In the modern American culture, pets are increasingly treated as family members. Pets have always been an important part of the family. As American culture evolved in the last twenty years, pets have taken on an even more important role.
More young couples are not just getting married later in life; they are delaying having children until older. As a result, pets seem to have taken the place of children in the lives of young couples and as such, they are treated much the same way that children are. Indeed, many people refer to their pets as their “kids” and they are themselves referred to as “pet parents” by the pet industry.
For middle aged American couples, pets are a welcome relief to empty houses as their children grow up and move out. These pets help make the transition easier. For older Americans, a pet often helps one get through the death of a spouse or loss of a job.
Whole industries have been created to service these pet families. These include dog walkers, pet sitters, doggie daycare, pet insurance, and of course, the pet photography specialist such as Pets Photography Studio 
It makes sense that this unique member of the family is included in the annual family portrait and at other family functions. Pets are even showing up at weddings as part of the wedding party and are included in the wedding portraits as well. More often we are seeing portraits of pets on a co-workers desk along with their other family members. Some proud pet owners even carry small sized photos of their pet in their wallet.
Unlike thirty years ago, a pet in a family portrait is no longer considered an oddity, but just another loved family member. Is your pet included in your family portraits?
Article by Pet Photographer Richie Schwartz, owner of Pets Photography Studio in NY. A former Veterinary Technician and Dog Trainer with 30 years photography experience. He specializes in Pet Photography exclusively. He organized photography programs at hundreds of locations for PetSmart, PETCO and Pet Supplies Plus and has photographed over 60,000 pets. A member of Long Island Pet Professionals, he founded Professional Pet Photographers of America and the Pet Photography School of NY. Contact Richie: [email protected]