I spent some time with a good book today -- David Jensen's recently published "It's Important to Paws." It was well worth the time. As the name implies, it is important to "pause" on this one.
It is a book of pictures that is so much more than that. David's portraits have long struck me as more than just reflections of moments in time. The pictures peer into the animals' souls and tell a story about what they were thinking, even who they are.
When you look at the animals -- mostly dogs, but also cats, birds, even frogs -- you know if they're happy. You know if they're curious. You know if they're mischievous, wary, angry, thoughtful, a thousand emotions that animals share all the time but only a photographer who truly knows and loves animals can capture with the kind of consistency that David does.
There aren't many words in the book. The pictures are allowed to do most of the work. But the words that are there are important. There's humor, but only an appropriate amount. While a sense of humor is required for animal lovers, this book doesn't exploit the opportunity for funny captions on each and every one. It's not a book of jokes, thankfully.
If anything, it's more of a love story. It's a story about David's love of animals. It comes through in the pictures, it comes through in the few stories he shares about his early dogs, his current dogs and even his staff and business.
It's also a love story for all the owners who thought it was important to have the very best pet photographer capture their animals' spirit. I know more than 20 of the dogs in the book by name, and I know each and every one is loved by its owner just as much as David loves his personal animals. The pictures tell that story too.
If you love animals, if you love photographs, if you've ever wondered what "a picture is worth a thousand words" meant, pick up a copy of this book. It's a pause worth taking.