Last week, many of you came and fell in love with a little boy named Julian and his huge Newfoundland dog named Max. Living on an island, just about Seattle, the duo share a sweet friendship that really shines through in every one of their shots. The mother and photographer behind them is Stasha Becker, aka @northwestmommy. We contacted Stasha to see if we could get the behind-the-scenes story about their love for one another.
What was their friendship really like and which photos really resonate with people? While checking out more of Stasha's adorable Instagram photos, read our exclusive one-on-one interview with her to find out the answers to these questions and more.
How did the idea first start off to take a series of photos of your son and dog?
Well my boys are my life. I started taking photos of them in front of the garage as we were about to leave for our daily adventures when I signed up for Instagram. Nothing fancy or posed, I would just say picture time and they would stand there for me. Except my son is fidgety as all little boys are and my dog is always following him. So the evolution of taking their daily picture always takes a little turn, usually towards fun.
Lately, my son has been coming up with elaborate ideas and directing the shots a bit. Like putting a pineapple on Max's head. I think they both enjoy having their photo taken. For me, the biggest gift has been seeing them grow up together and having it saved on these little daily snaps. Even my Instagram followers have been commenting lately how Julian has recently grown taller then Max.
What's their friendship really like?
Max is 6 months older then Julian and he has been ‘looking after' him since the day he was born. He is a very a sweet and obedient dog and he worships the ground my son walks on. My son helps me take care of Max and understands that he is the dog's leader. But I have caught him snuggling up with Max or talking to him when I am not watching. They really do have a special bond that is impossible to recreate as an adult.
What's the one photo that really shows that bond?
I think all photos I take with the two of them facing away from me are the warmest. Those are the times when I sneak in on them playing or talking and they probably show just how close they really are. Also my son is too cool to kiss and hug Max when I am watching.
What's been your most popular photo and why do you think that is?
It is funny you ask because we live on the most beautiful little island in the world and I post a lot of photos from our hikes and adventures every day. But the photos I take of the boys in front of the garage are by far most loved. I often joke that it is because Max is so black that the only time you can see him well is in front of a white background. But the overwhelming response I have been getting lately people saying my boys made them smile is probably the reason why the photos are so loved.
What do you hope others get out of them?
I hope this doesn't sound selfish but I take these photos for me, my boys, my family: to remember how amazing my life is because I get to spend my days with them or for my son to be able to look back at his childhood and celebrate it. Somewhere along the way, others have joined us in this journey through social media and I have formed relationships with them. I got a lovely email tonight from a lady saying thank you for sharing our good life and making her day. And just like that she made mine. So, if we are spreading our happiness around the world, all the better!