“The feeling of knowing you had a small part in making a difference in the lives of these animals is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”
What kind of imagery do you shoot day-to-day?
My day-to-day consists of shooting entertainment events and I predominantly photograph celebrities, models, musicians and even politicians.
How did you become involved with Animal Care & Control NYC?
I became involved with Animal Care & Control when Abi Smith started a pet drive for the Getty Images office. Parky Lee (Director of Photography) knew I was a big animal lover, so he connected me with the shelter. I started volunteering by taking photos of the animals and just spending time playing with these animals who love human contact. By spending time with them, I was able to draw out their personalities and show it in the photos I took for the organization’s website. Amazingly these animals were adopted days after the photos were posted. I continued doing this several times and helped co-host a very successful pit bull fundraiser.
I wanted to help Animal Care & Control because I feel the people there really care about the animals. It’s a smaller shelter so I wanted to raise awareness and get as many animals housed as possible.
How does shooting pets differ from shooting celebrities? Do you use the same kit?
Photographing pets is a lot different to photographing celebrities and sometimes it can be challenging getting the shot I want.
All the pet portraits were shot in available light with I 50mm 1.4 lens wide open which gives a nice depth of field, but also can become out of focus with the slightest movement. Animals tend to really trust me and feel comfortable around me but at the same time, it can be challenging to get an animal to sit still for you. All they want to do is play, so nailing that great shot takes time and patience. It’s okay though as I enjoy doing it so much!
Where does your love of animals come from?
I guess my love for animals started really young. Everyone in my family is an animal lover so I grew up always having dogs and cats. Animals will unconditionally love you, show loyalty and all they ask in return is to be loved.
Is there one particular shot in the exhibition that really means something to you or has a story behind it?
Honestly I love them all because these are animals I spent time with, had a hand in getting permanently housed with new families and given a second chance. The feeling of knowing you had a small part in making a difference in the lives of these animals is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.