• Tiffany

Why do I photograph dogs? | Massillon, Ohio Dog Photography

My photography journey started almost 10 years ago by accident. In my early 20's I was obsessed with filmmaking. I wanted to be the next great female director. I shot (terrible) short films with my friends and wrote countless screenplays with stories that were pouring out of my brain faster than I could write them down... poorly. :D

I may have never been a crack screenwriter, but I did hold an intense interest in the technical side of filmmaking. The scripts that I wrote were really just a means to an end so I could play with the video capture card I installed in my computer (after many tears and sketchy language I must add). I found myself craving knowledge about how to process video, edit films together, and create special effects. THIS was my creative outlet at long last. (Although I really still wish I was a decent writer, oh well!)

Turning down that path brought me to photo manipulation and Photoshop. I began editing stock images because I had none of my own to work on. After editing a few images I was hooked. So deeply hooked that my love for filmmaking sort of fell by the wayside, and I focused solely on photography. I soon started saving money for an SLR camera so that I could take even better quality photos to edit in Photoshop. I edited anything I could get my hands on and even dabbled in digital paintings based on characters from my favorite online game.

Through all of this, I had a special cheerleader in the form of my male yorkie, Watson. He who would sit at my feet while I spent hours learning how to use Photoshop, would give me his most unimpressed look when I started cursing at my computer, who would sit patiently while I fumbled with my new camera and learned how to use it so I could take photos of him. Who tolerated all sorts of eyeroll-inducing antics of mine as I learned how to use lights and flash.

He was with me through all of it. Until he wasn't.

Watson was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December of 2012, and three weeks later he was gone. No longer having my steadfast, noble little cheerleader made me stumble. By this time I had mastered my camera, upgraded my equipment, and was shooting everything from weddings, to babies and families, to boudoir. I was gutted by his loss. I didn't do much of anything creatively speaking for a few years.

One particular day I was missing him something fierce. I went through the old photos of him that I had taken, and had the idea to turn my all time favorite photo of him into a canvas print for my wall. When it arrived, I unwrapped it, and after I hung it on my wall it was like a switch had been flipped. I suddenly was taken back to that day in the dog park. He was smiling and happy at 13 years of age because it was his favorite place on the planet to be. I had plopped him up on a picnic table, and like the little prince that he was, he sat there and waited patiently for me to take my pictures so he could get down and go pee on more stuff.

For the first time in a long time I was thinking about him and.. smiling! It brought back that happy memory SO succinctly that being sad about his passing didn't even cross my mind. A light bulb went off, and I thought to myself: "I have to share this gift!". I have worked in a vet clinic for almost 20 years, and I have seen grief firsthand time and time again. If I could do something, just one little thing to ease that suffering then I had to do it. I had cut my photographic teeth taking picture after picture of my dogs and cats. Animals have been my lifelong passion, and when I thought long and hard about it, it just clicked. I decided then and there that I would focus solely on pet photography, and I never looked back.

To this day his canvas print is hanging on my bedroom wall, right across from the doorway so I can see it every time I walk in the room. Each time it brings a huge smile to my face and immediately brings back those happy memories. It reaffirms why I do pet photography every single day.

If you are interested in a session for your pet, do not hesitate to get in touch!

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