Photography is a gift. It always means so much to me when someone says, “You have a gift…” I’m humbled. And amazed at such a compliment. But you know what? “Having” a gift actually pales to being able to “give” a gift of photography. And, I’ve had some life changing experiences over the past several months to prove it.
One was just this past week. My brother. In truth, he is my husband’s brother. Larry. But, I couldn’t love him more if he were my brother, and growing up, I always wanted a brother, so it feels nice saying “My brother”. ANYWAY…. my brother, over the past many years has been pretty much of a hermit. A wonderful, pure hearted guy! He loves God… he’s kinder to every human than most anyone. It’s just that he has been perfectly happy and content to live life, just him and his dog, Luke. And oh! The friendship he and Luke have. Luke is a beloved part of Larry’s very own soul.
So… uh-oh… a frantic call. “I think Luke is dying.” He is 10. Voice shaking. Fear. Heart pounding. Luke couldn’t catch his breath. He fell over. And terror filled his eyes. Not to mention Larry’s heart. And ours. But… lo and behold, after a scary night. Luke woke up the next day just fine. It got me thinking. “Let’s take pictures, Larry! You and Luke need photos together.” He has none. None. No pictures of the love of his life and him. So, on a beautiful October afternoon, I headed over to Larry’s with my camera. What I always do when photographing dogs is wait until a dog is completely comfortable with me being there, usually following several kiss-fests, hugs and conversations with them in “dog-speak”. Then, I pick up my camera and just make clicking away a part of the natural part of the day. In the meantime, I got to catch up with Larry as we chatted the afternoon away like a couple of girlfriends (sorry Larry… it’s just that… well… you are so easy to talk to 🙂 )
What we ended up with made both of us feel “the gift” of photography. It was overflowing from happy hearts. Larry said the pictures made him cry. I’m printing large prints of them for him so that the gift of Luke will be immortal in his life. Luke will be forever as honored a part of Larry’s home as he is in his heart. Yes!… this gift was MUCH more of a joy to give than to have! In fact, Luke, Larry and photography were the best gift to me in a long time! 🙂
So the other gift I mentioned that is better in giving than “having”: My work photographing rescue dogs with Saving Grace Dog Rescues. Glamour photos to help them get adopted. We’re still trying to figure out the best way to use our photos of these amazing dogs as “adoption capital”, but we’ve had pretty good luck so far with putting their best-dressed selves forward to make them irresistible to prospective forever homes. After our first shoot, I did a little video that expresses out heart towards these amazing animals in need of an angel by their side. For whatever reason, they have sadly found themselves homeless and “people-less”, and they deserve someone to love them like Larry loves Luke! Since this first shoot, I have fallen in love with many, many more of these beautiful animals. And, by the way, if, by any chance you EVER find room in your heart for a new furry family member, please let me know (Sandy@SandyP.net), and we will hook you up! Till then… bask in the gift with me 🙂