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Pet photographer's career in jeopardy

Posted at 5:14 PM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 20:46:09-04

A San Diego photographer may not be able to take portraits of her favorite subjects soon. 

Tamandra Michaels said her doctors don’t want her lifting herself in and out of her car any more.

Michaels was born with spina bifida. Her legs are paralyzed and she drives a vehicle with hand controls.

“Relying on other people just is out of the question. That would be really, really tough for me,” said the woman behind Heart Dog Photography.

“My niche that I’ve come to do is photographing pets that have terminal illnesses.”

Most of her portraits are of people with their dogs in their final days.

“A lot of times it just makes me cry because you can just see the love and the bond that they share with their human,” she said. “This is my livelihood and my career.”

Sadly, she is turning away business because she just can’t lift herself into her car.

Doctors are worried about her hyperextending her shoulders and muscles.

“It’s just been really, really, really hard to feel like I have to give it up,” she said.

Doctors said she needs a vehicle with a ramp she can roll her wheelchair into directly. Her mother started a Crowdrise page to raise the estimated $60,000 needed.

“It’s really frustrating when circumstances are preventing me from doing what I want to do,” she said.

Michaels said she appreciates the help and wants to get back to her career.

“Being able to give memories to people, who can ask for a better thing in life?”