When photographer Catherine Panebianco noticed her beloved dog Benny begin to show the signs of old age, she did what any photographer and dog lover might do: she picked up a camera. She began chronicling the last year of Benny’s life, photo by intimate photo.
The result was a series she titled Benny Was a Good Boy, made up of grainy, selective focus, black and white photos shot entirely on a smartphone. This might seem like a strange decision for a professional photographer to make, but Panebianco is convinced some of the immediacy and intimacy would have been lost if she had attempted this same task with a ‘real’ camera.
“I chose shooting this way to capture the intimate, special moments in our relationship,” she writes on her website. “Using a regular camera wouldn’t have felt as immediate and connected. The hazy, grainy, closed-in mood of the photographs in the series embodied what I was feeling at the time.”
Each photo is presented as a diptych, emphasizing the pair’s relationship, and at times painfully pointing out the sense of loss that Panebianco must have felt when Benny passed away.
As Panebianco explains, in the end, these photos became so much more than a documentary project for her.
“Benny Was a Good Boy began as a chronicle of my old dog’s final year but ended up being a way for me to deal with death,” she writes. “By photographing his slow decline, I dealt with the feelings that accompany the breaking of a connection that was so important in my life.”
(via Feature Shoot)
Image credits: All photos by Catherine Panebianco and used with permission.