BY SARAH WILLEY
Yesterday I had a shoot like none I've had before.
One of my old friends Jennifer called me up with an interesting proposition. She asked me to come to the beach with her and her dogs to photograph some of Lilly's last moments here with us. Lilly was being put down the next morning. When Jennifer and I initially met up, Lilly and Mango were loaded up in the back of the car and Jen was already tearing up. We both knew today was not going to be easy.
We decided to take an impromptu trip to the beach which was Lilly's favorite spot. We spent the afternoon exploring, playing with flowers, taking photos, eating so many treats, and talking about Lilly. Lilly was the ADVENTURE dog. Jennifer would load Lilly girl up into the Subaru and drive for hours. They would hike together, play together, eat dinner on the beach together. They were truly best of friends. Lilly has so much spunk and personality to her, and as we pulled up to the beach she was all smiles. Her and Mango were bouncing around in the sand and submerging themselves into the water. Lilly even refused to come out of the water at one point like a little ham. We drove on the beach, played in the water, and took photos. I left to give them privacy and Jen, Lilly, and Mango watched the sunset and ate dinner on the beach together for one last time.
I don't have enough words to express how important this shoot was for me. The fact that someone can open up their heart and let someone in during such an intimate and personal moment is beyond me.
As a photographer, we do not just photograph moments for people. We live in those moments with those people. And what an honor to be able to do so.
I want to thank Jennifer for not only allowing me to be a part of such an intimate day but also by being so publicly vulnerable and allowing me to share this special photo album with you guys."