Celebrating Your Pet’s Life with Photos | Seattle Pet Photographer

I recently had the great privilege of photographing a good friend’s family and her dog that was dying of a fatal heart cancer. We knew that Phoenix, who she had since he was a puppy, had only a few weeks left to live, even though outwardly he seemed pretty vibrant and energetic when I saw him for our photos. We didn’t have a long time to do photos that day, and we knew we wanted to get a good family picture, and undoubtedly some photos of Phoenix with their (now) 3 year-old. She hadn’t quite grasped that Phoenix would be ‘leaving’ soon…

There was still craziness getting the two dogs to sit side by side (although so much better than my dog ever could), and we talked a lot. I love hearing about how an animal came to be in someone’s life; everything about an animal is about the present, it’s not about the past or the future. Phoenix wasn’t worried about what was happening to him. He kept us right there with him. After the session, Phoenix was with them another 18 days, and so when I look at these images I know that I’m looking at a family and a beautiful animal and friend at a precious moment in time, and I’m so glad I was there. Time is so fleeting. It’s a bittersweet thing to take final photos like this but there’s great joy here. It’s celebrating the connection, the family, and how important that life is. Phoenix was important.

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So there may be a few people out there who don’t understand the bonds that some of us have with our pets, our companion animals. I like to think they may just not have found the right animal buddy yet. Some might make you feel silly for making such a fuss over your pet and don’t understand the grief you can feel at the loss of a beloved animal friend. I believe life is precious, and most definitely the life of an animal that has loved you unconditionally and always been by your side. And we all know that our animal friends never live as long as we wish they could…it can be really hard to say goodbye.

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I know what it’s like to lose a pet (well, several), one that’s been in my life through thick and thin, not judging, always comforting. Words can’t always easily express that bond. Our companions leave us way too early and more often than not, we don’t capture the unique bond we have with our dog or cat on camera. Sure, maybe there are a bunch of not-too-awesome cell phone pictures, but maybe not some professional images. I even wish I had better and more pictures of several pets I have lost in my past, especially with me in them too.

So why do I want photograph your pets in their last days? And why should it be me?

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Phoenix as a puppy

I don’t want other people to let days with their pets slip by, especially the last ones. Too many people lose their pets and tell me they wish they had got professional photos done with them. They tell me they wish I had taken the photos; I wish I had too. I know we can’t always anticipate an animals’ passing, but we do know when they are living on borrowed time, when they’re old, getting grey whiskers around their noses, and when they’re ill. We don’t always want to face it either. Having worked in veterinary clinics (and in rescue work) I have helped treat and been around many frail, old and sick animals that need extra special care. I want you to know this because I do understand the delicate nature of photographing a sick or aged kitty or pup; I also know what you go through getting closer to their passing, and eventually, saying goodbye. I’ve also been there for many people as they’ve said their final farewells with their precious companions in their arms. You can put your trust in me when it comes to recording and honoring an important and sensitive time.

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My father’s cat, Jack, before he passed away

Some people are hesitant to get ‘last’ photos taken, since their pets may not look as they always have, not looking as healthy or as young as they once did. I think that all their life stages deserve to be remembered and I still hope to capture the spirit of that animal in the most honest and beautiful way. The feeling of regret over not getting images taken is not something I want other loving pet guardians to feel anymore!

I believe that our animals’ spirits stay with us when their bodies are gone, and this is something that comforts me. Their souls are so innocent, pure and loving, and we are so lucky we can have that in our lives. So many animals are never given the chance to be loved and then honored in this way, with a portrait and some images of their life, just to show how meaningful they were to someone. I hope I get to meet your beloved friend and companion, and that I can be entrusted with commemorating any of their days. Let’s celebrate the life that they have lived! The life they lived was important.

You can leave me any comments on this subject on this page, but you can also contact me with any questions about booking such a session over on this page here.

The problem with living is that pets don’t last long enough and people last too long.” ~ Anonymous

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Louie (passed away at the grand old age of 20)

RIP Phoenix 10/19/2003 – 11/24/2015

**An expanded update of this post was published on the Katzenworld blog can be found by clicking HERE!

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The Purr-fect 2016 Rescue Cat Calendar | Seattle Cat Photography

I’m writing after a really busy week (being on CreativeLive for a Street Photography course, meeting the #CatDaddy Jackson Galaxy, plus photographing a Wings of Rescue mission, which I’ve already shared about in my previous blog post), but now I DO need to feature the 2016 calendar that I just finished for Seattle Area Feline Rescue…because I’m just so excited about it!

For several years, I’d been thinking it would be great to put a calendar out there featuring cats from the rescue (I usually create a personal one for myself, as it is), but it’s something you need to have some investment in on the back end, and we hadn’t got around to organizing in recent years due things like our rescue moving.

So when the Director of the Board asked if I could I put a calendar together in a few weeks to see how well we do this year with one, I jumped at the chance. I wouldn’t have time to do styled shoots for each month with such short notice (although that’s not my general M.O.), and I was entrusted to make my own choices of the cats based on a variety of adults, kittens, and seniors, but then I started looking at my massive catalog of cats just from this year, and it looks something like this…

I ultimately realized how HARD it was to make choices about which cats to put in! I have so many favorites images, but there are only 12 months, and I didn’t dare ask a bunch of people because then I could disappoint people who are volunteers, who foster our cats, etc., who would like to see their cats featured. All these cats are special, and I remember them all. Their stories are all unique and I could write a BOOK about all the cats I meet and about the time I experience when I photograph these sweet felines.

The only image I was sure of immediately was the cover, and that was to feature James. He came to us in a terrible state, transferred in from another shelter, suffering from diabetes, malnourished, shaved to rid his fur from fleas and terrible matting, and he had loss muscle tone in his legs. He had to have all his teeth removed due t0 his dental problems and he required a large amount of medical treatment and TLC. BUT he has come a LONG way since that time, and was adopted by his foster ‘parents’. (I’d like to do a follow-up photo session now!) But his image was and is a favorite of many, and it stands out. When Jackson Galaxy took a calendar at his booksigning event the other night, he was an immediate fan of James’ funny little face too.

Below is a slideshow featuring the cats from the calendar; they appear in this order: James, Mia, Muffin, Gonzo, Stella, Dora, Princess Buttercup, Jack, Moose, Halo, Black Violet, North & South, Cortana.

*All Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography.

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Calendar details: In the calendar I made sure to put in pet and animal holidays and important days to remember, like National Black Cat Day, for all you cat fans out there. The images are full spread so you can gaze upon the one cat of the month, and the spiral bound calendar is printed on matte paper for easy writing. There are also reminders in there about how you can support our rescue, and all the proceeds from calendar sales support the cats and kittens of the rescue. It is the average calendar size of 8×10 inches, and if you are a Seattle local, you can pay and pick up at the rescue with no shipping charge (an excuse to come and look at cats), but you can also pay to have a calendar shipped if you are further away.

Make your calendar purchase by clicking HERE (links to rescue page)

**Update: Calendars are now only available for sale AT the rescue. If you would like to CUSTOM ORDER one (I will start with next consecutive month), contact me directly**

  • 1 x 2016 Calendar for $15 if picking up locally at the rescue
  • 1 x 2016 Calendar for $20 includes shipping
  • other quantities are available on the rescue website link too

All proceeds benefit the cats and kittens in our care. And remember this is a limited run of the calendar so get it now!!

My copy has been signed by Jackson Galaxy though! Yours won’t be scribbled on.

This really is a beautiful rescue calendar filled with images I made with a lot of love and care; when I photograph cats at the rescue, I’m not doing it just to get a photo up on the web (although that’s something I need to do to get them noticed), I’m trying to show the beauty I see in that cat, so that others will see that too. I hope that shows in my work, whether you see it as a rescue cat or as standalone artwork. These really are some of my favorites from this last year; feel free to ask me why I featured them, or ask me their stories. I’ll be happy to share. I love them all!

Thank you for your support, and enjoy your purr-fect rescue cat calendar! Again, just click the following for the Seattle Area Feline Rescue Calendar purchasing page.

Bonus: If you get your calendar at the rescue, be sure to pick up one of these Rescue Special cards for half off a pet portrait session. This also goes for any cat adopter!

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Songs of Life, ‘Feels Like Home’ | Seattle Pet & Lifestyle Photography

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I have a done a post for the photography blog circle I’m in but the latest song that came up for February – ‘Feels Like Home’ – really made me want to post a particular cat…this guy you see below, Scarecrow. Our blog circle (Songs of Life) centers around a song each month that serves as our theme for the images we post.

I actually had a ton of different ideas this month, and lots of things came up for me that I felt like sharing:

  • Going back to England at Christmas, which was so important for; it was just so good to be back amongst family at that time of year – the first time I had done so in 15 years (but I figured people wouldn’t want to see holiday photos in February)
  • Getting BACK home here after the holidays…I had missed my animals, and home so much, even though it was good to go away for a bit
  • The city of Seattle, because I have lived here for 20 years now, and I have a deep
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    Seattle City Skyline. Copyright K.A.Moore Photography.

    connection to it; plus I had all these mushy feelings thanks to the Super Bowl (but I figured no-one would want to hear about the Seahawks right now…too sad). Although, you should check out my city skyline shot that I took last week larger, here on Flickr.

But then I realized, after taking photos – scroll down – of a cat (surprise!) the other day, that THIS is what I needed to post. I’m always thinking so much about what home means, when it comes to not actually having a permanent home yet; being around animals that need forever homes will do that to you. You will see below that Scarecrow came to us, well, looking like a Scarecrow. When he was dropped at the police station (see file photo below), he was covered in dirt and fleas, looked yellowish-brown, was unneutered (hence his great big baseball head!), and definitely needed some major TLC. He ended up at the amazing Seattle Area Feline Rescue  and you can just see by looking at this cat, what a difference that meant.

Right now Scarecrow is in an amazing Seattle foster home and quite obviously it ‘feels like home’ for him. It’s sometimes a challenge to get a 12 year-old cat (a senior, but theoretically, middle-aged!) adopted, and so until the right person (is it you, perchance?!) comes along, that’s where he’ll be. Hanging out with other cats, playing with toys, rolling around in catnip, enjoying life inside with people that care for him and love him…life is pretty good for him now. But after his rough life so far, he deserves to always have a great home. Foster homes are literally the lifeblood of rescues and shelters because they enable animals to be rehabilitated, and re-socialized, and essentially mean more can be cared for. And the best part is that they feel like home.

So if you want to help homeless pets and can’t give money to a rescue, volunteer. If you can’t adopt another animal, you can foster! For so many rescued pets, it makes a world of difference.
*If you are in the Seattle area and want to meet this awesome cat Scarecrow, please email adoptions@seattleareafelinerescue.org

As for me, I’ll be posting info here soon about the in-home photography sessions for pets (and families) that I will be offering. I can’t wait!

Make sure to follow all the way to the end to link up with the next photographer in our ‘Songs of Life’ circle! The next link in the blog circle can be found below my images so be sure to follow the circle around!

*Please click on the images to get a better look.

Next up in this fabulous circle of amazing photographers is Sharon Spall of Sharon Spall Photography and you can find her post right HERE! She is a super talented photographer friend of mine, who I met while away at Clickaway, so it will definitely be something good…

8 Favorite Things About My 2014 | Seattle Pet & Lifestyle Photography

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Wishing for a new lens…

It’s the end of yet another year! Not quite sure how that happened! The older we get, the faster the years go by, don’t you think? And like me, I expect you have spent some time reflecting on what the last year has represented to you, what’s been great, what has been crummy, and what resolutions you are making for the next year. I’ve definitely been reflecting on this last year; actually I’ve spent months doing that, with a good chunk of time during my holiday back to England spent in reflection mode.

I have almost filled an entire Moleskine book with so many notes in the last couple of months, while I’ve been doing all this refocusing, reflection and rethinking. So I’m now waiting on a couple of Kickstarter projects – Spark Notebook and Passion Planner, to fulfill my important stationary needs (I’m kind of a stationary nerd). I have been rewriting an all-important new business plan, feverishly watching photography and business webinars, and reading all sorts of things, in order to reinvent my social media side, repackage my brand, and present the best photography session offerings that fit what I believe my photography stands for (I’ll reveal what’s new soon!). I want more people to enjoy and share what it is that I do, by way of having me capture their companion animals and families with beautiful images that they will hold on to forever. Since my actual business has taken a backseat in 2014, with me focusing quite a bit on rescue work as well family issues, I’m ready for this next year to be different!

8 Favorite Things About My 2014

1. First great thing was definitely getting a new laptop, one that could keep up with me and all my photos. I can’t express how much of a difference it makes having the technology to keep up with you when you’re dealing with and processing hundreds of large image files. I would definitely express this to a photographer starting out, when determining what gear to make sure they have. That, along with some good external hard drives for digital storage. Efficient digital asset management is so important!

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Rachael Hale McKenna with Katherine Moore

2. Being a part of the studio audience of Rachael Hale McKenna’s course ‘Animal Photography’ on CreativeLive. I felt so honored to be chosen to be on set for this course (luckily CL has a studio here in Seattle!), to get the chance to see how Rachael works her photography magic on everything from a rabbit, to a pot-bellied pig, to a pair of Great Danes. Being among my pet photographer peers was an added bonus; it woke me up to the importance of networking with your peers, which can be a bit tricky when people are working in home-based businesses. Rachael’s approach is one of patience and simplicity, which I also feel are paramount to good animal photography; patience is vital for connecting with your animal ‘subject’ and keeping it simple is definitely my style: I believe animals are beautiful in their own right and don’t need bells and whistles to make them shine.

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Our beautiful new sign at SAFe

3. This year saw the official opening of a new space for the rescue that I volunteer my photography for: Seattle Area Feline Rescue became the cat rescue so many of us imagined and worked hard for it to be, and it was and is wonderful. With a light and airy space, brand new state-of-the-art enclosures for the cats, new protocols for handling the cats, and it being so much easier for me to get good images in there without flash photography and such tight space limitations, I know it has made a difference to all of us volunteering, and ultimately for the cats. We are adopting out kitties at a much higher rate and morale is so much better. Cats being at the rescue for a shorter period of time before we get them new homes is just fabulous. More and more lives will be saved in 2015!

4. We moved. In my book, this was a personal victory. My family and I had been living in an entirely unsatisfactory living situation for way too long, and although this was just a move within the same zip code right here in Seattle, barely a 5-minute drive away, it had to happen. We moved away from landlords that didn’t care, and a nightmare of a neighbor, and gained a space that felt safe and clean and hopeful. I also finally got my own workspace, where I could keep all my gear and use my laptop in peace and comfort. I can’t even describe how good all of that was for my psyche and outlook. Never underestimate the need for a healthy living space for keeping you sane and productive!

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On the CreativeLive set with Kirsten Lewis

5. I was chosen for a second time to be in the studio for a CreativeLive course and this time it was for a different kind of photography that resonates with me and am passionate about, Family Photography: Modern Storytelling with the brilliant, talented Kirsten Lewis. This changed me…really changed me. It gave me the permission to move forward in the future with the kind of family and pet photography that I’ve always wanted to do. Since studying photography and journalism in college, I’ve been fascinated with photojournalism, war photography, and candid, lifestyle photography. It’s the raw, unposed, everyday moments that need to be captured on camera to tell our stories; our stories are important and they need to be captured, recorded and shared. So many memories slip by, our children grow up, our pets never live as long as us…moments are fleeting. Recording all of those things is what I know I am here to do.

6. Click Away Conference 2014. This was my first photography conference, and first trip out of town alone since having a child (7 years!). It was put on by the fab Clickin Moms forum that I belong to, which inspires, teaches, and encourages photographers the country and world over. Aside from getting out of town to Salt Lake City, which I so needed, and attending workshops that gave me lots to absorb, what really was wonderful was connecting with so many of the talented photogs, and getting to know some of the Seattle ladies, which I’d not had the fortune to do before. Extra brilliant part of the trip: seeing the Salt Flats. Amazing.

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7. I was able to go home to England for the holidays. My previous plan had been to go back again in the summer, but I felt my son and I really needed a trip home to see family sooner than that. We had had a tough few months at school, and my boy especially needed some grandparent time. I hadn’t spent Christmas back in the UK since 1999, so it was a treat, even if it was a bit crazy as compared to the usual holiday for us here. Being with family again, and around all things English (you know, castles, chocolate, biscuits included) made it really hard to leave…it gets harder each time we go back, it seems.

8. Ultimately, this year was one of great reflection and a time to refocus for me. I’ve worked on a business plan, reevaluated priorities in my life, and helped my son through some really tricky spots. These things have all been quiet, solitary and sometimes very frustrating endeavors, and from the outside, I could look at 2014 as a bit of a wash in some respects. I didn’t do the business I really wanted to, I let too many personal photos go unprocessed again (naughty me), and I discovered my first couple of grey hairs. Some relationships were really hard. But I’m trying to look forward, work on acceptance, and to embrace opportunity and change.

So, onto 2015! A re-launch and rebrand of my business is to happen, and there are tons of photos to be taken, and many cat’s lives to be saved. And I want to tell as many stories as I can with my images, so that they may be revisited and enjoyed tomorrow. I wonder what’s on your list…. Why not resolve to get your family and pet’s images taken by a photographer this year, for starters?! Make it the year you commit to preserving your memories for years to come.

Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all. ” ~ Hans Christian Andersen

Happy New Year!!

Home, where you are loved, is the best place to be... Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Home, where you are loved, is the best place to be…
Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Holiday Tidings | Reflections

Merry Christmas, all! A tad late to say it but I think I have good reason…well actually I’ll make a few excuses about being with family.

I do hope that the holidays have brought good tidings to all you fabulous people out there! For once I was able to spend the holidays back here in England, away from Seattle…they are both homes to me. I have spent half my life in the Pacific Northwest, but my family and heart lie in England, usually so very far away.
It’s been crazily busy, seeing relatives and friends, joining in with festivities and food that I normally miss out on. My son has had the chance to feel included and involved (as well as reprimanded by many people who care!), which is what he so lacks and yearns for, and it’s been a treat to see him within the family I knows he wishes were always around.

I suppose I could lament about how I didn’t get my proper trip to London this time, how I didn’t get to go the cat café that I set my heart on. How I didn’t get to see some of the long lost friends that I wanted to, and most assuredly how I didn’t get the chance to slow down and spend time out taking the photographs that I wanted to (well there’s never enough time for all the photographs I want to take). I hadn’t spent Christmas here since 1999! I hope everyone had time to enjoy their families and friends, because they are precious gift.

I am flying back to Seattle today, much sooner than I’d like to, and with a heavy heart about leaving family I wish I could be with more often, as well as the green field-checkered landscape that is unspoiled in my mind. But I have to focus on what I’m bringing back, if it’s not what I’ll go back to. Aside from entirely too much Lego brought by Father Christmas/ Santa for my boy, I’ll be bringing back a business plan that I’ve been working on to relaunch my photography venture, goals for the coming year (look out!!), and new memories. There are several memory cards of images that I need to back up and process too.

I wish everyone well and hope you all hang in with me in 2015; I’ll be posting about my new photography session offerings really soon! So excited for the New Year. On my way to the airport right this minute!

merry christmas from K.A.Moore Photography, Seattle Pet & Lifestyle Photography

Wishing you peace, love and joy this Christmas.
Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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