It’s been a hard week; I had to put down my dog on Tuesday. She was 2 months shy of her 15th birthday, and 4 months shy of being with me for just as many years. She was the best dog a person could ever ask for, and the last year was really hard to watch her slowly fade away. Her name was Karma.
She woke me up in the middle of the night with her cries, and I called the vet first thing in the morning to talk about what to do next. It took a little while for him to get back to me, and when he finally did he said he had an appointment at 4:45… so I said I would be there.
Being a freelance photographer is hard because life never stops, and I can’t call in sick. I had a portrait scheduled at 4:30, I was on a tight deadline with a business paper and I was also trying to take care of my dying dog. Luckily the lady I was photographing was very understanding and compassionate when I called to see if we could take her portrait earlier in the day. When I called her, I immediately started crying when I explained what was going on. She was very compassionate, and worked with me so I could take care of things in my personal life.
I talked to my mom a lot on Tuesday, and we talked about the early morning shoot I had scheduled for the next day. She said she hoped I could make it through and that I wouldn’t break into tears while photographing the executives, including the CEO, of this large company based in Northwest Arkansas. Our conversation turned into me talking about how I didn’t mind being vulnerable in front of people because they had to open up and be vulnerable in front of my camera. It doesn’t matter how big of a title they hold, they are people with lives, families and pets. I hadn’t really thought about it until that moment, but it all came together in that conversation.
The comment I hear the most while taking executive portraits and head shots is just how much the subject hates having their picture taken… and I think it’s because it’s hard to let down your guard and just be yourself. I think one of my strengths as a photographer is making people comfortable and giving them a good experience in the brief time they spend with me. Maya Angelo summed it up perfectly when she said, ”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That dog, she was a one-of-a-kind and will be missed.
My travel companion. I can’t even begin to count the number of days she hung out with me while I was working for the newspaper. She just hung out in the car and slept… one of her favorite things to, and she could sleep anywhere!
I am going to miss the sweet way she slept on her paws!