One thing I might even love more than photographing dogs is to photograph the connection of people with their dogs. To love a dog is a transformative experience and it can be hard to describe. It has a way of connecting you to your own humanity as well, to love a being outside of your own species so fully can make it easier to be completely yourself somehow. There is no self consciousness when you’re with your dog. They love unconditionally, but they do ask for what they need. And for me, I know I’m not alone with this, I feel like the best version of myself when I make sure that my dog is stoked about his life. That connection gives me delightful purpose to focus on enjoying life and not getting caught up in things that ultimately don’t matter. I feel this too when I photograph people with their dogs- their joy in their connection with them is one of my favorite things ever. It’s my goal to capture it as beautifully as they feel it.
Jovita is someone who connects incredibly deeply with her dogs. I photographed her in January with her spectacularly loved Vito
, who left his body a few weeks later. She sees signs of him everywhere now, in the sunsets, in the clouds, in all things that they loved together. We met again recently at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm
for an adventure with her adorable Luca. I think perhaps I saw Vito in some light orbs around them, and I definitely saw him in Luca in one photo- I can’t believe how much he looks like Vito in this photo. It’s the 4th photo down, and I swear it’s him. Somehow Luca’s hair was blown by the wind to give him a little mohawk like Vito used to have a few years ago, when I met him. The white tulips symbolize Vito as well and when they danced together in the rows, I felt his presence. Especially because their bond was so strong, his presence will always be there with her and she will see him in all beautiful things.
The healing process is difficult, but luckily she has the sweetness of Luca to help lift her out of the sadness. Dogs are healers. Luca’s hugs are his special gift to her. It was so beautiful to document their time in the amazingly colorful and stunning tulip fields. To see more of Luca and Jovita and send them some love, follow them on Instagram: @vitothedogfather <3