Wings of Rescue Mission 12.5.14 | Seattle Rescue Pet Photography

Hi there everyone –

I had the fortune of documenting a Wings of Rescue this week, and oh, what an amazing thing to be a part of…

Many dogs, as well as some cats, arrived on several flights (at Paine Field, here just north of Seattle) from Southern California destined for new lives by way of some great local Washington rescues. Close to 600 animals arrived on the rescue transports that day, not really knowing what is in for them, but were met with open arms and second chances. There are many words I could say to explain what this sort of thing represents to me, and how it makes me feel, but I’ll share my images with you instead, and maybe you can sense the hope and relief. You can see that there are many people involved – missions like this don’t happen without a lot of people involved.

I’m still overwhelmed at the sight of the sheer number of animals that came here…I wish we didn’t have to fly animals around to different places to find them homes, but I’m very, very glad we can. Wishing them all homes for the holidays!

*You can see a bigger and better version of these images over on My Flickr album.
**Many thanks to all the rescues involved…you rock!

PS. Make sure you come on over to my Facebook page to say hi too!

A dog is not a thing. A thing is replaceable. A dog is not. A thing is disposable. A dog is not. A thing doesn’t have a heart. A dog’s heart is bigger than any “thing” you can ever own.”
― Elizabeth Parker, Paw Prints in the Sand

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Songs of Life, ‘Radiate’ | Seattle Lifestyle Photography

Hello everyone! I’ve been invited to contribute to a blog circle which draws its motivation and interpretation from songs given to us each month; it’s an honor to be asked and a great opportunity to share something a little bit different. Please make sure to follow all the way to the end to link up with the next photographer in our ‘Songs of Life’ circle! Since this is new thing that I’m doing,  this will be a bit of a departure from my usual pet photography (or fanaticism, depending on how you see it!), but totally in keeping with the direction of where my own personal photography already is, and where my professional work is going.

What I’m talking about is Lifestyle Photography, documenting real life, with all its warts and wrinkles, tantrums and tears. Sometimes smiles and hairballs. Outside of my work with rescue cats, and pet photography, I have practiced my skills within other photography genres that forced me to work with low-light, flash photography, with posing, groups, you name it, I’ve been doing it. But I’m constantly drawn away with my urge to focus on what feels more natural (not always is it easy though): documenting what IS. And THAT is where I am headed, with both my professional pet photography and family photography.

Recently I was lucky enough to be a studio audience member on creativeLIVE‘s course by the talented, amazing, honest and awesome Kirsten Lewis on Family Documentary: Modern Storytelling, and it was seriously profoundly life-changing. What Kirsten stressed throughout is how photography is important because of how it transports us in time, it can be controversial, it evokes an emotion/elicits a human response, and often becomes more powerful over time. With our/your own personal photography, it does most of these, so neglecting our own stories by never photographing them (or by only ever having posed portraits done or getting cheesy smiles for the camera) we never will have those real moments frozen in time in our images.

I’ve been concerning myself too much lately that over this summer, we haven’t been doing much as a family, no big trip…too much comparing to what others are doing. We had a move to make though, the heat slows me down and well, vacationing is expensive. But here we are, at the end of the summer, and these are some of my recently photographed family moments. They radiate light, laughter, smiles, sun, life, childhood. These are moments when my son and my stepdaughter are actually getting along, which usually does seem to happen at the playground. I have kept the imperfections of hair in a mess, the sun flares, the motion blur, and just gone with how these make me FEEL. For me, it’s the joy that radiates from them that has led them into this blog piece. The song that was given was ‘Radiate’ by Jack Johnson, and while I originally just saw moments in my head all week of how it made me immediately think solely of my boy, these are the images that spoke to me.

**Please click on the photos to view them bigger  and to scroll through! The next link in the blog circle can be found below so be sure to follow the circle around!

 

Until I post again  (when I will just HAVE to tell you about my upcoming photography conference trip), remember to come say hi on Facebook.

Next up in this fabulous circle of amazing photographers is Jennifer of Jennifer Snavely Photography and you can find her post right HERE. I spy another little boy coming up…!

 

 

 

Instagram Contest Win | Seattle Street Photography

Originally meant to post on August 13th, 2014….

I’m writing this late, and I’ve had an emotional evening so maybe it’s not utterly the best time to write anything anywhere BUT I’m going to blow my horn for a moment. And in a moment…

I am at the end of Day 2 of being in the studio audience at creativeLIVE for Family Photography: Modern Storytelling with Kirsten Lewis (who I will have to say more about soon) and I have to say it has been an amazing course. Exploring the art and business of documentary-style family photography and learning from the best there is, from Kirsten Lewis has really got my ‘creative cogs’ turning. For some time now I have wanted to do sessions that are more lifestyle and documentary than posed, including ‘End of Days’ sessions for companion animals, and for families with pets included. This current course totally bookends the other Creative Live course I took part in, ‘Animal Photography with Rachael Hale McKenna’, along with my extensive pet photography work, and the style of shooting is just me. I’m at a crossroads with my business and so much more so I’m excited.
But my big deal today was winning 1st PLACE in the creativeLIVE Instagram challenge contest for Day 1 and I am thrilled. Stoked. Honored.
The challenge was this: Make a portrait of a stranger. You must take the time to talk to them, connect with them. Get to know them and share their story. This is to challenge your fear and reinforce how just taking the time to connect will gain you access and trust. Don’t forget about finding good light.
Well here’s the story and photo I posted. I received such overwhelmingly great feedback on Facebook and Instagram about it that I am genuinely touched and honored. Please feel free to leave any comments and feedback here – it’s utterly inspiring to hear from people!

I feel like I hit #kirstenoncreativelive1 contest gold this evening. When I heard we had a CL Instagram challenge: great. When I saw that it was to introduce myself to a stranger to get their portrait and ask them their story: yikes. I’ve always wanted to do such a thing but honestly never had the gumption. But I couldn’t have been happier that I did. While at the farmers market with my boy, eating freshly-made quesadillas and ice cream, this street musician with a kind face and one of those boots on for a hurt foot, played his guitar, and I finally got myself up to talk to him. Within seconds of me talking, he asked if I’m English (which I am), immediately recognizing my accent and from then on he couldn’t hold himself back on sharing his story. In his own muddled English/American accent, he told me his name is Joel Fleming, “but really I’m a ‘Davis’, of Welsh descent”, and he turns 60 this year. His military father had moved their family to England when he was a teenager and he spent the early 70’s there, a time that impacted him greatly. He told me fond tales of going to the summer solstice festival at Stonehenge with his friends. About meeting numerous musicians he admired (still to this day) at concerts. About hanging out at Hyde Park in London, and calling into a radio station and getting to say hello to John Lennon. He talked with fondness about the country that I love and miss myself, and how desperately he wishes he could visit again and find a way to stay there. Joel wanted a portrait of himself holding his new Stetson hat that he had saved $230 for, something he was obviously proud of. He showed me where in his jacket he’d hide his money so it wouldn’t fall out and also explained to my inquiring son about why he had the protective boot on: he’d had the tip of his big toe removed because of diabetes. He bared so much of himself to me with his stories, his openness, and probably spoke for half an hour or so. I don’t know if he’s homeless and I’m not sure that it matters, but I feel like many pass people like Joel by and never give a second thought to that person. He just wanted to share and for that I’m grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this post, the workshop (if you saw it) and I am excited to see where my new inspiration leads me. I’ll be back on here soon!

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Into Fall we go, Seattle! | Personal Work

So it’s about a week into Fall/Autumn and I’m at the tail end of the worst cold I’ve had in months and months, and it is seriously dumping buckets here in Seattle. Definitely a new season. Most people wouldn’t be surprised by that, given my location, but we just had one of the most consistently warm summers here on record (the grass was uncharacteristically brown everywhere) and it has been a shock to the system. Within a week here you can go from wearing flip-flops to wearing boots, and not be completely surprised.

And it’s just typical because today was the annual Clickinmoms photowalk and the scheduled route was along the waterfront, which is where you’d probably find the worst winds off the Puget Sound and probably a lot of wet tourists. Naturally they’ll all think this was the expected weather for here and every Seattlite will quickly tell them they just missed a glorious summer, and ‘no it’s not always like this.’

I’m not a complete wimp when it comes to the rain and cold, and yeah, yeah, I’ve heard all the ‘you must be used to it; it’s just like England’ remarks! Being from the South of England, I’d also say the same as the above about Seattle with regards to the weather. Even if you’re used to the rain and expect it, doesn’t mean you particularly like it or even own rain boots (although I don’t know why I don’t at this point!).

Given me being ill for several days and a storm hanging overhead, it’s probably unwise to walk around in the rain taking photos, so myself and another photog joined the girls at the end for food and drink. It is a reminder of the far fewer dry locations we have as photographers here in the Northwest, from about October to maybe May, so we have to get inventive. And of course, a bit wet. Finding locales with partial cover, great indoor window light, and carrying an umbrella for who I may be photographing, are some solutions. I have yet to work out how to attach an umbrella for myself onto a camera bag for hands-free snapping! The overcast sky here acts as a beautiful diffuser, giving even light, and we rarely get super frigid-cold weather here. I’m always happy and interested to hear of others’ suggestions for shooting locations here for any other time than the summer (anyone have something to share?).

I’m excited about taking photos when the leaves fall and around Halloween (my favorite holiday!) and am currently working on producing a video for the Nine Lives Gala coming up next weekend for Animal Talk Rescue. And I think I’ll be getting in some holiday sessions soon, and getting some cats decked out for Christmas pictures! Just because the sun is going to hide away for a while doesn’t mean we will stop the photography; as Ansel Adams once said –

“Bad weather makes for good photography.”

xo ~ K

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The Seattle Wheel from outside and the sun out.

Roman’s view tonight, from the inside, looking out to a very rainy ferris wheel…

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kamoorephotography Louie cat photo

End-of-life Photos of a Special Cat | Seattle Cat Photography

I took some photos of my mum’s cat Louie on my recent trip back home to England; a beautiful white cat – even with him being ear-less, he still was handsome (lost his ears to skin cancer some years ago). Yet I knew these would be the last photos I would take of him. After twenty years, his body was ready to shut down, and I could see that in his every move and his tired but still-magical eyes. I would watch him slowly make his way up and down the stairs, with much effort thanks to arthritis. He couldn’t see properly anymore; high blood pressure had made his retinas detach and caused blindness. And he couldn’t hear anymore either. Sometimes he would sit basking in the sun, looking happy as most cats do when doing just that, but he usually seemed restless, not knowing how to be comfortable.

A loved companion animal has a gift in terms of a loving human caretaker knowing when it is time to end the suffering by choosing euthanasia. Most animals know death and illness far more cruel, or have never even felt loved before. But it’s the hardest decision to make, even when you know it’s what is best; to end the suffering and give that animal peace, after giving so much of themselves to you. Twenty years is a long time, so much can happen in two decades. There’s so much love and attachment that happens in that time; they become part (and so often, become the spirit) of your home. It’s very hard to let go…

I’m glad I was able to get some end-of-life photos of Louie, particularly to give my mum and stepdad. Photos don’t replace memories, but they are a way for us to freeze time and hold those special moments close. So as much as I love taking photos of all sorts of things that embody life – new babies, children, parties, of animals looking for a new life (and family) of their own – I actually hope I can capture more special and precious memories like these, of companion animals before they pass on.

You fought hard to stay alive, my friend.
In the end, though, you couldn’t conquer death.
But neither did death conquer you.
Death cures all diseases, mends all broken bones,
Breaks all chains.
And made you free at last.” ~ Anon

Rest in Peace, little Louie. xo ~ K

Louie, May 2013 Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved

Louie, May 2013
Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved

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