3 Things No One Tells You About Rainbow Sessions

When I reflect on why Rainbow Sessions are so meaningful, I’m reminded of a beautiful quote from an unknown source that says, “When we think of those companions who traveled by our side down life’s road, let us not say with sadness that they left us behind, but rather say with gentle gratitude that they once were with us.”

In this week’s Photography Blog Circle post, I’m sharing three things no one tells you about Rainbow Sessions, which are designed specifically for aged or ailing pets, including those often preparing to cross the Rainbow Bridge.

1. These Sessions Are Nowhere Near as Sad As You’d Think

Perhaps the most common hesitation in booking a Rainbow Session is the worry that you won’t be able to make it through without bawling your eyes out. The reality is, yes–losing our beloved companions is excruciating and on occasion there are tears, but anyone who has booked one will agree that these sessions are nowhere is near as sad or morbid as you’d think. Rainbow Sessions are designed to be a celebration of the relationship you share unlike any other.

pit bulls during Rainbow Sessions at Brady's Run Park near Pittsburgh

While your days may be filled with the uncertainty and stress of this grief-stricken time, these sessions allow us to step back and slow all that down to tell your story at your pace. You’ll never be rushed along or coerced into portraits or positions that make you uncomfortable during what is undoubtedly a difficult and delicate time. Being as open as possible allows me to ensure the most comforting and safe session for you and your pet.

2. We Feel Right Alongside You

I’ll be the first to tell you it’s never “just a” dog. It’s those special things–however silly or seemingly small they may appear to others–those quiet yet meaningful moments you wish you could relive day after day for the rest of your life: the fuzzy tickle of an eager to please paw in the palm of your hand, those endearing expressions that communicate so deeply where words cannot, the comforting warmth and pressure of a sleepy head resting in your lap as you stroke his ears as he nods off, all culminating into the beautiful essence of the joy and love you share between each other.

Pet photographers are often known for being true empaths in that we don’t just sympathize with you, we physically feel every emotion you’re experiencing right down to our core. Because I serve my clients from the belief that “what is done in love is done well,” a principle that will always remain the fundamental foundation of the Bark & Gold Photography experience, I view this not as a burden but as a gift that allows us to approach our time together with zero judgment and complete compassion.

Now don’t mishear me: I’m really good at holding it together during your session, like really good, but some sessions are certainly more challenging than others. I’ve found that setting about these sessions with the reminder that I am so fortunate to be able to provide this type of experience for you helps tremendously. My business mentor always says that if you make a situation about you, you’re going to feel nervous or experience resistance–feelings you don’t like–but that when you approach it from a place of helping others, you can completely change not only the way serve but the way you feel.

For me, this overwhelm of emotion hits hardest when I receive your finished products. It’s just something about knowing your best friend is no longer physically at your side that sucker punches me right in the heart. I’m forever thankful to create these heirloom-quality products for you though because I’m reminded with every tear-filled hug upon delivery how important photos are in earing the difficult pain of watching our furry friends grow older and cross the Rainbow Bridge.

3. Rainbow Sessions Aren’t for Everyone

Rainbow Sessions can bring peace and closure, but they aren’t for everyone and I can’t tell you if investing in one is the right choice for you. Only you can make that decision. What I can tell you is not to feel guilty or bad about not wanting to photograph your dog as he is at this stage of his life, particularly if he’s progressed to a point of not looking or feeling his best. It’s absolutely OK to instead choose to appreciate the photos you already have, even if they’re blurry snapshots on your phone. Forcing yourself into a session that may result in portraits that you find too heart-breaking to look at once your pet has crossed the Rainbow Bridge does no one any good. There are many ways to be intentional in making memories with your pet that you will value just as much, if not more.

If you would like to learn more or book a Rainbow Session for your pet, click here or give me a call at 724-913-BARK (2275). Priority scheduling is available whenever possible to accommodate urgent session needs.


This post is a part of a photography blog circle featuring photographers specializing in a variety of niches. To see what the next photographer is sharing for our weekly theme, “Three Things No One Tells You About…,” check out Gretchen Ciccone with GCiccone Photography, capturing special moments. Continue to click the link at the end of each post in the blog circle until you eventually find your way back here.

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