Most of the art I create for clients ultimately goes on the wall. It is beautiful to see an amazing, soulful portrait of your beloved companion in life in the living room, the hallway, or in your office on a daily basis. Trust me when I say I know this well. I commissioned my first portrait in 2003 - a 20x24 watercolor of Vaughn. It's double-matted and framed in a prominent place in our living room.
In fact, our entire living room is dedicated to Daneish art. That's where the boys spend the most time in the house and it seems only appropriate.
When you come away from a session loving 20+ photographs, however, you cannot possibly put all of those on your walls in a way that will please you. In those cases I recommended albums.
Albums have an advantage over a single piece of wall art in that they tell a complete story of the day. There is movement through character and a variety of angles. As much as I love having large portraits on the wall, when I feel like I really need to connect I pull out an album. I walk through the story as I turn the pages, remembering how his ears felt like velvet between my fingers and his tail bruised my thighs when he was excited. I remember how happy he was on our last vacation together and how his tired heart absorbed and appreciated every moment. He was truly present and engaged, and he approached life with a joyful exuberance I've never experienced in another creature - it didn't matter if he was soaking in a sunbeam or sniffing adventure in the woods.
This is one of Conan's albums, and it's the first one I share with clients as they think about what they might like to have.
Albums have thick pages that lay completely flat, which is a gorgeous way to keep many photographs in one place.
It's one of the best and most connecting ways to honor the life and love you share. I'd be glad to share Conan's album with you and tell you about how it's helped me in the years without him.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.