PET ME FOREVER: Pets & the People They Love

I love pets. I love people. People love their pets. Pets love their people.

Tyler 5

This personal project started serendipitously in September 2018 as I was setting up a photography studio in my home. The combination of the three short scenarios below convinced me that I was being called to create PET ME FOREVER: Pets & the People They Love as a personal project.

 

Hershey 2

SCENARIO #1: To test my lighting I set up a teddy bear as my subject on a four-legged wooden stool. Within minutes, Hershey, our black Burmese, came in to see what was going on. Without flinching, he jumped up on the stool with the stuffed bear. He then looked at me as if to say, “Take a picture of me, Mom! I’m cuter than this ol’ teddy bear.” I shot a few pictures, then he jumped down and walked out.

 

SCENARIO #2: I’m in my studio working with a black backdrop. I call my husband in to be a live subject. Before I could get very many shots in of my husband by himself, Hershey, with ease and grace, jumps up on my husband’s shoulders.

I couldn’t move fast enough. I said, “Jim, look at me!” I clicked a few frames as Hershey was taking a tour of Jim’s back and lap. Jim was getting a kick out of this moment. I was able to get a couple of shots that expressed their relationship. It was spontaneous, uninhibited emotion and connection. It was priceless.

Brenda Hershey 4_pp

SCENARIO #3: I’m in my studio again making some adjustments to the lighting and backdrop. In walks Hershey as if he knew what he wanted to do. By this time he had become very comfortable around all of the gear and the strobes. His engaging behavior seemed to communicate that he was asking me to pick him up and photograph the two of us together. I grabbed the remote shutter release, picked him up, he leaned in to me, and I looked into the camera. This moment was sweet. Totally not planned. It was then and there that I decided to follow Hershey’s inspiration by starting a personal project of simple portraits depicting the chemistry between pets and their favorite human.

The lighting is simple: Only one.
The background is simple: Black or White.
The source of emotion: The pets who love their people.