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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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!

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.

Seattle Dogs Wanted For Portfolio Photos | Seattle Pet Photography 

Calling all #Seattle doggies!! It’s time to update my portfolio and get a few more gorgeous canines on the roster, to join all the fabulous felines.
If you are interested in having me photograph your dog, in exchange for some digital images, let’s talk!! You can email me at katherine.moore.photo@gmail.com (include a simple cell phone photos of your dog if you can), or fill out the form below.  I’d love to hear more about you and your dog; let me know why you would like to do this and a little bit about your dog’s personality and anything special that you may want to share about him/her.
I’m hoping to get both some indoor and outdoor sessions done, using dogs of different ages, sizes and breeds. It will depend on timing and the particular dog, as to what I may end up trying. Feel free to check out some of my work here, if you want to see some of what I do.
Thank you!

~ Katherine

 

**Note: you must agree to have your dog’s image and likeness used for my portfolio and business, and agree to my copyright agreement. You must also  live within the Seattle metro area.

 

Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. pet photography, Seattle dog casting call

Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography.

 

Going Creative…Live! | Seattle Pet Photography

Fabulous opportunities come around every once in a while, and you just have to snatch them up. Many photographers and creatives of all sorts out there know about the amazing creativeLIVE, who put on all kinds of amazing live internet workshops. With workshops most often spanning about 3 full days, you can tune in online to watch and learn from the best of the best on everything from photography, photo-editing, business, music/audio, art and design, video production…and this week, Animal Photography. I just had to try and be there for this one…

 

After sending in a one-minute video blurb and application explaining why I want to be at the live workshop, I’ve been invited to be in the studio learning from the one and only celebrated Rachael Hale McKenna, an amazing animal and child photographer originally from New Zealand. I’m also super lucky that the CL studios are right here in Seattle. I get to bring all my own questions for Rachael to add to the ones that the web audience send in, and along with the other pet photogs in the studio, learn from Rachael’s insights and wealth of knowledge. Rachael’s work is world-renowned, published in books and magazines, and I can’t wait to hear what she has to share (*oh, and you can see what I’m talking about on her website at the link via her name above). I also just found out that 2 other HeARTs Speak members that I’ve not yet met will be there; it will be great to hear about their rescue pet photo work too. I’m stoked!

 

One big thing I hope to bring back from it all, is a whole host of new ways to implement all the plans and ideas I have swirling around in my head, and finally put them into action. With all the intense focus and time I have spent on my Animal Talk rescue work in recent months – so many foster home visits! – I’ve not been able to develop much for my business or personal work. Must get creative juices going again to add all these services and ideas to my pet photography roster. Exciting!

 

Well, thank you to those at creativeLIVE for inviting me along for the ride this week, and if you’re reading this because you found me through recent social media links thanks to the workshop, HI!!

Be sure to leave me a message and let me know what you think of my work; and please do pop over to my Facebook page too. I love hearing from people!

xo ~ K

All Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.

All Images Copyright K.A.Moore Photography. All Rights Reserved.