A photographer captures dogs at the beginning and end of their lives

Eleanor in 2014 and 2020.
amanda jones

  • Animal photographer Amanda Jones started the Dog Years Project in 2006.
  • He photographed dogs when they were puppies and then found them years later.
  • It’s a beautiful way to honor man’s best friend and the aging process.

Amanda Jones is a photographer who has been capturing dog photos for 25 years.

Katy Koo.
amanda jones

Jones, who is based in the US, has been interested in photography since she was a teenager, though she had no plan to turn it into a career. After studying photography at Ithaca College in New York, she “was faced with the difficult task of creating my own work.” she wrote on her website.

“I started my job as a dog photographer with very little knowledge. I didn’t know how to interact with clients, how to market my work, how to reach people who wanted what I had to offer,” she wrote.

but like her Dog Years Project shows, he learned to capture his characters. Katy Koo, pictured above, was photographed 10 years apart; we think her gray hair makes her look very distinguished.

“My work with dogs started when I got tired of photographing people,” he told Insider.

amanda jones

“I was always hearing, ‘Oh, I look awful,’ or ‘Is my face really that wrinkled?’ He got boring,” she said.

Eleanor the pug, seen here, also sports a gray coat, though their photos were taken just six years apart.

“She aged beautifully!” Jones wrote.

Jones was inspired to create the Dog Years Project after his own dog, Lily, a long-haired dachshund, died and realized he had photos from every stage of Lily’s life.

Winston and Lola.
amanda jones

“I put four together and created a commemorative card for her,” he said. “I got a very strong reaction to the images. I realized I could do this for my clients. That’s when the series started.”

In this set, taken eight years apart, only one of these adorable boxers made it to the latest photo shoot.

After getting a strong reaction from people who saw Lily’s footage, he launched the project and captured dogs, like Schumacher, at different stages of their lives.

amanda jones

You can really see how much life Schumacher has experienced.

Whether old or young, “all dogs are wonderful to work with,” Jones said.

amanda jones

However, “every age also has its problems,” he said.

“Young dogs are tricky because their attention span is so short and they’re all over the place. They never stop moving,” Jones said, though she added that older dogs can be tricky too “because they often can’t see or hear.”

This means they usually look down or don’t do the classic dog head tilt because they can’t hear.

But Jones feels an affinity with older dogs.

Tux and Ike.
amanda jones

“As I get older, I’m losing my eagle eye focusing abilities. It’s harder for me to get up and down from the ground to shoot,” he wrote on his website. “Despite the differences, however, there is a sweetness to the way I remember that frantic need I felt as a teenager, that desire to become what I knew I was meant to be.”

“I love photographing dogs because each one is different,” she said. “I love finding out what’s unique about each dog and capturing it.”

amanda jones

The Years of the Dog Project — that she turned into a book Celebrating people’s friendships with their dogs is a way for owners to honor their pups and the passage of time, while also keeping track of how their furry friends have aged.

“An older dog walks with confidence, each step betokening knowledge gained, each movement a sign of a life well lived. Like the dogs I know so well, this confidence I have in myself brightens the future, softens the edge that does looking ahead is so scary,” Jones wrote.