CAPTURING MEMORIES OF CANINE COMPANIONSHIP
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.”