Pet Photography: Why I do What I do

Lights, Camera, Wag; Where it all began

A lot of people, who are familiar with my name from other forms of photography, often wonder, how did Delhi Pet Photography come to be. At times it’s more important to answer the “why’s” than the “how’s” in our life. When we do something, more often than not, we do it for the love of it. We cannot do something with love and perfection unless we feel strongly about it. My tryst with pet photography didn’t happen because one fine day I woke up and thought I must photograph some animals. It happened because I have a long and deep-rooted history of a loving association with animals. From the very moment of inception of my life I have never been without a furry friend by my side and can never imagine how to be without one at any stage of my life. This is what adds meaning to my work as a pet photographer, and to my life, as a human being.

My Brother Sunny

It all began exactly four years before I was born. My father received a tiny Lhasa Apso pup as a gift, in a village in Lhasa ( Tibet ), during his stay over there. That pup was indeed my father’s firstborn. His son. He started calling the little one, Sunny. From 18000 feet above sea level, to the Gangetic plains of Kolkata, that little furry kid made a long journey of almost 7500kms with my Father and reached his forever home.

When my mother was pregnant with me, perhaps the most excited member of our house was Sunny. Often he would try to get real close to my mother’s baby bump, to listen to my heartbeats. But my mom is scared of dogs so that never went well.

The day they brought me home from the hospital, the first three members who came running to greet me, were Sunny, Jimmy and Julie. Two of them were our neighbor’s dogs. They were not just my first visitors or the first ones to welcome me, but outside of the hospital, they were my first encounter with the world of the living.

Meeting the newest member of the family was love at first sight for Sunny, and slowly his world started revolving around “The Baby”.

I was born in a big traditional Indian joint family with a lot of members, and the women of the house were always busy catering to the never-ending list of daily chores. It wasn’t an exception for my mother as well. As she used to stay busy, throughout the day, Sunny found himself wearing many hats; that of an elder brother, a caregiver, a guardian, a friend, a constant companion, a nanny, and a protector for me. “The Baby” somehow became, “his baby”.More than 90% of my time was spent in the company of my fur parent. Being around a furry, four-pawed being was so natural to me, that I never learned what is it like to be without one.

Since we spent most of our time around each other, we also developed an emotional co-dependency. If I rolled over to the edge of the bed, he would raise hell. If I was hungry and crying, he would run to the kitchen and keep pulling onto my grandma’s saree, till she would physically come over to check or my mother would, and feed me. If someone from outside the family would be seen near “the baby’s room”, my possessive and protective brother Sunny, would chase the person out of our house.

As I grew a bit older and started to crawl, I would follow him around the house. Our toys were shared. The mess we made while playing, was shared. Our food used to be prepared together. Boiled, bland, and with no spices. Mostly the bed was shared. During Diwali nights, with the terrifying loud firecrackers everywhere, my little furry brother would lead me to safety under the sofa or the bed. My brother Sunny was not a separate non-human entity for me. Nobody tried to make me realize that he is from another specie. I wouldn’t even understand at that age, what a pet is, or if it’s supposed to look very different from humans. Sunny was just my cute, fun, cuddly, playful, and very protective brother, whose hair was longer than mine.

Once I reached two years of age, on a fated monsoon night, after some gross veterinary misdiagnosis and negligence, and a brief period of illness, my brother Sunny, crossed the rainbow bridge at the tender age of six. My father was so heartbroken that he vowed never to have another fur child again. I do not any recollection of the trauma, because I was just two. But surely I’d have found, my playmate is gone. I must have tried looking for him everywhere inside the house. And just like that, my brother was gone…

Individually our life experiences vary from person to person, and so does our perspective of looking at the world. I have always experienced having pets in my life, not as something separate from the entire family unit. I didn’t see them as “part of the family”. I knew them “as my family”. Just that they do not go on living forever. They almost get to spend their entire life with us, while unfortunately, we get to spend only a tiny fraction of our lives with them. The images I used here in this article, are representative. I wish I had his original photos. But sadly I have none. Come to think of it, we all miss out on taking pictures of so many great moments with our pets, and before I started Delhi Pet Photography, my professional pet photography services, I wished I were old enough or had proper photography gear to memorize the amazing life I shared with my most loved family members, and I know this for a fact that I regret it. When I would be older, and my memory starts to fade, I won’t even have as little as a photo to remind me of how they look like, the beings who shaped my identity and showered me with pure unconditional love.

People in the local animal lover community know, just how much I love pets and doing pet photography, so, if you want some professionally taken great pictures of your most intimate or fun moments with your furry kids, or their formal portraits, for your walls, your social media, or your personal memory, you’re in the right place.

For availability and charges of pet portraiture sessions, please email me at [email protected] Tell me something about your pet in the email (name, age, what kind of pet, how did u get him/her, favorite activities, fun facts), and also let me know what kind of pictures you’re looking for (studio photos/home-shoot/outdoor) and we are off to a great start! 🙂

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