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Losing a beloved pet is one of the most difficult experiences a pet owner can face. Our pets are family and hold a special place in our hearts, providing us with unconditional love, companionship, and countless cherished memories. As our loved companions age, it’s natural to want to capture their essence and preserve those precious moments in time. That’s where end of life photo sessions come in, if you have not already photographed your pet.

 

So, when should I do an end of life photo session for my dog or cat?

Many pet owners struggle with this question, often waiting until the last minute. It breaks my heart when someone books a pet photo session in Southern California with me, but the pet passes or has to be put to sleep before I arrive.

Therefore, I like to answer by saying, NOW!

Now is the best time to do an end of life photo session! It’s never too early to do a photoshoot for your dog or cat! 

I do realize that sometimes with a certain diagnosis, it comes as a surprise (as did mine with my gal Willow’s hemangiosarcoma), so at times it really catches us last minute.

Here’s a great example of a recent end of life session! Meet Mocha…

Photo of running dog - when to do end of life photo session for dog

I want to give kudos to Mocha’s mom. She contacted me, finding me through the Tilly Project, an online directory of photographers that provide end of life pet photo sessions, saying that her chocolate lab had osteosarcoma at the young age of 4 and she wanted to photograph Mocha while she was still happy and mostly herself. SO WISE!

We had a great session in Rancho Cucamonga, California and were even able to photograph Mocha running!!!! (She already had a limp, but wow – she wanted to run and felt great that day!)

I encourage you to schedule your own pet photo session earlier than you think!

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In fact, healthy senior pets are GREAT to photograph! I absolutely adore senior pets and find them to be my favorites over the past decade. Senior pets have stories and wisdom and so much love they have given with proof in their greying fur and longing eyes.

If you are able to avoid a last minute rush, I recommend that! If not, I can still help with either an end of life photo session at your home, yard or nearby park or with a handmade pet portrait etching from a photo you already have (more on that in a minute).

Here is what to expect from me, your photographer, with an end of life photo session for your dog or cat:

  1. Lots of experience with senior pets
  2. Priority booking for end of life photo sessions
  3. Loads of compassion
  4. Gentleness and patience (no rushing)
  5. Beautiful art in digital and printed form to enjoy your pet’s legacy and the bond you share

As you can see, this photoshoot with Mocha will serve as a beautiful tribute to her life and bring comfort to her devoted momma during a difficult time. No, Mocha won’t be forgotten and no, that bond between Mocha and Mom won’t be forgotten. Instead, Mocha will be loved forever and celebrated with these endearing photos taken at the park by her home in Southern California.

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If, by chance, you feel it’s too late for your photo session, please remember I mentioned you can commission a special pet portrait memorial from your own photos.

There are MANY pet portrait artists out there who can take a photo you already have and turn it into a keepsake portrait for you! Here are the custom pet portrait etching options I offer that I transform into fine art using my Grammy’s printing press.

In conclusion, please know I am here for you. Anticipatory grief is so hard and I know you are trying to do the best you can for your very loved companion. Please contact me for your own end of life photo session for your dog or cat in Southern California and expect a quick reply back! I’d love to hear all about your senior dog or kitty!

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