Although every dog owner knows that nothing lasts forever, we constantly try to chase away the thoughts of our pet’s ᴅ.ᴇᴀᴛʜ. However, understanding this devastating part of life helps to prepare for it. Photographer Ross Taylor wants people going through difficult moments to know that they’re not alone. His recent series, Last Moments, capture people euthanizing their four-legged companions, and Taylor hopes that “images like this can build empathy for those experiencing it.” And they sure do.
Photographer Lauren Smith-Kennedy is helping those who have to let their pet cross the Rainbow Bridge with free end-of-life photo shoots for the animals and their humans. Her pictures perfectly capture one of the purest forms of love and companionship. These heart-breaking photos called ‘Last Moments’ will bring a tear to the eye of any pet owner.
The photographer shared with us that she offers these end-of-life sessions for free.
“After doing my first shoot and putting it out there on social media, the response was overwhelming. It became quickly apparent that this service was much needed and very valuable to families. I know how dear our beloved pets are, as I myself am a huge animal lover, and the thought of being able to honor so many lives by using my photography skills was something very powerful and motivating to me.”
In addition to this, she works as the Director of Development for a wildlife rehabilitation center. This past season they had over 140 baby raccoons!
One of the most challenging parts of doing end-of-life pet photography for Lauren is being able to relate to the pain that these owners are going through: “After going through my own journey with grief, and still grieving the loss of my own cat after 4 years, I try to use this familiarity with grief to offer empathy and words of comfort to my clients. Much of the session is spent learning all about their pets and the lives they lived which is such an incredible thing.”
The photographer revealed that each photoshoot is different. “Some sessions are filled with laughter and smiles, belly rubs, and lots of kisses, and others are a bit heavier as you can feel the sadness of the owners. Though love still radiates through all of the sessions I have had.”
The most memorable moment for Lauren was photographing Moo the 14-year-old chihuahua and his owner, Jill. “There was a moment at the end of the shoot, where Moo gently rested his head on Jill’s hands and looked very gently into the camera. You could just see the love in his eyes. It was a very special moment and one of my favorite photos I’ve captured.