Last Saturday was a great day. It was the official kickoff for the portfolio building phase of my aspiring pet photography business. The sun was shining and I had the fortune to meet up with Megan and Olive in Schenley Park. We found a great spot in the shade, and most of the time I was either running after Olive, being nibbled on, or seeing her run straight into the lens as I laid on the ground. It made me laugh so hard, and even though it was a bit chilly, life felt pretty good. My goal is to capture a pet's natural character and the bond with its owner through relaxed and playful sessions. Something that really helps me to better capture an animal's unique personality is to ask my clients to provide a short story of how they got their pet, how long they have had him/her, any particular traits/behaviors (good and bad) etc. of theirs (or other fun facts, like how they got their name). Megan told me the following story:
The Biography of Olive Jean L.
On an early morning in the summer of 2009, I sat on my kitchen floor, cradling my dwarf rabbit, Amy, in my lap. Named after my late Aunt Amy, who died of cancer in her twenties and had a difficult life in general as someone who suffered from mental disabilities, I felt even more of a failure as I watched my own Amy die.
Amy had been suffering for a while. I tried to nurse her back to health, bathed her, and tried to get her to eat anything. I went to a local pet store to ask advice about sickly rabbits. I remember seeing Olive there at the time. I thought she was so sweet.
The morning Amy died, my friend and pastor Josh came over to pick me up for our hike on the Appalachian Trail with our friends Tyler (now boyfriend) and Leanna. Josh helped me wrap Amy, even prayed over her, and we gingerly wrapped her and placed her in my freezer until we came back from our hike and gave her a little burial. My trail name became Thumper.
A few weeks later, I went back to the same pet store and Olive was still there. She was so little at the time that her ears would drag along the cage floor. There was a bigger flop as well, with beautiful markings, but he seemed aggressive. I carried Olive around the store for a while, wondering if I should get another rabbit. Would I fail again at being a mommy? But I couldn’t resist her sweet personality.
Olive is such a loving creature. When I pet her, she goes comatose. And when I stop petting her, she will nibble my shirt (one of her favorite hobbies). She loves to cuddle with me, and when I groom her with petting, she will lick me in return. Like a puppy,she will follow me around the apartment, and of course, cause some trouble. But I’m so grateful for her and the joy that I get when I open my door and say, “Hello Olive!” each night I come home.