Photo Session Blog: Abby

Oh, how I miss this age!! Around 9-10 months, little ones really start to blossom and they’re fiercely exploring the world around them, ready to become truly mobile. And exploring the world means putting leaves in your mouth and feeling the cool texture of the dusty rose tutu that you’re newly wearing, all while being a model. And looking mighty cute, I might add…

I took photos of this adorable little chubby bubba way back at the start of the year, when she was just ten days old.

Copyright K.A.Moore Photography

Copyright K.A.Moore Photography

The change that happens within those exciting first months  is huge. They go from being totally helpless to learning to walk and talk within a year. Far behind other animals, particularly other mammals, in terms of development, but still it’s an amazing thing to witness and absorb. Right now I am continually being astounded by my five year old boy, now in kindergarten, as I watch and hear him learn to read. He was such a cute baby but he’s now a beautiful, smart and funny boy. I could never ever have enough photos of him… But my mind just boggles at the changes.

Well, I hope my next session with Abby will be at her one year mark; cake smash, anyone? I’d very much like to give that a go! I feel appreciative of the times I can take photos with others’ babies and children (in between all the cats!) because as a photographer, I get to capture memories of those adorable early days again, but this time, for someone else. No diaper changing involved.

I see all of this photography adventure as an honor: to be let into other people’s lives, into their homes, to see both smiles and tears, to assist animals with getting new homes, and to follow events as they unfold.  Every camera click immortalizes an experience, a fleeting moment, and holds a memory. You have to catch those moments when you can!

Time will never stand still and those moments that bring us such joy become memories in an instant. To capture such a moment and record it forever is truly monumental.” ~ Joshua Atticks

xo ~ K

PS. Come find me on Facebook and over where I now have my Portfolio on Zenfolio…

Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography

Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography

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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Photo Session Blog: Growth

I have finally wrapped up my biggest session yet that involved both the growth of a lovely family, as well as growth in terms of myself as a photographer, and I’d love to share.

What started with a grandmother-to-be of a friend asking me to take some candid baby shower photos, this ‘session’ turned into a several months-long photography journey for me, following the family from the baby shower through to photos of twin boys at a few months old. Basically a total of five separate sessions, which covered the shower, a maternity session, a couple’s session and two separate baby sessions of twin boys. And among all that I also took photos of their 4 cats and their dog!! The journey allowed me to explore my strengths as a photographer and presented me with new challenges and types of photography that I had hoped to explore. I also discovered the areas where I need to learn more and improve. Ultimately I feel so grateful to have had this opportunity, and I feel so proud to now have all the prints and products to turn over to the new parents.

When a photographer is invited in to take photos during times like this, it’s not just an experience for the client or family, it is also a journey for the photog. I’ve seen (and personally experienced) the joy and hope that comes with expecting a baby; it was enlightening to see it all from the outside, as I documented it all. I still regret not having my own maternity photos done when I was expecting (or a proper newborn session), so this story unfolding gave me much to reflect on, and it became very important to me to make sure I treated it with the same care and hope as if it were my own photos being done. When I went through my own pregnancy and labor/delivery, I also didn’t have the fortune of having family here, so I was also in awe of this loving, supportive family being a part of it all (and thank goodness, since it’s twin boys!).

A few things that I think are worth sharing:

  • Having maternity photos done is an intimate experience, and one where you are asking the expectant mama to share herself with you and the camera, to capture a time in her life that may only happen one time. I found it to be more fulfilling than I expected, and I appreciated the openness of someone willing to let me in to experience that. It’s a time when you feel vulnerable but there is something so beautiful and amazing about it, it’s just hard for that beauty to not show through in the photos. Plus this was the part where all the animals ended up being models too!! Their intuition about the changes to come was pretty obvious!
  • Taking photos of a loving happy couple about to have a baby (wait, two!!) brings an infectious enthusiasm for life and was a reminder to me of how precious that time is for a couple together before babies take over! The love they have for each other just shone through. Being that I have sadly few couple’s photos of my own (pre-baby and otherwise), I can’t think of a better time to capture that connection and excitement and love on camera.
  • Taking photos of twins babies is quite the bigger challenge than taking them of one, but can be twice as cute. Quite predictably, when one baby was asleep, the other was wide awake, crying or feeding (and then repeat with other baby!). This also was partly why I scheduled two sessions to do baby photos (with one being about a month later) so as to get enough of each twin being a happy, quiet, sleeping baby as opposed to being crying and fussy. As you know, we do like to pretend that they are always quiet little angels and preserve our memories of them like that! The twins are fraternal, so this also means they look different and are quite feasibly running on separate clock, and they also conspired to have ‘baby acne’ at different times to make my editing work ‘interesting’. It made for long sessions and required a lot of patience, but hearing mama ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over the proofs has already made it worth it. Just wait until she sees her finished prints, wraps and large collage standouts for their walls! Patches (the dog) made sure he continued to be in the baby photos…as if they could possibly show him up, eh?! Piha Babies 69
  • Extra notes: thank goodness the internet makes global communication easy these days. We were able to stay in constant contact about editing and ordering choices while I was overseas in England. Although the process may have gone quicker without a vacation, illness, indecision over which images are favorites, being busy with the twins now that they were born (that’s a lot of work!), but since hundreds of photos were taken over all these sessions, I think extra time made the anticipation greater, my work more thorough, and I think I feel more accomplished with the results.

So tomorrow I get to hand deliver prints, a gallery wrap, a flash drive of images, a couple of 10×20 triptych standouts, two 16×20 collage standouts, plus a few surprises, all in some fun hot pink wrapping and I am just so excited. I have learned so much from this, both personally and professionally (and photographically), and I am grateful. Many many thanks to the Piha/Amato family! I can’t wait to hopefully take more images of the beautiful family again.

xo ~ K

“Growth is the only evidence of life.” ~ John Henry Newman

Maid in England | Reflections

I’ve been back in my home country of England for ten days now, and we have hit our half way mark already. We make it over from Seattle only about once every two years and then 2-3 weeks go by in a flash. Half way means that my man has just gone back to Seattle (so he can get back to work), and it means that the rest of my time will evaporate way too fast…
I’ve been living in the States for just about 19 years now, from exchange student, to college student, to movie-maker, and now mama and photog. That’s a long time, a long history. But I’m always homesick for England, as much as I love my adopted city of Seattle. So when I come back here, I start wondering what my life would’ve been like had I stayed, how it could be if we moved back, and I appreciate the little things so much more.
I love how so much stays the same, how the countryside is still pristine, how London still speeds ahead in the midst of all that culture and with its historical landmarks all intact, how I can feel at home as soon as I land.
They say you don’t appreciate something (somewhere?) until it’s gone; I suppose my absence from the UK has made my love for it grow. I can hear now the echoes of those who say ‘well, why don’t you just move back then?’. That’s a big move and it’s not easy. There’s a lot to consider when you make a huge move, and this time I have a family to consider, animals who would have to sit in quarantine, belongings to ship, new immigration dealios to contend with…the list is long.
I don’t travel much anymore, alas, and while these may be akin to someone’s vacation/holiday photos, they hold more sentimentality for me. They aren’t just travel photos or a documentation of ‘been there, done that’; they are pieces of me, things that I hold in my heart.
When you adopt a new country as your home, you still hold pieces of other places you have lived close to you. Born in England, but raised chiefly in Hong Kong, those countries are a part of me. And I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for close to 20 years now, longer than anywhere, so then I wonder how I might feel should we move back across the pond at some point.
This is the first trip back here to the UK where I have been struggling with emotions that are saying I wish I could stay, if only it weren’t for some friends back in the States, my beloved animals and a slice of the amazing Seattle. I see the excitement in my 5 year old of being surrounded by family here (family on both sides are in the South East of the States and in England, so all of them are far).
I had far less fear when I made the move over here when I was 20…I have different fears for myself and my child today. I’m impressed by those who can take the leap of a big move; my parents did that with us when we moved from England to Hong Kong, when I was just 4, and my brother was 2. My life would be very different today if my parents hadn’t been so bold, and I feel so fortunate that they did what they did.
Great changes happen when you make bold decisions and take risks (calculated or otherwise!).
What I must do at the least when I return to Seattle, is have us at least move house, amongst other things. Being away gives me perspective on the things that are to be put on my
‘action’ list, so while a big move back here may not happen just yet, I do now at least have renewed energy for quite a few things…and I plan to go home with a fair amount of English chocolate and sweeties to tide me over…until next time.
Some iPhone moments from me to you…
Cheers from England! Xo ~ K

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Kitty Love: another Jeffers Post | Seattle Cat Photography

A little personal cat post today. I’ve had many conversations about cat rescue, adoptions and fostering this week PLUS I had an emotional week with helping my bestie have her baby (yes, all the way through cutting the umbilical cord in the operating room, and holding him first), and this had me in some mushy emotional moments, so here’s my feline one…

If you don’t know by now (how could you not?!) I take a LOT of photos of cats as volunteer photographer for the local cat rescue, Animal Talk, and my boy Jeffers ‘found me’ there. I now take more photos of rescue cats than I get to take of my own these days, but I snap a few whenever I can (even if just on my iPhone instead of on my usual DSLR). I have a deep affinity for every animal that has come into my life, and Jeffers (my latest rescue) is no exception. On one of my first trips to the rescue to get a batch of new photos done, I was taking photos of the adult cats in the small kitty Room 1. This little flirt of a cat Jeffers kept trying to get my attention, pawing me,

cat

First session of Jeffers In Room 1

cocking his head to the side, and literally posing for me. After a few more trips to the rescue and doing photos in that room, with Jeffers wanting my attention badly, I mentioned probably more than a few times that I so wished I could take him home, but the adoption fee was beyond me at that time. I planned to put him on hold and figure out money to do it anyway. But some people/person there, who wanted to stay anonymous, decided to surprise me by paying the fee so I could have him, because of all my photography I was doing there, turning around the rate of adult cat adoptions with it all. It’s easy to get cute little kittens adopted with no photo, let alone a bad one; the adult cats get passed over constantly and they need to get noticed. They have a lot of love to give though and I want that to show.

Adopting an animal is something I don’t take lightly, and seeing so many animals all the time that I know need homes, I wish I could take them all home. I know that doing my rescue photos (and fostering) is way more valuable and needed than adopting them all.But how could I resist this handsome face? Jeffers and I have developed a strong bond in the last year; I think rescue animals (well, all of mine are!) naturally show their gratitude for human kindness and a warm lap, and I know my boy is happy to be in my life. He has gradually become a cat I can hold (that wasn’t possible when I brought him home), become friends with the rest of my menagerie, and enjoys basking in the window light, snuggling into my arm when I’m editing on my laptop, and hanging out on the shower wall when I take a shower (he’s a looky-loo). I can’t imagine my world without my animal companions; I don’t ‘own’ them but they own my love and a special place in my heart. They don’t talk back, they know when you’ve had a crappy day, and they don’t laugh at you when you sing along to music doing the housework or while in the shower. I wish more people could see and feel the unconditional love and light that comes from having an animal spirit in their world.”

 

Some of me posting this is a reminder for people to think of adopting an adult cat, and some of it represents how much value I see in having photos for myself. Don’t you still want real prints and photos on your wall?

If you haven’t yet, please go and check out my Facebook page . Lots more cats and info and updates on my current work and sessions too!

Kitty love to you xo ~ K

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
~ Jean Cocteau