What You Should Know Before You Schedule An End of Life Photography Session for Your Dog

For so many of us, our pets are who we spend the most time with. Thinking about what our lives will look like when it’s missing a very important furry heartbeat at our side feels like looking into an abyss, just impossible to fathom. Anticipatory grief, navigating difficult veterinary diagnoses, juggling specialist appointments for your pet, dealing with lost mobility, preparing for after the loss – the list of challenges can be daunting as you face the end of life for your beloved dog, cat, or horse. End of life pet photography can help you celebrate the life of your pet and create artwork you’ll treasure in the years to come.

“A pet is never truly forgotten until they are no longer remembered”

-Lacie Petitto


 Your dog doesn’t have to know any commands to have a successful professional pet photography session.

All your emotions are ok to feel 

End of life sessions have a lot of different emotions. There is joy at spending time with your pet reminiscing about all the adventures you’ve shared. There is sadness knowing things will be changing. There can be anger because it’s unfair. All of those emotions are ok.

An end of life pet photography session isn’t just a sad occasion. Yes, there may be some sad moments and acknowledgement of the loss you’re preparing for, but this session is a celebration of the life your pet has lived, the journey you have been on together, and the relationship you have shared.

As we plan for your session I’ll ask you about your favorite memories, the things your pet most loves, and most unique physical traits. I’ll use these to design a custom session that will help create a new favorite memory for you with your dog, cat, or horse and let you hold on to those memories with an album of your most loved images.

The end of life pet photography sessions that mean the most are filled with time to snuggle close, favorite treats & toys, and most importantly – time you’ve set aside to reflect on the relationship you share.

How do you know it’s time to schedule an end of life session for your dog?

 No one has ever told me that they regretted having photos taken, but I have had so many express regret for waiting until it was too late. I encourage you to have photos done now. Whether you have just gotten a difficult diagnosis or just realize that the time we have is never enough – if you’ve thought about end of life pet photography, it’s time to reach out to a photographer.

End of life sessions always have priority booking. When inquiring, please let me know this is an end of life session so that we can work together to schedule your session as soon as possible.

The images you’ll have become more important with time.

I had an end of life session for my horse a few months before she passed, but the image box of portraits I had ordered didn’t arrive until a week after her death. I picked up my portraits and put them on a shelf in my office. I couldn’t even open the box until weeks later. I needed some space between the loss and the memories represented by the photos. And it’s ok.
Now that box and those images mean the world to me. I am so glad I have them, but for several months after her passing I couldn’t even acknowledge them – the hole in my heart just felt too big. I now find myself smiling when I see them displayed on the bookcase and can let myself remember all the hours we spent together.

 I am so much more aware of just how brief a time we have with them.

I have found the first thing I do when facing grief is look for photos. Whether it’s a person, or a dog, or a horse that I have lost – I want to find the photos.

This blog is a part of a blog circle with pet photographers near me and from across the globe. This week we’re tackling the tough topic of end of life pet photography! Next up Dallas pet photographer Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography shares how an end-of-life portrait session can be a joyous experience with your dog or cat. 

Be sure to keep clicking the link at the bottom to complete the circle until you wind up back here!

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  1. Jessica

    I think the most Valuable advice here is, if this feels rIght to you, don’t wait. Ive had a few end-of-life clients book and then it Is too late.

  2. Terri Jankelow

    So true. When we lose someone we love we always look for those photos!

  3. Tracy Allard

    Interesting comment about “finding the photos”, you’re so right. I experienced the same thing last year when we had to say goodbye to our Sweet dingo – my husband and I couldn’t help looking, and relooking at photos we had of him.

  4. Angela Schneider

    I recently made a trip home to nova scotia for my mom’s memorial service. I couldn’t bring home much in one small suitcase but what i did bring home is photos. lots of photos. As many as I could fit into the spaces around my clothes and shoes. They are more important to me and bring more comfort to me than any couch, cookie jar or necklace possibly could. i look for the photos, too.

  5. Nicole

    Such a good post. I agree it’s tough to look at the photos right away, but eventually, those photos bring so much comfort.


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