One of the worst days of my life was February 9, 2015. As you may have seen here or here on this website, that was the day my best friend ran away. At the time, my youngest son was two months-old. My best friend, a black lab/German shepherd mix (who just had to have some border collie in her), was approaching 16 (in human years). I think she’d had enough of the little house, the kids, the coping with Vestibular Disease and old age…
After she ran off (and after the extensive amount of time and energy spent looking for her), I felt done with pet photography. My heart just wasn’t into it. Sure, I enjoyed spending time with other people’s dogs, but it just wasn’t the same. I struggled with the dog sessions, not feeling the same inspiration and energy that I had felt at all other past photography sessions. This was true even an entire year after I lost my girl.
But then last fall, it all clicked again. I was out there, lying in a yard, hanging out with three pet cats for hours. It felt so good. I then photographed a sweet pup, entranced by his big wet eyes. And I was back.
How did I get over my own personal pet loss and reconnect with my love of pet photography? Time.
How did I get over my own personal pet loss and re-connect with my love of pet photography? Time. And I didn’t force the pet photography, instead focusing on other areas of my photography business (and of course raising two toddler boys). And then one day, my heart was ready again.
I still miss Chloe everyday, and look forward to the day when my family will get another pet dog, but for now, I enjoy the dog children of my friends and the dog children of my clients.
Something that interests me, is when I get requests for Senior Pet Sessions, I don’t feel as heart-broken and choked up about them as I once did. I don’t think that it is callousness…I think that after going through my biggest fear from the day that I got Chloe…I can be more empathetic and understanding without projecting my own worries on the session.
Do you guys have any tips or thoughts about coping with pet loss and continuing a pet photography business?
All images © Susannah Allen 2013
©2022 SUSANNAH ALLEN
CHLOE PET PHOTOGRAPHY
Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado