I have the best clients in the world! Many become close friends. Elaine Henriksen is one of those people. I photographed Elaine and her beloved dog Bently in March 2015. We started our session at UW Arboretum and finished up at Golden Garden Park. Two of my favorite session locations! Elaine added a cat to her family this year, and I photographed adorable Winston in February. I photographed Bently again last month. Watch for those pictures to come in another blog post!
So many of my clients come back for second, third, fourth, even fifth sessions!
I am truly blessed to have so many awesome people and animals in my life.
Now for Elaine’s story!
The first time I experienced Julie Austin’s work was probably on one of the most painful days to date. About two years ago when my beloved ragdoll Gus Gus had to be taken into a local animal emergency clinic (Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital). He was declining rapidly, in renal failure in which they thought he had an aggressive form of cancer. This all happened so very fast and given the poor outcome, the inevitable decision had to be made and Gus crossed over that day. To date, I think about Gus Gus and how special he was. The years of memories, adopting him from PAWS as a rescue, being my comfort in graduate school, life and never leaving my side. He was as loyal as a dog. He was my pal.
While in the emergency clinic, I remember vividly the gorgeous canvas prints on the walls and in the exam rooms. Perhaps distracting me while the veterinarian did their assessment and work up but I could not stop focusing on these amazing portraits. Although I was in my own personal shock, I could appreciate this work. These dogs and cats were alive, vibrant really! The photography captured the essence of the animal and I am sure they all had a story. Although I was in my deepest despair, I grabbed the contact information and tucked it away. During my grieving process, I kept going back to Julie’s website and viewing the pictures, reading the stories and realizing how I wish I knew Julie existed prior to Gus’s passing. I read the stories, cried at some and realized just how special these moments are to have with your beloved animals. I wish I had the opportunity to capture Gus Gus in Julie’s work.
As time went on, I decided to adopt a vibrant, back lab puppy, Bently! Once I settled in with my new puppy, I contacted Julie and made the decision to capture Bently as a 1 year old. I wanted to capture Bently as a vibrant, energetic puppy in the environment in which he LOVES….water and his sticks! Although I could appreciate all the circumstances in which one would photograph their beloved family members, for me I wanted to capture the youthful side of Bently!
My session with Julie was nothing more than amazing. Her patience and direction was more like a fun date out with a girlfriend than a photo shoot. Easy to talk to, talked about dog stuff, life and she just took pictures. There was no scripting or staging. It was me and Bently doing what we do….. walks and water. Bentley was able to be Bently!!!! It was natural and just surreal really. This experience I will never forget! Julie captured Bently as he is, the crazy, fun-filled, rambunctious, over zealous, stick loving water dog…..Bently!!! Not enough words can describe the love and energy that was captured in Julie’s work. Her art truly is a gift!!!!
I now have a large canvas of Bently above my fireplace, capturing exactly what I wanted. The black lab in the water, holding a stick with his traditional pouty face when told its time to go. This brings me joy, love and warms my home really. I still think of Gus Gus and how I wish I had his essence captured in Julie’s work. But what this taught me is that time goes by so fast and every moment to moment is precious. Julie has the ability to capture the love and energy of your fur-family members and to this I will never regret the opportunity to have her work with me and Bently! Julie’s art is absolutely amazing and I will continue to use her to capture the true essence of my beloved animals!!!
I look forward to more session with Elaine, Bently, and Winston!