Our featured business this week is the lovely Jenna Regan Photography!
Where is Jenna Regan Photography located?
Jenna Regan Photography is based in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. My office, where clients come from consults and ordering appointments, is in McKinney, about 30 minutes north of Dallas. When it comes to photographing, I travel on location for photo sessions all over the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.
When and how did your pet photography career get started?
The whole chain of events is quite ironic because I’ve always loved photography and art of it. I was particularly drawn to images of the western lifestyle, horses, ranches, and that kind of stuff. But I distinctly remember thinking I wouldn’t be any good at it, and with other interests, I never even attempted it as a hobby.
In 2012, during my final year at Texas A&M University I finally snagged one of the seats in an introductory photography course, after several semesters of trying to get in the class. Animals, particularly dogs, cats, and horses, have always been a focus and passion in my life so each week my assignments and photos for class reflected that.
To make a long story short, once I graduated with my bachelors degree in agricultural communication and journalism and moved back to North Texas I kept feeling a pull toward being a professional photographer. I hadn’t even began the job search yet for a career within my degree field so I dove in head first to photography. Though initially I did more than photograph pets, my focus quickly became photographing dogs, people and horses and now it’s even more-so dog focused. Though my heart is equally drawn to equine photography.
You offer a wide variety of session types, for lots of different occasions and milestones; do you have a favorite type of session to photograph?
That’s a great observation. In all reality, most of what I do is just one type of session but various ways my clients can customize their photo session for where they are in their lives and include their pets. For example pets can be a part of engagement photos, high school senior photos, family photos, even the wedding day.
Pet photography is becoming more and more mainstream but I believe there are still people out there who don’t realize their dog (or other pet) can be included in their personal photography sessions by hiring a professional photographer that specializes in both people and pets. And that’s where I come in! My goal is to show potential clients all the ways this is possible so I share a variety of examples, ideas, and inspiration on my website and social media accounts.
In regards to my favorite type of session, it’s so hard to pick one! But I have a soft spot for senior pets, especially when I know I’m capturing photos that are likely the last professional images taken and each image is going to be treasured far beyond the here and now. There’s something so special about a senior pet, the love they embody and their gentle, kind spirits. For a while, it was extra hard for me to do the end of life sessions, as that takes it even a step beyond senior, knowing the end is very near. But hearing the client feedback and all the emotional thank yous, even years later, has been so powerful and makes me feel like I am making a difference.
Do you have a memorable client or session you’d like to share?
Wow, that’s a tough question for me. I truly get attached and invested with each of my clients and really focus on connecting. At one of my recent sessions, my client asked me if I have a favorite client. I joked and told her it was now her, because it seems every person I work with becomes my favorite client!
It’s equally as hard to share just one memorable session, so I’m going to limit myself to choosing a session within the last 6 months. It’s still quite hard to narrow, but I’m going with Bessie the senior Basset hound. She was rescued from a puppy mill and then adopted by her foster family last year on Christmas Day. This spring she was diagnosed suddenly with very aggressive cancer and her mom contacted me to photograph Bessie during her last few days. I was honored to be part of her last adventure and was drawn to her gentle spirit. Working with Bessie and her mom touched me so much that I wrote a blog post to share the whole story and my thoughts and feelings about Bessie:
What advice do you have for pet owners who may be considering a photo session?
Don’t wait! If there is one thing I hear too much of it’s “I wish I knew about you while I still had Fido” or “I wish I could have gotten a photo of both of my furbabies together before we lost Fido.” I understand how it happens when the days go by and our lives are so busy. I’m guilty of this too! But it breaks my heart when I hear the reality of those missed opportunities. And it’s not always the senior dogs who pass away, so many times a healthy young dog is at the center of these stories, which makes it even harder because people believed that they’d have plenty of time.
Introduce us to your “full house” of pets 🙂
I definitely have a house (and barn) full! There are three dogs Jack, Ace, and Leo. I have two cats named Dahlia and Quincy. And then a herd of horses which includes six mares Vera, Maggie, Josey, Luna, Allie, and Charlotte and two geldings Chrome and PH. My life revolves around all of them!