Photographer captures heartwarming bond between child and pet
Pets can have an intense impact on everyone’s life but there is something extra special about the connection between a child and their dog.
That bond — be it best friend, sibling, confidant, guardian, partner-in-crime or a combination of all — has recently been captured by the lens of Kawartha Lakes photographer Vicky Knowler in her project, “My Dog & Me.”
Knowler worked in the marketing, real estate and corporate relocation sectors up until five years ago when she decided to make her passion for photography a career in order to spend more time with her children. Last summer, Knowler and her family moved from Toronto to Woodville where she has opened a full-time studio.
During the COVID-19 pandemic began, Knowler began seeing the positive impact her cat, Wendy, played in her family’s well-being. When the third wave sent students back to virtual learning in January, her children — particularly her youngest — were sad to be separated from school and the many friends they had made. Wendy gladly filled the gap.
“I was so glad to have her. She was an awesome companion and such an amazing, emotional support,” said Knowler, who found out many others felt the same way about their pets after she posted a comment to this extent on Facebook.
“There was lots of engagement. I was surprised with how many people responded with how their child has bonded with their pet. I know that, just from our own cat, it’s a strong bond. But when it comes to dogs, there seems to be a much greater emotional connection. It’s not ownership; it’s a sister, it’s a brother, it’s a comfort knowing they will not be judged but rather loved unconditionally.”
Knowler also knew the project wasn’t going to just be about taking pictures of children and dogs.
“It’s not just an image. It’s the story behind the image,” said Knowles who took the time to chat with the children before and during her shoots. “I was touched deeply by how deep and strong their bonds are.”
To build further on the project’s success, Knowler is organizing three fundraising My Dog & Me shoots. Partial proceeds will be donated to Oakville (April 23), Toronto (April 24) and Kawartha Lakes (May 7) humane societies. Knowler is collaborating with Victoria Feeds for the Lindsay event.
MY DOG AND ME EVENT LINK: https://champagnephotography.ca/2022-my-dog-me-events/
She’s also recently launched a new project, “In Daddy’s Shoes,” inspired by the profound impact her own father has had on her life.
“It’s all about learning from the child’s perspective what daddy means to them,” said Knowler, who not only incorporates a variety of relevant ‘props’ — from work boots and gloves to hockey equipment — but also captures it all on video. “It’s a nice way to highlight those memories.”
For more information check out Knowler’s website www.champagne.photo