By Raj Mehta*
‘The greatest fear a dog has is that you will not come back when you go out of the door without him.’
And this time may be Shiva’s fear was about to come true as Shivani was about to leave him forever and move into a new family. Leaving your pet is just as difficult as leaving your human family, and being her friend, I could sense how upsetting this thought of leaving Shiva behind was to Shivani!
Since I had just completed a course on canine communication, I thought what can be a better wedding gift than a happy loving photo session with your pet! I was a little nervous too as although I had enough experience of working with people, this would be my first venture into pet photography. And when I pitched the idea to Shivani, she immediately jumped at it.
We decided that these memories would be best captured in the comfort of her house where they had spent most of their time together but couldn’t schedule the shoot until after the wedding.
Finally, when the day arrived, Shivani, being the over excited sister, took Shiva to a grooming parlour so that he looked his best. I still remember the excitement in her voice when she called me after his grooming session, telling me how handsome he looked, and how she couldn’t wait for the shoot. Truly, some moments just can’t be captured; they must be felt!
On the day of shoot, I spent about half an hour initially getting comfortable with Shiva. He was quite easy to get along with and once the bonding was done, we brought in Shivani and her family members. The aim was to keep it natural, oozing with all the warmth and fuzziness that marks the relationship between us and our pets, so I focused on getting as many shots as I could of Shivani and Shiva being their own selves around each other.
I particularly remember this one point during the shoot when Shiva got restless and refused to stay still even for a second. That’s when Shivani sat him down, pulled him around her, and started gently scolding him in Gujarati just like an elder sister would scold her brother. It was a picture-perfect moment and, being able to capture it, is still one of the best memories of that shoot for me.
In the end, when we sat down scrolling through pictures of the day, both Shivani and I were pleasantly surprised to see how the pictures had turned out to be. We got so excited that we had to calm ourselves down to seriously begin culling, which again was not at all easy.
This one shoot strengthened my resolve to professionally take up pet photography. No matter how much you enjoy working with people, the satisfaction of working with pets and the happiness you see on your clients’ face when you show them the pictures is incomparable. It’s surely a blessing to have kids at home but I strongly believe that having a dog is a blessing no one should pass on!
*Author is the owner and photographer at Therapawtic Photography. He has done Masters in Psychology and a Diploma in Photography. He has worked in various fields like fashion, product and wedding photography, and is now focusing on pet photography with a specialized brand for it. You can check his work out on Instagram at @therapawticphotography.