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Legacy Sessions


Today’s post features one of my favorite types of pet portrait sessions: Legacy Sessions. Read below to learn about what they are and some frequently asked questions.

 What are legacy sessions? 

golden retriever

A legacy session is an extra special portrait session for pets who are over 10 years of age or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

This session focuses exclusively on creating a visual legacy for your pet. Our session together will result in beautiful artwork that will help you to share your pets’ gifts with future generations.

For each legacy session, 10% of your total purchase will be donated in your fur kid’s name to a rescue of your choice! Not only are you getting amazing photos to celebrate your pet’s legacy, but also your pet is giving back to other animals in need.

Why should I schedule a legacy session?

chocolate labUnfortunately, our pets’ time with us is limited. Therefore, a legacy session is a perfect way to share all of your pets’ gifts with future generations. Each time you walk past their photo you will feel all of the love that you have between you and your furry loved one.

I’ve never had a client regret getting their pet’s portrait taken. However, I do know many people who regret never taking professional portraits of their pet. I would have loved to have a proper photo shoot with my childhood dog, Penny!

Where do the legacy sessions take place?

flat coated retriever

These sessions may take place anywhere such as a favorite park or other location that has been filled with fun memories. However, I often recommend these sessions to be wherever your pet is most comfortable.

Some dogs may have mobility issues due to age or illness. Oftentimes the most comfortable place for your pet will be inside your home or in your backyard.
As always, your pet’s safety and comfort are my top priority!

What do you, as the photographer, do differently during your legacy sessions?

golden retriever

Just like with any session, your pet sets the pace. We’ll discuss what time of day is best for your pet. Your pet may prefer to sleep at certain times of the day. Another consideration is that they may get certain treatments or have more pain at certain points throughout the day.

I am available at short notice for these special sessions. Even if it means rescheduling another photo shoot (this is made clear in my contract with all clients).

I go super slow introducing your pet to myself and the camera. Your fur kid may be more sensitive to new people or things if not feeling their best.

I also am a big believer in pet-led posing. This is even more important for legacy sessions. If your pet is uncomfortable in certain poses (for example prefers lying down to sitting) then we don’t make him or her sit for the photos.

 I’d love to schedule a legacy session but I’m worried it will be too hard emotionally. 

Feeling sadness at any time during your pet’s illness is a testament to how much you love him or her. I’m a therapist by profession and don’t shy away when people have difficult emotions. If you cry during the session it is perfectly fine!

That being said, pet parents find that there is often a happy, heartwarming vibe to legacy sessions. We laugh and have a wonderful time discussing your pet’s life and how much they mean to you.

I treat each legacy session as a celebration. We celebrate your pet’s amazing life and the impact that they’ve had on you.

So yes, there may be a tender moment during one of these sessions. More often than not it is a light-hearted, fun experience filled with memories to cherish for years to come.

If you want to learn more about booking a legacy session click HERE.


If you want to learn more about Raleigh SPCA’s pet loss support group click HERE.

I joined a blogging circle with my pet photographer friends. Check out Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole, in Las Vegas, Nevada, shares a recent end-of-life session and discusses saying goodbye and grief.

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