Mark Banham + Maddie in Santa Fe
Like so many of my clients, Mark came to my Santa Fe Dog Photography studio because his beloved dog Maddie is getting old. Maddie’s actually been ‘getting old’ for quite a while now and Mark’s seen her begin to deteriorate a bit. Subtle things like having to go on shorter walks so that Maddie’s back legs don’t tire out, putting more vitamins and medication in her food so her joints don’t bother her, and having to generally be mindful of the time as it passes because as much as we try - our dogs simply don’t live forever.
Before he became a client, Mark Banham was a good friend of mine here in Santa Fe. His well known reputation as a leading realtor in our little city precedes him, but even more so his love for Maddie is known far and wide. Mark has always had Yellow Labs, and with each one he gets deeply attached. There are countless small photos in beautiful little frames around his home honoring the many dogs that came before Maddie and I was honored to help add to this collection.
For our Santa Fe dog photography session I met Mark and Maddie at their home because I wanted Maddie to be comfortable and calm. She is achey in her old age, and a lot of our time was spent lounging on the couch, or the bed, or in the sunny spot by the patio. Though Mark remembers the days when Maddie could walk for miles or hike up the Santa Fe trails, she has trouble getting up now and my goal during this session was to keep both Mark and Maddie at ease and make work that did not focus on her aging process. It’s never easy to let our beloved companion animals go. We want to keep them close until the very end, but I believe there’s something about commissioning a Fine Art Dog Photography Session during a dog’s senior years that not only honors all the love and joy they have shared with my client, but more importantly helps them to begin to let go. The portraits we create from this session will be living memories in Mark’s beautiful home that he’ll pass by every day and enjoy, re-experiencing that moment of love and kindness marked in the photograph. He’ll share these pieces with friends and family during dinner parties and light up when he tells them stories about his favorite dog, Maddie. These photographs are not stagnant nor stale - they are living, breathing accounts of a life well lived, and a life well shared.