A Michigan photographer offering free end-of-life photoshoots for owners with their senior, or terminally ill, dogs, is helping people commemorate beloved pets in a unique way and spreading kindness in the process.
Julia Marie of Metro Detroit is a 24-year-old Michigan native. A full-time recruiter and part-time dance teacher, she takes photos on weekends. Her lifelong love of photography became a serious hobby at the onset of the pandemic.
“A friend of mine reached out regarding her terminally ill dog and wanted photos of him and her captured while he was still in good spirits,” Julia told The Epoch Times. “After seeing her reaction to her gallery, I decided that other pet owners might want this same service, and extended the opportunity to local community members.”
With her two pet golden retrievers, Benny and Bonnie, at home, Julia doesn’t charge clients for these photoshoots, saying she would rather have them put their money toward medical bills and medicine, as well as “treats and toys to spoil” their beloved pets while they can.
During shoots, Julia captures dogs and their owners indulging in their favorite activities: playing, walking, or simply cuddling together. She says owners often experience overwhelming happiness and sadness at the same time during shoots, but upon viewing their final photo gallery, such feelings are replaced by “pure joy.”
Julia explains on her website, “To us animal lovers, our pets are like our family. They provide us with everlasting love, trust, and affection. It can be hard to let our beloved fur friends go.
“Whether it be due to old age or illness, pet owners may not think to capture the last memories they have with their pet,” she continues. “That is when I come in.”
Julia uses her father’s old camera to capture these tender moments.
It’s not just her own clients that are impacted by Julia’s work. She primarily shares her photos on Instagram and her website. She told The Epoch Times that she has been blown away by an “overwhelming amount of love and support” from social media users worldwide since sharing her end-of-life sessions with the news media.
“With having a recent cancer scare for one of my own dogs, Benny, this series means a lot to me by being able to spread kindness and positivity to others during a difficult time in their life. This all started out as a simple act of kindness, and has caught the media by storm,” she said.
“One of my clients told me, ‘Kindness breeds kindness,’ and if what I’m doing creates more kindness and positivity in the world, I have done my job.”
Check more original end-of-life pet photos below:
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