An open letter narration to everyone who loves dogs

Dog friendly Wedding photographers Chesapeake Beach

A framed print arrived today in Chesapeake Beach at the home of two dog friendly wedding photographers.

The print wasn’t for the couple in the photo who are getting married. The framed art was for me. We love people and dogs and we enjoy being reminded of work we have created with couples and our experiences with them. Spookie, Caleb and Rachel are special and I want to remember them. But this shoot was also personal. It has a very special meaning to me and I don’t want to forget.

Frame that photo

So I put our memory together in a frame. Framed art helps you never forget your experiences and your life.

I know if I put it on my desk I will never forget what I want to be to the people we serve and how I want to make them feel.

The phone rang, “Hi my name is Melanie…Our dog name is Spookie, he is 14.” I am calling you from Ohio, we are looking for Dog friendly Wedding photographers who love dogs Chesapeake Beach.

“My fiancé and I want to bring him to see the water…he’s getting up there and I want to do that for him as part of his bucket list. Oh, and we are also engaged and planning a destination wedding. We love your work.”

We feel your story

Wow, is this for real?  We are photographers who love dogs. I look down at my fur baby, dog Tiger who is all stretched out at my feet. Instantly I relate and know exactly what they are feeling.

Tiger’s 15 and snoring loudly beneath my feet. I’ve been so worried about him. He’s my family. He’s slowing down, developed a cough that no one seems to be able to figure out what’s wrong with him. I am really doing my best not to think about it, but it’s hard.

In a split instant, I think our couples and the memories we create with them. And what the art we print for them will mean to them. I try to share with people that it’s not just a picture but I am often not quite sure if they really get it.

Our dogs are like family and the love of fur parents is very real. Having physical printed reminders of family in our home because we love them matters.

Yes, I would love to do this for you guys, I say.

I am so taken by this call and my connection to it as a person I almost can’t believe it’s real. How could I get to be so lucky to work with people who are feeling the same things I am right now? It’s funny how timing sometimes is everything for things to come your way in the universe. The images and time spent together means everything, it really matters and I get it.

Easy photo tips for shooting with your dog

So I share two tips for their shoot and they drive at night all the way from Ohio to come see us, because that’s the best time for Spookie he’ll be asleep and like most people they work.

Tips for the shoot.

1. I tell them to bring his favorite toy.

2. Some clothes that have solid colors and just to plan to hang out breathe have some time together and just be themselves.

3. Don’t worry about a thing come ready to just enjoy your time together and I’ll take care of the rest.

My gift

Two of my favorites will be a gift to you I explain to them and I will upload the rest to a private gallery. There will be lots of cool one-of-a-kind custom photo products and there you can choose more art for your home you can look at and order when you get back to Ohio, I explain. After I have finished editing and I will help you place an order.

This photo shoot experience will be a little of a hard for me, because our dog, Tiger our beloved Jack Russell is getting up there. He’s like our kid. My mom passed away a few years ago and I am not ready for him to be an old man. Losing someone you love is all to real for me. I think about it every time I cover a wedding and every time I shoot. We are the memory keepers. The ones who help you remember and feel what is dearest to your heart.

Our friend who has also helped Tiger who is also a vet and a former bride Meghan put’s it as she puts her hand in his butt in the living room of our studio to check his glands. I never realized how loved were by some until one of our brides did this for us. I will be forever grateful to Meghan who said don’t worry Jacqueline your baby is not dying. “This cough is just his new grumpy old man self, he’s not dying. It helps. But I am keenly aware we only have so many moments and I had better make them count.

It’s a reminder to me of just how important images are and that we are not here forever.

It reminds me the prints we make and images we create are our record of being here and it is often how people remember us.

So they came for a lovely few days with Spookie, hung out, enjoyed the community and we all got up in the dark.

The experience

We walked down the long winding path through the trees, frogs and crickets chirping trees and through the smell of marshland, on a path in the dark to wait for first light.

We share an experience in my favorite place on earth. I have only shared this with a few special people.

We walked over sticks and crunching leaves, frogs and crickets singing till we reached an open cove on the bay just starting to shimmer.

First light just beginning. A sparkle or two on the Chesapeake Bay in Southern Maryland. Our home, we can see the eastern shore.

No words. Just being.

Spookie is a good boy, and he just sits quietly watching the sunrise with them. He’s a gentle soul and like Tiger seems to be happy just being with them.

Sharing that photo experience of passing time in life for a moment was an adventure with them. It was one of those times in your life,  where the simple strength of human connection a memory so special you know you’ll never forget it.

What I saw and felt is printed on my heart forever as a human and as a photo artist.

This time it included the spirit of a loving animal being too.

Somehow for a moment there is a bond of just being where we are all connected.

My view

It was so lovely watching the 3 of them making a memory together. A quiet observer.

Spookie didn’t jump in the water like they thought he might, though he crossed a stream there just once. Which made everyone smile.

Everyone needs a friend to love them like that, a dog name Spookie.

After the sun rose to warm the earth again make things grow for another day here on earth.

Together they and we walked along the beach together smelled the salt air, ducks and herons wandered by. Spookie was a good boy.

It wasn’t over the top; we weren’t walking along the side of a cliff for the sake of trying to create something over top we just all were.

Real unfiltered natural moments and life. We just were.

We are alive

Sometimes you just have to make time and space for that.

We were alive, and we just spent some time at the moment and just being, slowing everything down to share an experience and time together.

Spookie even paused and gave us a doggie grin for two photos we posed.

It was beautiful, wonderful, and it mattered. To them to Spookie and me.

Their traveling photographer.

More gifts in Chesapeake Beach

Before we said goodbye to the beach that day they gave me a beautiful gift.

Spookie came up to me as I was crouching on the ground and gave me a nudge before I knew it it Jacqueline snuggle time.

The next thing I knew he nuzzled next to me and laid down right next to me with me in the sand.

He was so soft, so beautiful and loving. I saw everything they saw in him.

And for a moment I felt the beautiful gift of time stopping. But just for a moment. One of those moments where you get it, you really connect and understand things.

Melanie Spookies dog mom said it must have been his way of saying thank you for making a memory with us and him. But I know it was more than that. I was learning and realizing something again on my journey here.

I will never forget how soft Spookies fur is. The softest fur I’ve ever felt. Like a chinchilla.

Doggy hugs

We both ended up laying down in the sand and Spookie came over and gave me a little snuggle dog nuzzle.

Later that day I made two prints for them Melanie said thank you.

But the thank you should have been from me.

Because the pleasure was all mine.

What an amazing world we live in here all touching each other, all affecting each other.

The three of them left an imprint in my heart that day I will never forget.

They rode off into the sunset

I’m imagining Spookie now, Melanie, and Caleb, back in Ohio now it’s right about the time they said they go for their annual walk together in a sunflower field in Ohio and enjoy ice cream at a little local stand.

I look forward to seeing them and Spookie again.

It really is a wonderful life.

If you have a Spookie, a Tiger, a spot, or a Fido.

I highly suggest a bucket list maybe we’ll get lucky and you’ll cross our paths.

Share your stories, print your art. Your story matters and so does your time here.

Love and hugs,

and Art that comes straight from your heart to ours.

Jacqueline and Jay


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