Izzy the Chocolate Lab at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Though most of the time I meet my wonderful clients and their dogs in their home for our Photography Sessions, sometimes clients just don't want to photograph in their houses. And of course, I understand. Maybe you're in the process of moving, or maybe you're in an apartment that you know won't be your forever home and you just don't want to center this really important moment in your lives around a place that just doesn't feel like home to you. I get it. I've always got a few very special, very beautiful San Francisco dog photography locations in my back pocket for clients just like this. And Golden Gate Park is one of those places..... but these wonderful pathways and wooden staircases and dappled light locations are pretty secret. Maybe you can guess where exactly in the park I met Izzy the senior Chocolate Lab and her sweet family?
Justin grew up with Labs, and he brought Izzy (that's Isabella for short) into his life when she was just a tiny puppy. Then Steve came into their lives and Izzy has started growing old in the middle of a truly kind, warm and loving family. Steve wanted to get his partner a truly special birthday gift, so he commissioned me as a surprise for Justin and when we all met at Golden Gate Park this past Summer in San Francisco on a warm Saturday morning dog photography session there were a lot of laughs and smiles and, of course, tennis ball fetches.
I know it's a little selfish, but I really love private commissions that are surprise gifts. It just makes everyone feel a little extra special. Justin probably would never have given himself the gift of truly beautiful portraits of his beloved Izzy — not because he thought it was a silly idea, or because he doesn't like photography — but because giving ourselves permission to honor the things we love in such an intimate way really takes a lot of self love. And that's not easy to come by. So when clients are hesitant about scheduling a Photography Session with me I always try to put myself in their shoes, think about what is making them think twice. The investment is one thing, because commissioning an artist and curating a collection of hand-made fine art prints certainly is not cheap. But the real reason people hesitate to book a session with me is typically because they feel a little embarrassed to give them self such a meaningful gift. They'd prefer someone get them the gift instead, which I of course understand.
But you know? Sometimes we just need to splurge on ourselves. Whether it is a new fancy pair of winter boots (which I just bought for myself so my toes don't freeze while walking Pancake in the snow - totally worth it!), or something a bit more personal, like black and white portraits of your beloved animal companion. We all deserve to feel loved and taken care of, and giving yourself portraits of the ones you love is one of the most powerful ways of doing that.
As you can see, Izzy and her family love each other and we all had a very special and meaningful dog photography session in San Francisco, somewhere deep in Golden Gate Park. I can't wait to get these prints together for them.