One of the most common subjects for any photograph is a person’s pet. People love taking pictures of their pets at the best of times, documenting their lives, as well as all of the times where their pets are doing something extremely cute. As any dog owner knows, your dog is going to be doing something that you consider cute all the time, and something other people will consider cute part of the time. You need to make sure that you capture all of your dog’s cute moments, which are definitely the memories that you want to share with other people and your future self.
Some people have complained about just how many pet photos there are on the Internet these days. Complaining about pet videos is even more popular. You might get a few million hits with the video of your adorable cat, but you’ve also become a person who makes cat videos, which can make you a target for the people who like to complain about the most obvious things that they can. When it comes to cat videos and cat pictures, I say go for it. When it comes to dog videos and dog pictures, I also say go for it. We need to try to out-compete all of the cat videos and cat pictures anyway, so I say bring in the cavalry.
People have always liked pet photography, even before the days of the Internet. The explosion of pet photography online happened because people have new mechanisms through which to share all of their pictures. People also have more cameras these days. Sure, the cameras that people have on their phones aren’t the best cameras in the world, but they’re there, and they will get the job done if you don’t happen to be lugging around a professional camera at a given time. It isn’t surprising that people would produce lots of new photos under circumstances like that. Since people already have lots of pet pictures and love their pet pictures, you’re going to see an explosion of pet pictures.
Pet pictures will go out of style when pets go out of style. People have been cooing over their adorable dogs and cats for thousands of years, and that isn’t going to change any time soon. Dogs and cats basically co-evolved with humans because we like them so much, largely because of how cute their are. Their extreme cuteness has given them a privileged position for all of these years, and this is a privileged position that has managed to outlast entire dynasties. Pets have only become more beloved today, and people are only more committed to making sure that they take care of their pets and love them.
Lots of people are interested in documenting every moment of the lives of their pets in the manner of someone trying to make sure that they document the lives of their kids. I would definitely include myself in that category. You want to be able to save everything for posterity. There is going to be a time when your pets are no longer with you, since we all outlive our pets by a wide margin. Having some memories that you can access instantly on your phone will make all the difference in those days. Having grown up with several dogs, I know the feeling.
That was the 1990’s, however, and we had some Polaroids and some family videos, but nothing compared to what people will take in one year of a pet’s life today. You actually had to wait to get your pictures developed back then: it was obscene. It cost extra money to just get pictures, which meant people were a lot more limited in terms of the pictures that they could take or the pictures that they were willing to take. Today, the idea that pictures need to be developed is as much of a weird curiosity as the idea that people should rent movies from video stores, or even the idea that something like a ‘video’ could exist. People can whip out their phones and take pictures of anything. Now, the lives of their pets are available on the Internet for everyone to see if they want and for no one to see if they want.
The people who criticize pet photography are certainly free to never look at pet pictures again for the rest of their lives and to scroll down on the page when someone posts them on Facebook. However, for the rest of us, the age of the pet photograph has only started to expand, and we will continue taking pictures of our pets and the pets of others with glee and with pride.