Berit spent the better part of her 13 years around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, so it was the ideal setting for her Joy Session. When her mom first contacted me, they were hopeful for a few weeks or months left with their girl, but it wasn’t to be. Just over a week later, our 7pm session needed to be moved up to the morning. I met them at the lake and sweet Berit was in her favorite place. It was a grey day, and while I had hoped for a little sun, her mom assured me that this was very “Berit” weather — she always liked best a day that wasn’t too hot or sunny, and when the water was a little cool and choppy. If I was smart I would have worn a skirt or shorts, but I rolled up my jeans and joined her in the water. She couldn’t swim or even stand really, but her loving eyes and earnest face were all we needed for some great images. They said goodbye later that evening.
It’s often the case with Joy Sessions that the animals are not very mobile and the whole shoot takes place in a very small area. I really strive to get a good variety of images, and portray each person’s pet with the beauty and dignity they deserve. I think it helps to push my creativity and see things I might overlook with a more active subject.