As the dog days of summer come to a close, we are left reflecting on sunny memories of travels, relaxing days, and visits with close friends and family which will warm our hearts even as the chilling winds of fall come rolling through.
Looking back on my fun-filled summer, I wanted to share one of my favorite sessions with a man who decided to capture his memories in portraiture with his three greatest blessings: his dogs Bear, Clovis, and Cosette.
The most important thing to remember about our loved ones (and pets) is that our time with them is precious. Portraits give us the gift of capturing their youthful spirit and all the joy they bring to our hearts.
Jack Kabrel wanted to do just that.
Jack is a creative guy in his own right. He has a strong appreciation for Film and black and white photography. At our very first meeting, I knew that this was going to be an incredibly fun and creative session.
At our planning session, we decided to incorporate My Hasselblad 2 ¼ film camera along with my Canon Digital SLR. This gave us a wide range of artistic expression when capturing Jack’s relationship with his best friends. After looking at the final shots, we agreed that the black and white look was the way to go- delivering strong character, emotion and detail.
While the the final portraits he picked looked similar to Mike and I, Jack found that each portrait presented different sides of the dogs’ characters. When you have a pet, you know their many facial expressions and what they mean- all the sweet ways that they communicate with you!
Bear is Jack’s oldest dog – a 15.5 year old Pomeranian, and is still ornery at his age; Clovis is a 12.9 year old Yorkshire Terrier, blind and mostly deaf but still a good boy; and Cosette is the only girl, a sweet and gentle 12.3 year old Shitzu.
They spent all their lives walking, sniffing and cavorting around with dog friends as well as thousands of neighbors and guests at the Wharf in Salem. This made the perfect location for their photo session: a beautiful home and playground. It was easy to capture their true spirit and personalities in their favorite spot.
We photographed Jack with each dog individually and all together, and he even brought his friend Will along to participate in the session!
Will is a close friend of Jack’s and loves all three of his dogs dearly, but has a special affection for Clovis.
It was remarkable to capture the bonds between both 2 and 4 legged friends at the same time. One of my favorite images from the Hasselblad was of Jack and Will sitting on a wall holding the dogs, with two bare trees behind them. We felt that the trees stood as metaphors for their friendship, which gave the image a special meaning.
Truthfully, we came out with so many great images in this session that Jack ordered a beautiful photo album – enough for a lifetime of memories. I absolutely loved the design he chose.
Of course, there had to be a favorite: one portrait that would live on Jack’s wall and bring a smile to his face every day. Jack chose a beautiful panorama on canvas of Bear, Clovis and Cosette to hang in his living room.
I was so honored to be able to capture such a sweet and profound bond on camera, in such a creative way! Mike and I both had a wonderful time working with Jack and his fur babies, and his feedback from our session completely melted my heart.
“Professional. Creative. Passionate. These are but three – of a dozen or more – adjectives that come flooding into my brain when I recall my photo shoot with Louise.
I chose Louise from several other photographers for no other reason than her proximity to my home. Wanting a photo shoot of myself and my dogs with a nearness to their environs for an outdoor session was important. This decision was fortuitous.
By the way, the other skill that Louise posses, if I haven’t mentioned it, is a unique talent for understanding what the customer wants. She knew exactly what I wanted from her after only minutes in her office. Her photographic eye for detail, unique angles, and symmetry in her shots was astounding. I ordered 95% of all the photos shot that day including a series of portraits and a panoramic of my three dogs before a backdrop of Salem Wharf.
Luck was on my side that day I randomly walked into Louise studio. The memories of my dogs are beautifully preserved because of the magnificent talent of an unassuming artist with an innate ability to sense exactly what I wanted. Thanks Louise!”
– Jack Kabrel