Lauren & Derrick-Tampa Portrait Photography
Hello Everyone I have some really special photos to share with you today! I enjoyed this shoot so very much! Allow me to introduce Lauren and Derrick. As anyone who knows me knows, I love dogs very much and get very excited whenever I have the chance to photograph them. Now having had the opportunity to photograph them with their owners as well I find it I love it all the more as my two favorite things to photograph are people and animals. It is a challenge to get both the pet and the person to look great in the photos but one I am happy to take on! This shoot was even more special though because Derrick is training to be a service dog and Lauren will be having to give him over to more training and then to the person he will be ultimately living with.
We chose to take these photos on Davis Island at the little beach area near the Yacht club. I did a family portrait shoot here before Christmas and really like the location. The only downside of the day was that the sky was not as pretty as we would have liked but it did not deter us from getting these beautiful and fun images. I took quite a few of Derrick and his toy, this one I do not even remember consciously taking it happened so fast but I love how it turned out with him looking at his toy high in the air!
Derrick is a 20 month old Golden Retriever/Labrador Retriever cross in-training to become a service dog for a person in need of wheelchair assistance or with a hearing impairment. He came to live with Lauren when he was just 8 weeks old. For the past 18 months, Lauren has transformed Derrick from a wild puppy into a well-behaved dog who loves to put on his service dog cape and work on his skills in public. This socialization in public is a vital part of his training. Derrick has gone everywhere with Lauren since he earned his cape including Publix, Target, the bank, the post office, restaurants and even college! Lauren taught him over 30 commands that will help him advance into a service dog.
Now, Derrick will go off to puppy college (Advanced Training) in Orlando at Canine Companions for Independence Southeast Regional Center for 6-12 months. There, he will add about 30 more commands on to his list of skills by the time he graduates from puppy college! In addition to being the perfect companion for someone who needs him, he will learn how to open doors and drawers, pick up dropped items from the floor, retrieve important objects, turn a light switch on and off, and so much more that will give someone their independence back.
Derrick will be truly missed by Lauren and those who got to know the sweet puppy that he is! Lauren hopes that she will be able to officially hand over Derrick’s leash to someone with a disability one day. Until then, best wishes to Derrick in Advanced Training!
I have to admit I was almost a little teary-eyed when I left Lauren and Derrick knowing he was destined to be a companion to someone else. Such a wonderful thing she is doing! I am so happy I was able to capture these special moments of the two of them for her to treasure always!
This last image and the one that leads off this post are my favorites, I love the way Derrick is looking towards the camera in the top shot and the sweetness and love that is contained in this one of them laying on the boat dock.
I will always remember meeting Lauren and Derrick, I wish Derrick all the best on his upcoming adventures in college and with his new owner who I know will love and appreciate him very much! I urge everyone to get photos taken with their best friends as well, our time with them is always priceless!