What exactly is “Day in the Life” photography? My definition is: documentary photography which is one step or a notch more relaxed, real, and untouched than my usual “Lifestyle” type of photography, which has a little more direction and intention. “Day in the Life” style of documentary photography is about capturing simple moments as they happen that make up our lives (and our pets’ lives). These simple moments are linked together to tell our everyday stories that, sometimes, get overlooked and are not considered very interesting.
When these moments are brought to life through photography and video, it reveals the real, raw version of life that can be more meaningful than the highlights of our curated Instagram feed. As a result, “Day in the Life” photography shows us a viewpoint of all the everyday, ordinary parts of our life that truly make us who we are.
To show you exactly what this looks like, I’d love to introduce you to two special dogs and their family.
Frankie and Georgia, Two Sweet Labrador Retrievers
When Angela, a potential client, emailed me in April of 2022 about her two sweet, mellow Labrador Retrievers, Frankie and Georgia, she inquired about an “end-of-life pet photo session.” Frankie, 8 ½ years old, had a type of terminal cancer she was being treated for and Georgia, 12 years old, was slowing down. She wanted to capture them together while they were still looking and acting like their normal selves.
Angela and I communicated through my regular process of taking time to talk on the phone and a few emails to get to know what the goals of the session would be and to get to know each other a little better. Soon after, Angela decided to move forward with a session with me.
Frankie and Georgia’s Day in the Life Pet Photography Session
After thinking of our conversations and wanting to make this experience very custom for her and the pups, I sent an email suggesting we do the session as a “Day in the Life” style session at their home to celebrate Frankie and Georgia. The goal of the session was to collaborate and create a Custom Luxe Heirloom Album to honor Frankie & Georgia and, of course, we would include the special moments with the family, too!
Angela was on board with the idea. The session would not be a full “Day in the Life” session; we decided it would be three hours at their home. I would approach the time with them as a documentary photographer and keep things true to what Frankie & Georgia would do around the house while I was there.
Preparing for the Day in the Life Session
Part of the preparation was Angela forwarding me photos of their home, Frankie and Georgia, and updating me on what they most likely would be doing while I was there. Along with this information and all the notes I had on what she loves about her pups, their personalities, Angela’s style of home (which would help me design the album), and particular highlights to know about her kids and husband, I was prepared for what to expect.
The Sweetest Day in the Life Session in Tiburon, CA
We scheduled the session for April 30, 2022, at 2pm at Angela and her family’s stunning home in Tiburon, California. Tiburon is a quaint, coastal, small town with breathtaking beauty and rich history right near San Francisco.
Frankie and Georgia’s session was very special, and they were rock stars the whole time. Right, when I got there, Angela was so welcoming and showed me around their home while Frankie and Georgia got comfortable around me. They got relaxed with me and the camera quickly and just let me follow them around.
We started outside in front of their home and worked our way around different spots like Frankie and Georgia’s eating area, the kitchen, the family rooms, the back patio with the family (check out that view!!), and even Angela and Frankie snuggling in her bed.
I got lots of photos of Angela together with Frankie and Georgia, each separately just interacting as they would normally.
Continuing, I captured photos of the pups solo and, of course, ones with some smaller details. At times Angela would leave me with the pups while doing other things around the house.
A three-hour session was plenty for Frankie and Georgia. I ended the session by stamping their paw prints on an ink pad, so I had their unique prints for their Custom Luxe Album (a little messy, but worth it). You can see the final product here.
A Day in the Life with Beautiful Views
A couple of days later, after viewing the session photos, I had this gut feeling that we needed to do more photos on-location. Angela agreed and said the dogs would be up to it.
Two weeks later, we met up in the early evening for almost two more hours and got some really cool photos at an open space right near their home. There were beautiful views in the background of San Francisco, including the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, as the sun was setting that evening.
Sadly, Angela emailed me about a month after I last saw them and let me know that Frankie had gained her angel wings. I was in shock, Frankie looked like she was doing so good such a short time ago.
“She had a valiant fight with a fast-growing cancer. She is not in pain anymore, and she is at peace. Thank you so much for capturing her for me. I am so glad I will have those sweet memories of my sweet girl.”
As I write this, I am awaiting the delivery of Angela’s custom album that so much effort and love went into. Soon she will be able to touch and feel Frankie’s love by remembering these special moments.
“No time on Earth is long enough
to share with the animals we love,
or prepare our hearts to say goodbye.”
When Should You Do a Day in the Life Pet Photography Session?
As a pet photographer, I have to say that you can take a Day in the Life Pet Photography Session anytime throughout your pet’s life. It can be when your dog is a puppy, seven years old, twelve years old, or any time in between. I will say that you should trust your gut. If you feel like it’s the right time for a Day in the Life session, then it probably is the perfect time. If you’re feeling ready or if you just have some questions, I’m here to talk! You can send me a message here.