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Enter the Lucky Mutt Photography Perfect Day Contest by March 3rd and win a free photo session for you and your pet with my PetPAC colleague Becky Kalin!—Sid

You are completely smitten with the furry ones sharing your home, and you go beyond the basics to keep them happy. You are no stranger to long walks on frigid days. Your kitchen is home to a cookie jar filled with treats that are not meant for you. You have baskets full of squeaky toys and tennis balls, and you’ve scoured the local shops looking for just the right beds to make them happy. (Maybe you even realized the perfect bed was yours–Don’t worry, I won’t tell.) — They are lucky to have found their home with you.

But, you don’t see it that way…You see gentle souls and unconditional love. Best friends that greet you at the door to welcome you home. Individuals who make your heart so much bigger, and who make you laugh every. single. day. — In your eyes, you are the lucky one.

i think you’re both right

Lucky Mutt Photography specializes in capturing everyday moments between pets and their people. Sessions most often take place at home where everyone is their most comfortable self, and where–without backdrops or studio lights–the real life moments between two and four-legged family members become the focus of your photos.

I love the slogan my friend, pet photographer Patrick Nau of Minneapolis, uses regarding having your pet’s portraits taken: “Don’t say, ‘I wish I had,” say, ‘I’m glad I did.'”

The photos below of my three West Highland white terriers were taken as part of an annual fund-raising event through the Photographer’s Guild of St. Paul, Minnesota. If you made a donation to Pet Haven Animal Rescue, your photo session for as many pets as you brought in at one time was free and so was one 8×10 photo. (Of course, they wind up with about 100 more  shots you’d love to purchase beyond that, too. And I did, naturally. One such triptych follows below.)

The point is to celebrate your pet’s life all through his/her life, not just as a memorial after he/she dies.

Now, prepare to enjoy my own personal BRAG BOOK of sorts! Click on any images you want to see full size.

Blanche, Keely and Ambrose 2010

photos by Photographers Guild of St. Paul, MN

Final Farewell Photos

Many pet photographers are starting to offer special deals to owners of elderly or seriously ill pets, allowing them to affordably capture their beloved animal companion’s image before it’s too late. If you do miss out on such a photo session, though, you can still memorialize your pet with a pet portrait drawn or painted by an artist from one of your own snap shots.

I’ve yet to meet anyone who’s felt they’d wasted their money after doing either of these things. Ali Jarvis of the Sidewalk Dog recently lost her dog Luc, and though she was initially unsure if she could emotionally withstand having her terminally ill boy in a photo, she had Sarah Beth Photography take the pictures. She is now beyond grateful that she did it. The photos allow her to stay connected with her sweet boy forever.

Ali Jarvis and Luc on his last day. Photo by Sarah Beth Photography.

Another great photographer in the Twin Cities area is Becky Kalin, Lucky Mutt Photography; see her website for her terrific portfolio.

A pet portrait by Peggy Krizak

Above is a beautiful sample Wisconsin artist Peggy Krizak’s work. Contact her at Peggy Krizak’s Pet Portraits.

A final plug is due pet portrait artist Jessie Marianiello of Stray Dog Arts. Go to her site to see more of her wonderful work. Below is a favorite of mine by her:

Lou the singing dog, by Jessie Marianiello

All of the aforementioned photographers/artists are fellow members (with me) of the Pet PAC, a networking association of Minnesota pet-related businesses. I can vouch for their abilities and integrity!

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