Words by Marléna Ahearn
Photos by Rachel Liz Photography
“I really hold onto those few photos I took of Jack, like oh, his eyes are doing that thing.” says Rachel. “That’s why I do photography, to bring back a feeling.”
Rachel Sifferd of Rachel Liz Photography settles into a seat in her studio, a little teary-eyed, talking about her beloved Pitbull Jack. Rachel understands why some people think pet portraits sound silly, but insists the importance of professional photos of the people, and pets, you love.
Rachel first saw Jack on Instagram, like so many modern love stories. He was older, a bait dog, and had all kinds of health and trust issues; but he loved Lana, Rachel’s first dog. The connection was instant and he became a part of their life. With his new family, Jack got to travel the whole country in Rachel’s renovated RV and was able to live his best life after years of neglect and abuse.
“We had him for just under four years and he had such an impact on my life. I was a mess when he passed, and I thought 'what can I do to give back what he gave me?'” says Rachel. That’s how Jack’s Day, a day of pet portraits to raise money for the rescue organization Nuts for Mutts, was born.
There’s a special feeling that fills a room when animal lovers and their pets get together. Pets selflessly give with their trusting smiles and sincere love—and their person loves right back. That feeling is what Jack’s Day is all about: unconditional love.
“Every shoot was different,” says Rachel. “There was one pit who was super shy and super sweet and he hid behind the table. And there were others where the dogs just sat saying ‘Photograph me, I’m perfect!’”
After the first event held in February at Rochester Brainery, (which sold out in 24 hours) Rachel was able to donate $370 for waiving adoption fees, paying for vet services, and whatever else the rescue dogs may need. A second date, March 22nd, has also sold out although ticket still remain for April 27th.
Check out more pet portraits from Jack's Day on Instagram at @rachellizphotography.