A few months ago as I was working with a client to select art for their home from the images made during their session, she made a comment for which I was not prepared. When considering where to mount a large wall print of her family and dogs, the proportions seemed right to me, based on the size print they were planning to purchase, art style and color scheme of the room, that one spot to consider was the coveted spot above the fireplace. The client’s reaction to that – “Oh, I could never do that, my friends would think I’m crazy” – took me by surprise, and frankly, at the time, I was unprepared for a thoughtful response and could manage only a meek “oh no, they won’t think that.” It was evident she loved the image, was not concerned about being pressured into a purchase, but that hanging a beautifully framed art print of her family and dogs might create the perception from her friends she was nuts!
I knew in the moment, without a cogent response other than “oh no they won’t think that” I was missing an opportunity. Also since it is something I expect to hear again from future clients, it has been churning in the back of my head since. I did not realize how much that comment had been churning on my mental back burner until earlier this week as I was working on developing a new marketing piece for 2015 to give people a bit more of our story, how the experience of pet photography will play out and why in the world should they trust us to invite us into their family and home.
It was in that moment of developing this new piece when I recalled my client worrying that people would think she is crazy. And then I realized since I started the company a few years ago, I have seen crazy. Crazy is seeing young female dog after young female dog come having just been bred, taken from her puppies while they still have milk and dumped because an unethical backyard breeder can’t make money from them anymore. Crazy is being asked to photograph a blind dog found on the street, only to realize he’s not blind when you arrive. That rescuers thought he was blind because he had been dumped at night during winter, and while alone, cold, hungry, he cried and his tears froze his eyelids shut and it wasn’t until they defrosted inside the next day that he could open them. Crazy is a friend calling you early on sunday morning because while out for a run, a hungry, thirsty dog who had been dumped on the street days before followed him home in the hopes of something to eat and drink and a safe place to lie down. Crazy is tying a dog you no longer want to a tree in the park and driving away.
I feel like I have a pretty good handle on crazy, and am confident in sharing that making images of your loved family and treasured pets, and placing it in your home is a long, long way from crazy.
So go ahead, grab your pups and give them an extra hug today. Not every dog out there is fortunate enough to have a family who cares for them like you do for your dog. And if you want to help other dogs find their forever homes, consider volunteering at your local rescue or shelter. There are lots of ways to help, from walking dogs to fostering dogs to just bringing someone out to an adoption day so they can be seen by potential adopters who might not travel to them. Even sharing images of adoptables and links to their stories on Facebook and other social media helps!
Doing these sorts of things, just in case you were wondering, is also, a long, long way from crazy!