That light. The furry faces looking out were glowing in highlights of gorgeous sunlight. Dinner was going to wait.
Quickly I grabbed my camera and sat on the floor to prepare a couple of shots of the boys in the golden light. They began taking turns looking out the window of the door while I continued snapping. We all knew the other was there, but their concentration on the outside world was captivating enough to keep their interest. I, too, was captivated, but on them instead of the outside world. As if in harmony to a love song, we danced around each other on the floor while I became unaware of anything else in the world. The feeling was amazing, intoxicating in fact.
The varying expressions on their faces was exactly what I wanted to photograph in my mind, but had yet to fully accomplish. Finally, I was in my hay day photographing the most important 4-legged boys of my life. Capturing their personalities in that light was something totally unplanned and unexpected. To think if I hadn’t paid any attention to them, or the light glowing around the rims of their faces, made me wonder, “what else have I missed”? Were there more shots that I’d missed before simply because I was not paying attention? Probably.
Not anymore. Though I may not always see the light as I did on this day, there will be captured moments made into memories forever because I DID pay attention. A lesson learned – an unplanned moment is the best moment to take a photograph. Photographing everyday life and what makes me happy, staying true to real life, real emotions, real surroundings, and natural lighting is the basis behind all of the photos I take. This was the time to capture my boys – bring their personalities to light (no pun intended), capture their natural beauty and expressions.
I thank God for the opportunity to photograph and document life. The joy of capturing what I love is something I don’t take for granted. I hope my children and grandchildren will view my images and come to know what made my heart beat a little faster. One could say, it’s my legacy to them.
Unplanned, unposed, unprepared, I found myself at the center of why I began photography as my creative outlet and therapy. There I was in the moment and behind the lens at the very same time capturing what makes my heart go boom! And the boys? They were busy posing, relaxed, yet at attention just in case the door happened to open.
These boys are my children, my therapy, my protectors, and masters of providing pure, unconditional love. For the past couple of years, the boys have been through a lot of changes. All due to changes in my life. As my life became more difficult, they stepped up every single time providing more love and compassion than one could ever imagine.
Deuce, sweet Deuce. He’s gorgeous. He’s funny. He’s a pot stirrer, a brat at times. And those eyes. Dear Lord, he knows how to use them to his advantage. He knows me so well. Such a momma’s boy, he is. He’s a talker, too. Mumbling, grumbling, yipping and yapping is his preferred method of communication. When that doesn’t work, he will come and outright stare at you until you look him in the eyes. He’s so smart, he will then go to where and what he needs. Then again, these boys are anything but normal.
They are extraordinary to me. It’s as if they know me better than I know me. Ace is a special boy. He was the best certified therapy dog anyone could ask for. His therapy days at nursing homes ended early due to my illnesses striking unexpectedly, turning my life upside down. Ace is now MY therapy dog. Both of them are, actually. They have two different methods of therapy between them. I need them both daily.
To be able to have them in my life is a pleasure and a debt I can never repay. Some would never think of turning to your dog for therapy. I’ve seen the miracles Ace performed, I’ve experienced the miracles they both are able and willing to provide regularly. Ace knows I need help getting up off the floor and comes to my side so I can use his strength in his back to get up. Deuce is always on my lap, knowing I need love and compassion regularly to overcome the hurdles I face each day. He follows me from room to room ensuring I’m alright.
Ace is a serious boy and yet sensitive to my feelings. He feels what I feel. The difference is, he knows I need him and will snuggle up to me as if he’s crawling into my skin trying to take away the pain that haunts my body daily. He’s also the protector. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is getting to me without going through him first. He’s the most soulful, intuitive dog I’ve ever had the pleasure of loving. He is the older brother to Deuce. They share the same mom.
Oh, Deuce. My heart melts with every look at him. Those eyes so blue and coat so long, soft and fluffy makes him a stunning boy. Being this handsome must be hard though. He has a bossy, me-first attitude, with a never-ending desire to drive Ace crazy. He’s the pot stirrer, the comedian and yet the snuggle bug. He’s the one laying at the last door I’ve gone out of, waiting patiently for my return. At night, he has to feel my body next to his. He’s usually found at the foot of the bed with his head resting on my feet.
Ace really, really loves the outdoors. He makes sure the surrounding area is free from golfers, intruders, squirrels, cats, and anything else he decides doesn’t belong. Ace is also the pool supervisor. Each day he HAS to see the pool come on and experience the pool fountain spurting in the air with water and run down to make certain the pop up circulators are working properly. Then as the time comes for the pool to turn off for the day, he HAS to see it happen with his own eyes. In this photo it was time for the pool to shut down for the day and he was telling me he needed to go check it out.
Dogs are great communicators in general. We need only to pay attention. When we do, it’s a beautiful language. No words are necessary.
Our impromptu photo session was coming to a close. What a fantastic and unexpected time spent capturing my boys in glorious light showing off their natural external beauty. I’m merely putting words to what’s in their hearts and minds.
Time flew by while I was on the floor with the boys. I wouldn’t trade that time for anything. If there’s one thing these boys have taught me is that we need to love for all we’re worth every day, not just when we feel like it. Secondly, loyalty. Dogs are the most loyal creatures on the face of the earth, in my humble opinion. They don’t care how late you are coming home to them, they still love you, will try to please you, and are happy to see you.
This unexpected photo session taught me a great deal. Pay attention to details in your life and surroundings. There’s too much to miss out on if we don’t pay attention to these subtle things. Unplanned, unscripted, unposed, and unbelievable things can happen when you least expect them. Lastly, dinner can wait.