April 20, 2021

5 Tips for Planning your Pet's Rainbow Bridge Session

Tips & Tricks

Saying goodbye is the hardest part of loving a pet.

The sad fact that we all have to face sooner or later is that our pets' lives are very unlikely to outlast our own. We know that when we open our hearts and our homes to a pet, we are also inevitably opening ourselves to the pain of goodbye that comes eventually; but the joy we feel when we spend our time with our pets makes it worth the sadness and pain at the end. One thing that we can do to soften the blow of goodbye is enjoy a meaningful Rainbow Bridge photo session with them before that final goodbye.

Rainbow bridge sessions are one of the most beautiful and emotional portrait sessions that I photograph. Many of my clients opt to set a date sometime prior to the final goodbye, so that the time together can be somewhat less stressful and more meaningful. During this difficult time, planning a portrait session may seem like a daunting task, and you probably won't know quite where to begin, which is why I am sharing 5 of my best tips to help ensure you get the most out of this special portrait session with your beloved pet.

Choose a Private Location

Public spots like the park are great for fun play times and going for strolls, but they are full of distractions. Plus, chances are at this point your pet is already under a lot of physical stress, and you will be under a ton of emotional stress, so that last thing you need is a noisy crowded spot to try and have your photos taken. If you have a quiet backyard that is a great option for having your session take place. My own backyard and family farm are also great spots where I welcome these sessions happily. Wherever you choose, I highly recommend choosing a nice private place to make this time more about you and your pet and help both of you relax and enjoy each other's company.

Don't be afraid to be Fancy

Always loved those pretty floral collars but never had a chance to use them, well now is your chance! There is no reason to not have your pet all decked out looking fancy during this final photo shoot. Floral collars make female pets look so heavenly, I find them very appropriate for this particular event. I just LOVED the floral collar that my friend Emily had for her beloved Bella when we did their photos, it made Bella look so extra special! You could also get a cute handkerchief, shirt, or sweater for your pet. Whatever your style, feel free to go with it!

Bring allllll the Treats

I know how much we love to spoil our pets, and they deserve all the goodies before that final goodbye. Whatever it is that your pet loves to eat that you only give them on "special occasions", let them have it because this is a special occasion. Not only does your pet deserve to enjoy all the luxurious food before they cross the rainbow bridge, small bite sized treats can also help me get their attention which is super helpful! Their favorite toys are also some good items to have along too! So bring on the burger, the ice cream, those little bones that they just love! Let them enjoy themselves during this time.

Come dressed to be in the photos too!

I get it, you're a roller coaster ride of emotions, the last thing you want to do is get dressed up and try to look nice when your eyes are bloodshot and swollen from crying. But let's face it, you have tons of photos of your pet looking cute, and probably way less of you and your pet. You deserve to see the way your pet looks at you when you are hugging them, with eyes full of love and adoration. You deserve to have some final photos that show just how much you loved your pet, and your pet loved you. I know this a raw, emotional time, but I can also tell you that nothing photographs more incredibly than this. So trust me and get in those photos too!

It's Okay to Cry

I know how hard this time is for you, and I am not expecting you to hold it all together. I've been there, I know just how completely heartbreaking it is to know what's coming. I know how badly it hurts, because I have lived through that pain, multiple times. I know that no amount of time will never be enough. So if you need to shed some tears because it's all too much, that is perfectly okay by me. I promise I will try my best to hold it together for you, mostly because it's impossible for me to focus and take photos through the tears. Chances are though, when I am alone, and doing the editing on your photos, I will shed some tears of my own for you and your beloved pet, because I feel your pain in all of this.

So if you're reaching a point in your pets life where you know the time is near, I hope that you will find these tips helpful for planning a special portrait portrait session for you and your beloved pet. While they can't be with us forever, their memories, and photos, will last a lifetime.