Seattle’s First Cat Cafe Opens | Seattle Cat Photography

I can’t tell you how happy I am that my city of Seattle is getting its first cat cafe, Seattle Meowtropolitan TODAY (that’s 12.26.15, Boxing Day). I first met the savvy entrepreneurs behind this, Matt and Andrew, about a year ago now, over coffee (of course) to simply talk cats. And finally the cafe is opening!!

Because we have been in touch ever since, to talk about rescue cats, my photography, and well, cats in general, I was lucky enough to get an early invite to check out the new cafe. I hope you can get a good idea as to how fabulous it is from my images…

20151218 Seattle Meowtropolitan Soft Opening Blog Board 1

There are several cities in the U.S. that have cat cafes (the closest to us is Portland) and I know that Seattle has been waiting with baited breath for this for a while now. No more waiting! I say bring it on…

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You must make reservations, so that the the main room with the cats isn’t overloaded with people, and the cats aren’t overwhelmed (the only waiting people may still have to do). The main area is fantastic: spacious, lots of light, with the beautiful center play column for the cats, with woodwork that I wish I could have in my own home for my cats. The carved-out silhouettes of cats and all the runways would have Jackson Galaxy so impressed. Even the flooring is beautiful, complete with a few painted swirling cats and the cafe logo. All I think they need now is some beautiful cat images on the walls (ahem!).

The adoptable cats come from Regional Animal Services of King County, and there were 3 kitties that were really busy when I was there (including the tuxedo model kitty you see, Penguin), and they are all free to move about as they please. Within reason… The front coffee ordering area and the main cat/play area is separated by double doors, so the old ‘I don’t want cat hair in my coffee’ is a moot point. I honestly don’t think you’d be coming there in the first place if that is your concern anyway. At this point in my life, who knows how much cat hair I’ve inadvertently swallowed!

My cat macaron was delish, my iced Americano with caramel (I drink iced drinks all year round!) tasted ‘Herkimer’ good, but what I mostly took away was that I wish the cafe was closer to me so I could make sure I can come more often. I’ll be back, and I hope all you Seattle cat fans get to go. I also hope it means some kitties get adopted through the cafe; the ones that I met that day were definitely working it.

And I don’t think you need to feel guilty about going to have your coffee and hang out with the cats. They are the most honest coffee date you will ever have, they are endlessly entertaining, and pretty quiet. Drop me a line if you make it in there!

The location in Wallingford is 1225 N. 45th St.; just off Stone Way. 

Open: 11 am – 3 pm, 4 pm – 9 pm  Closed Mondays 


“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” ~ Sigmund Freud

A Cat’s Holiday Wish | Seattle Cat Photography

Wishing you the Happiest of Holidays, whatever you celebrate at this time of the year. And mostly, warmth and love for all those animals out there that need homes. I believe that there’s the right home out there for every one of them. Peace and love to you all!

Bend Xmas 3A

I took these photos of Bend just before Christmas, as he had been waiting a while to get adopted, hoping that our holiday campaign would get him noticed and that it would get him a home for the holidays. As luck would have it,  just as I was finishing processing them, Bend found a home; funnily enough, several otherBend 2 web times this has happened too, for other cats… It’s as if I’ve sent some kind of energy out there to say “Adopt this cat, his photos are almost ready!”. But here they are anyway. I’m thrilled to pieces that Bend has found a home. He had fast become a favorite of mine at the rescue, waiting far too long, in my opinion. I was so happy to see him every time I went in to the rescue and it’s always bittersweet to see a favorite cat start their new life. Wishing you a long and happy one, Bend. You beautiful boy!

 

Rescued Moments 11.4.14 | Seattle Cat Photography

Hello folks –

If you read my posts on here, or follow my Facebook page, you undoubtedly see lots of pretty portraits of beautiful cats….proof is in the pudding that professional images of rescue animals gets adopters in through the doors of rescues and shelters, and gets those animals adopted. I can’t think of a more gratifying way for me to use my photography skills – it’s therapeutic for me –  and I’d encourage every photographer and artist to find a way to give back with their work. But hey, that’s another story…

The ‘story’ I have to share today is one with those images that I don’t expressly take or use for cat adoption but instead for documenting what happens at the rescue when I shoot. On just about every trip to the rescue when I go in to make cat portraits, I take my own behind-the-scenes images, those in-between moments, the photos that capture something extra,  something usually unseen in my usual work that people see. There are so many little moments with cats that are quiet and just so flipping adorable, that I have to share them. I am also transitioning my professional work of pets and family to be documentary-style, so it’s all just naturally falling this way for my photography these days. These are from my most recent visit to Seattle Area Feline Rescue. Enjoy and come back soon!!

**All Images are Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.  Contact me directly for permission to share and purchase images. Thank you!*

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Fluffy little one trying to hold on to my fingers.

Fluffy little one trying to hold on to my fingers.

He's really turning on the 'cuteness factor now.

He’s really turning on the ‘cuteness’ factor now.

 

His direct eye contact makes it so hard for me to turn away!

His direct eye contact makes it so hard for me to turn away!

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…!

 

 

 

Getting Your Cat Ready for Picture Day | Seattle Cat Photography

After photographing just sooo many cats at this point, it’s high time I wrote this post, to give some tips for preparing your cat (and your home) for his or her ‘picture day’. Everyone knows that cats don’t like being told what to do, they don’t listen, and don’t like their space invaded, so getting a cat photographed seems like an impossible task, with a teeny bit of luck thrown in. I’d say there’s good reason that many pet photographers specialize in photographing dogs as opposed to fickle felines; they’re usually trained at the very least to sit and stay but I’ve only met stage cats (for film) that will do that! It’s the challenging nature of cats that actually draws me to them though. Nervous cats can be extra challenging, but I mostly photograph cats in their usual/familiar environment and this helps a lot with their comfort level. Cats are homebodies so following them about their business at home suits things just fine.

Definitely happy at home... Copyright K.A.Moore Photography.

Definitely happy at home…
Copyright K.A.Moore Photography.

On the matter of creating the right kind of space in your home to help me get the best images that I can, the number one consideration for every photographer is the light…light, glorious light! If there’s a room or a space in your home that has gorgeous natural light streaming in through the windows, that’s the place I need to shoot! Luckily, many cats just love looking out the window, watching birds, and lying in the warm sun, so it’s often a fab spot for me to get kitty in her element. Tyra 1 logo webI can get photos though, in many different lighting situations, when needed; I am able to use light modifiers such as a reflector in order to bounce light back in, and I’m also adept at using flash if I need to as well. Cats are a lot more accommodating of flash than you’d think, but if I don’t have to use it, I won’t. I can even add a single light to a room. Which reminds me: artificial light, like in a bathroom, is probably the worst for photos (minor cringing happens when I realize that’s my best option!) but if I have to make it happen there, I will. Luckily that mostly happens with the most nervous of rescue cats, who prefer a small space to feel safe in.

Tilly 2 re-editIn the most basic terms for getting cat photographs and the best environment for them, is there a room she is likely to hide in, and will it be hard for me to coax her out? Is the cat enclosed in a small room and liable (and able) to hide under the bed the whole time? This happens quite a bit with rescue cats and it’s less likely to happen with a cat more comfortable in a permanent home. It’s sometimes fine to have kitty in just one room so they feel safe, but with others they may feel cornered. Is your cat comfortable roaming the house and doesn’t mind new people? Then I’m happy to just figure out how to get images based on their movements. I have become quite adept at being as stealthy as I can following cats around for the right shot! For the sake of making the photos as clutter-free as possible, so as to keep the focus on the cat, it’s helpful to me that you clear away items in your space that won’t look great in the final images, like computer wires and so forth, have the carpet vacuumed, that sort of thing. I suppose if your kitty is insanely happy about lying on your recycling pile of papers, we may want to keep something like that out.

For the most part, there’s usually little that has to be done to get a cat ready for photos in terms of grooming and appearance. They are fastidious groomers after all, as you probably know. A quick brush to tidy up stray hairs is helpful, and often long-haired cats need some extra brushing so their fur looks as luscious as it should do; I’ve seen quite a few lovely scruffy kitties, but if the hair is a big mess, we probably can’t have that, can we?! Sometimes there’s a kitty who has eye ‘crusties’ and maybe a bit of a snotty nose; while it’s true that I can correct some of these things in post with editing, that can take up precious time so if those things can be cleared away, that’s super helpful.

There are a couple of other things that are helpful to think about before your session. One is activity level. If your cat is wildly active (and we’re not specifically going to be taking a ton of ‘action’ shots), it may be a good idea to get the cat some exercise with toys beforehand; this is great for very young cats and a breed like the active Bengal. I know that cats do spend a ton of time asleep (they’re professionals at sleeping) but we also probably don’t want all the images of them to be with their eyes closed, so completely pooping them out isn’t helpful either. Unlike babies or young kiddos, cats really don’t have set awake/sleep times, so planning a session around a cat nap is just not a factor for scheduling. It’s great to have our little model alert, but not fast asleep. I want to see those pretty eyes!

Fast asleep...

Fast asleep…

A few more things to think about: does your cat have special/medical needs? Are we doing a ‘golden years’ session for a senior or geriatric cat? These images could be to capture a beloved older cat in their last days and it’s important I attend to this in a special way. Are there special toys or blankets that are favorites of the cat that you want in the pictures? I have props, blankets, backdrops, all of that, that I may think will work well for your cat, but it’s helpful to consider what items of yours may work well and will make you happy when you see them in the finished images. Photographing your cat without a collar is usually preferable too; cats are beautiful without any adornments, when they’re ‘au naturel’, but I’m not opposed to doing some shots with a cute kitty necktie or something similar. Some images like that are fun to do, so let me know if you have ideas for novelty shots. Also, if I’m taking those coveted photos of you with your cat, consider earthy, complimentary tones for your clothing, with respect to your cat’s fur colors. But beware the clothing colors and fabrics that will highlight your cat’s fur shedding.

Does your cat like treats? Feather or laser toys? Does catnip work to get him/her rolling around on the floor in an adorable state? Does it take a long time for your cat to get relaxed with new people? All of these things are über helpful to think about and for me to know.

Since I just mentioned something about get the cat relaxed, I don’t have too much of an issue coaxing them into pictures when they are already family members. This is different when it comes to rescue and foster cats, and it can sometimes take quite a while to get the shot that is needed for adoption purposes. I’m usually able to coax even the trickiest kitty into photos but it’s still sometimes a challenge and I’d say that in every case of cat photography (easy and difficult cats both included), my number one need is my having patience. Sometimes it can take quite a while to get those shots that I know you will love (and I know I want to get); it may seem to take some time, while you’re sitting by, but just trust that I know what images I am after and what will work well.

A beautiful pair of cats in a window just chilling out like they usually do! Comfy is key.

A beautiful pair of cats in a window just chilling out like they usually do! Comfy is key.

Sebastian 2So how can you be assured that I know what I’m doing around these often aloof, independent, intelligent animals?! I want you to be comfortable for me to get down on your cat’s level and also be able to leave me to get on with the photography. I’ve been around animals my whole life and am very familiar with cat behavior in particular…cats fascinate me to no end. I’d like to think I’m kind of on their wavelength (it’s not total coincidence that I’m called Mama Kat…) and connect easily with cats. Working as a vet tech, and at the cat rescue, and always having cats as my companions at home, has meant my always trying to understand their behavior and character. I truly love cats and what the rescue photography has taught me in particular, is that they are to respected and to consider their underlying wild nature. There’s a little tiger underneath every cat’s clothing! It’s not enough for me to be able to photograph in all the crazy places and positions I’ve found myself in to that magical shot. It’s also not enough for me to know how to work my camera manually and adjust settings in a pinch when the cat wants to move from room to room and the light totally changes.

At the end of the day, I hope you have the confidence in me to get beautiful images of your cat(s) and I will do whatever I can to do just that! If you can help prepare your cat and your home with some of the tips above, all that can go a long way to making the session go smoothly and I can just focus on creating memories on camera for you. I hope I’ve shared some helpful and interesting information on preparing your cat for picture day. If you have ANY questions about any of it, feel free to ask me. I hope this wasn’t overwhelming…taking your cat’s photos will be fun! I hope to meet you and your cat soon!

xo ~ K

Relaxed, posing with a toy, and on a beautiful colored spread! Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Relaxed, posing with a toy, and on a beautiful colored spread!
Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.