shares why she believes it is so important for you to be included in photos with your dog this year. Then find the link at the end of each blog to click to the next photographer.
Finally, I've decided to use this chart as a primer to my other resolutions for the year! Have a great weekend!