CAP­TUR­ING MEM­O­RIES OF CA­NINE COM­PAN­ION­SHIP

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | BIG READ -

Diana Leven­thal has been snap­ping pets – and their own­ers – for the past 10 years.

“When peo­ple ring up and ask for pic­tures of their pets, I say to them, ‘How many do you al­ready have on your phone?’ then I say, ‘And how many do you have of you to­gether’?” she says.

“I tell them that’s what I’m here for. It’s a no-brainer.”

Diana loves cap­tur­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween own­ers and their pets. She says each is unique and she’s al­ways in­ter­ested see­ing how the pet’s re­la­tion­ship can be com­pletely dif­fer­ent with in­di­vid­ual fam­ily mem­bers.

“I talk to my clients be­fore­hand to get the back­ground.

“I ask them the whole story – where they got their pet, how they bonded with them, what they like to do to­gether.”

Diana does stu­dio and out­door shoots and has some favourite lo­ca­tions where the scenery and light will be beau­ti­ful – and where there will be few dis­trac­tions.

A dog lover and owner, she has de­vel­oped a side skill as a pet grief coun­sel­lor.

“I did a shoot with some lovely bor­der col­lies Lily and Ella. Not long af­ter, Ella died from un­de­tected liver can­cer. She went very quickly,” Diana says.

“The own­ers booked an­other shoot with Lily and their new dog, an Ital­ian grey­hound called Remi. They posed with Ella’s ashes in the pic­tures.”

Diana says for all the sad sto­ries she’s been in­volved with, she’s al­ways glad to hear about clients get­ting new dogs, par­tic­u­larly of a dif­fer­ent breed to the dog they’re mourn­ing.

“My the­ory is that God has a li­brary of dogs and they’re only on loan to us,” she says. “Some are short sto­ries, some are long sto­ries, some are tragedies.

“When one story ends, the book is re­turned to the li­brary. You don’t stop read­ing be­cause you loved one book so much. You keep read­ing and you try a dif­fer­ent genre. You love that book in a dif­fer­ent way. I get a lot of peo­ple who take com­fort from that the­ory.”

“I ASK THEM THE WHOLE STORY – WHERE THEY GOT THEIR PET ... WHAT THEY LIKE TO DO TO­GETHER.”

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