Wings of Rescue Holiday Airlift 11.18.16 | Seattle Pet Photography

When I hear that there is another airlift coming in thanks to Wings of Rescue, I always jump at the chance to document it. I feel like it’s such a special thing to be even a small part of these missions, especially when I think about the magnitude of what is being done, and how many people are involved, and how many pets are being helped.

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Dogs and cats were flown from the Los Angeles area (they fly out of Van Nuys airport), where there are high euthanasia rates and severe overcrowding issues in shelters. In the words of Wings of Rescue, they are ‘pleased to announce that because of [your] generous support, we are flying 787 cats and dogs who otherwise would not have seen Thanksgiving to no kill shelters throughout the United States and Canada this weekend. We would like to thank all of our donors, our fabulous volunteers, our receiving and sending shelter partners for helping make this happen! If you would like to help us continue our life-saving transports – please donate by clicking here www.wingsofrescue.org/donate

Here is a slideshow of just some of the photos from that afternoon; I have the full album up on my Flickr photostream (CLICK ON THAT LINK!!), and I’d love for you for check them ALL out, but these give you a look at this wonderful day for these dogs and cats, as they arrive in Washington.

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When you realize that this is only a fraction of the animals that were flown out that day, and that we even met FIVE PLANES here in the Seattle area, it’s mind-boggling to think of the need that is out there. They come here because of the higher adoption rates, the shortened adoption time, and the second chances we can give them. We are one big rescue community, all volunteering to give these precious lives a new start. The pilots volunteer their time and the use of their planes, and the ASPCA assists. It takes many shelters and rescues to take in all the animals on the receiving end. It fills my heart with so much happiness to know that there is so much compassion out there to get this done.

Make sure to keep up with all my rescue photography for Seattle Area Feline Rescue, as well as the exciting work I do for clients and other projects over on MY FACEBOOK PAGE. I’d love to stay in touch and keep talking! I hope this ‘tail’ touched your heart! Leave a note and let me know if it did. Sending peace and love out there!20161118-wings-of-rescue-web-lr-55

All Photos contained within are Copyrighted and taken by me, K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved. Contact me for the right to use elsewhere katherine.moore.photo@gmail.com

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Wings Of Rescue, Summer ’16 | Seattle Rescue Pet Photography

I did a bit of a goof and left this post in my drafts, even though these images of mine make my heart sing. I’ve photographed a couple of these amazing Wings of Rescue missions before, but hadn’t for a while, so it was high time I documented another flight coming in.

The rescue I photograph for, Seattle Area Feline Rescue (SAFeR), is now regularly receiving rescue transports from California and Hawaii, thanks to Wings of Rescue AND the ASPCA (via our friends Alaskan Airlines), and I can’t explain how blown away I am by the power of this community rescue work. The math is pretty simple: we have higher adoption rates here in the Greater Seattle Area, than in CA, Hawaii, and in Eastern WA, where we usually get our cats from. Many times, these animals will have been waiting for a while in shelters where they came from, but will get adopted in a fraction of that time on this end.

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Love is in the air…and on the ground, waiting for them, every time. There are also smiles all around when that plane touches down; with this flight, I was able to meet the Founder and Pilot in Command, Yehunda Netanel, as he was flying the flagship plane that day. And that little plane holds a lot of crates!!

EVERY time I document any rescue transport coming in, and I photograph these little animal faces peering out, with them not knowing what’s going on, I see this contrast of their anxiety with the smiles of the volunteers, and I wish I could assure them that their second chances had already arrived and it would be okay. The whole experience really warms my soul.

Let me know what you think when you see these images, and about these missions! I’d love to hear from you!

**And remember to check in with me on Facebook; I’m always there!

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!

Wings of Rescue Mission 11.20.15 | Seattle Rescue Pet Photography

Just this Friday, about 1000 dogs and cats got a second chance at a new life, and I was lucky enough to witness the start of some of them. It was just about a year ago now that I photographed a Wings of Rescue Holiday Airlift that flew dogs and cats up here to Washington from California to find their new homes. I was blown away then at the sheer number of animals that arrived here, at the massive operation that goes on when all these rescues pull together to make this happen. Instead of animals facing euthanasia in overcrowded shelters in California, where overpopulation is a big problem, Wings of Rescue gives them a chance at a new life in other states, where adoption rates are higher.

First here are some images from the loading portion in CA, courtesy of Jim Nista

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SO,  Jim Nista, my pet photography contact in CA (and volunteer photographer at Long Beach Animal Care Services), sends me a message the evening before the mission asking me if I might meet the flight and take photos again. It then occurred to me that the rescue I volunteer my time taking cat photos at, Seattle Area Feline Rescue, just might have some cats on board, since we had started transferring in cats from CA (I found out we were expecting 11 cats on the flights). I would HAVE to go meet this year’s airlift and photograph the arrival.

*Images taken at Paine Field, Everett, WA. Note: Captions may look cut off on mobile, as opposed to on laptop/computer. 

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This year’s Home for the Holidays Airlift apparently broke the world record for the most animals flown to rescues in one day, close to 1000. It took 24 planes to do that, flying them to rescues in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Washington alone received about 400 animals; PAWS, the NOAH Center, Kitsap Humane Society, Skagit Humane, and Seattle Area Feline Rescue met the  approximately 100 dogs and cats from the flights at Paine Field.

Here are just a couple of shots after we continued our journey onto the rescue…I ended up helping settle the cats in for the night. Luckily I’ll be able to follow up with these little ones soon.

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Waiting to have cages set up for them.

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Tabitha waits patiently. Well, sort of.

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This kitten was in with another one until I realized they weren’t getting along, so they were separated. Then she was climbing the bars to get a better look at me. So we had to have a cuddle before I said goodnight.

 

I have so many thoughts and big feelings about this whole thing. I’m so grateful to the pilots who donate not just the use of their planes, but they also donate the fuel. I’m constantly grateful to volunteers at rescues and shelters everywhere for their tireless work with animals. I’m so glad there’s this massive effort to do something like this (and I know everyone involved wishes they could do even more). Yet, there’s always this frustration that there is such a need to have to move such a large amount of animals around to get them adopted. But it does feel good to know that we can come together to help find homes for dogs and cats like this. It’s really pretty amazing. Let’s keep being amazing, everyone!

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. ~Colette

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.