This week’s theme was “rescue” and we were free to interpret that in any way we felt. As many already know, this was an especially emotional week for the Posh Pets family as we said good-bye to Ripley, our 17.5 year old orange tabby. For those who follow this blog, you have ‘met’ Ripley many times as he was often the subject of my camera as we worked through our weekly challenges. To suddenly not have him around anymore is a huge shock, but my husband, Lady Jane (our other cat) and I are learning a new routine and slowly getting past the initial heartbreak.

I’ve spent some time this week going through old photos of Ripley. As you can imagine, I started photographing him almost immediately from the day he came home and into our lives. Going through these images has been wonderful. We have laughed and we have cried, but they have brought back such wonderful memories that I am so glad I spent the money I did on film. (As a side point, I have also been astounded at how horrible a photographer I was 16+ years ago!) In doing so however, I came across two images that made me gasp just a little, for I had forgotten about them.

They were taken in December 2009 and January 2010 (my metadata tells me so) as I was starting to toss an idea around that I wanted to photograph pets exclusively. I remember thinking that that was probably not possible, but that there was no harm in dreaming. And playing in photoshop. And so, without any intention of ever showing this to the world, I pretended that I had a gallery show, complete with fine art prints, and came up with this:

Looking at them now, I do not think that either of these two photographs are particularly any good. My style has developed since then and has actually changed quite a bit. But what does startle me are the two little words below my Karen Weiler Photography business name. Posh Pets.

Those two words were the beginning of a little idea that I never dreamed would become the reality of Posh Pets Photography today. Looking at them now, I laugh as I know that the name came to me quite by accident as I was simply playing around.

More importantly though, these two documents are evidence of how integral both Ripley and Lady Jane were to the start of Posh Pets (even if I did not realize it then) and how much of what I do today is because of them. I volunteer once a week to photograph shelter animals because I know what joy and happiness giving a homeless animal a home can bring. Ripley and Lady Jane have taught me personally how much these little creatures give and how little they ask for in return. And I offer custom photography sessions for pets because I know that there are families everywhere who treasure their pets like a member of their family. And because, when these lovely souls eventually leave us, we want images to hold on to.

So, yes, Ripley and Lady Jane both originally came to us from shelters and therefore fit the classic definition of a rescue. But the paw prints they have left in my life and the huge influence they have had on my work has shaped me. They made me realize what it was I wanted to do. I may have ‘rescued’ them from a shelter many years ago, but they have spent the many years since that day taking care of me…

PS:  Forgive me for not taking a new image this week…this is a story I wanted to tell.

Who else was rescued this week? Next in our blog ring is Unleashed! Pet Portraits in Victoria, British Columbia.  Let’s go visit her!

Toronto pet photography mini sessions

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