Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cards & photos & more!

A huge thank you to Got Craft, the best craft fair in Vancouver who let me sell my fundraiser greeting cards at their merch table last weekend. Got Craft is always busy with exactly the kind of people who will buy cute cards to support a good cause. I sold all but 14 of my cards!  Whoo!  I have to do the math to add up all my sales and calculate the donations to Katie's Place and HomeFinders, but it should be a nice chunk of change.  In addition, one of my coworkers ordered 32 cards to use as thank you cards after a big party he had, so I printed an additional run of the most popular card - the one of NicoleI have a handful of the other cards left too - so if you want to place an order, please do!!

Lovely Bella - apparently a great bug catcher!
In addition to selling cards and raising funds - I did another photo shoot with Tanja, who I'm learning has endless patience for photographing cats (you really do need to have patience with cats). We ended up with two skittish cats again. It's hard - my cats are the same way -they're well adjusted normal cats around us, but when strangers come over they get scared for no reason. Too bad too because Bella and Tux were adorable and looked awfully snuggly! Tux was pretty scared the whole time we were there, so we weren't able to get many flattering shots of him, but Bella struck some nice poses for us.

I've added a gallery for Tanja - and you can check out her photography site to see more of her work!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tanja - photographer

I'm falling behind on adding profiles for the great photographers I get to work with as part of this project! Yesterday I went out to do a photo shoot with Tanja, of Jelger and Tanja Photography She was super nice and very patient with the young cats (one shy, one less so), following them around, trying to capture them relaxed and adorable. And, of course, she sent me amazing photos afterwards! Once again, it was a challenging lighting situation, with one shy cat and one black cat - but Tanja got great photos of both! yay!

Look for more photos of Marlin and Valentine in Tanja's gallery soon. These siblings are available for adoption through Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue!

Thanks Tanja, for your time and these lovely photos - I look forward to doing more! 

Marlin - the shy cutie

Valentine - the playful one

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Have Cat Feature

In an effort to get more people aware of (and buying) the fundraising greeting cards, I reached out to the biggest powerhouse I know in the internet cat world (besides Maru, that is) - I Have Cat. Tamar writes a fabulously entertaining blog to chronicle her life as a 30-something NYC singleton looking for love despite the complication of owning cat. As funny as it is, she also does a service, I think, by breaking down the stereotype of crazy cat people.  I especially love her features of cat men to balance out the cat ladies.

Tamar was nice enough to do a feature on me and Orphan Animal Pics!  And some cards have already sold from etsy as a result!  Thanks Tamar -  I'm honoured to be on such a great blog, in such great company and fingers crossed for more sales in the fundraiser!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shy Cats

Shy cats. You know the ones - they run and hide when company comes over, people don't really believe you have a cat because it's never seen by strangers. But when the strangers are gone and it's just family - they're snuggly and show a whole different side of themselves.

For cats looking to get adopted, being shy can be a barrier to finding a new home. People go to shelters and foster homes and want that instant connection with 'the one'. I understand that. But there's so much reward to be had with adopting a shy cat and helping her overcome that shyness and learn to trust you (and hopefully others!). Watching a shy cat come out of her shell is a wonderful thing.

So shy cats are already starting out in a challenging place - by running and hiding when potential adopters come to visit. This behaviour also makes it difficult to get their photos, even though they are often most in need of photos that show off their good looks and personality!

There's a pair of bonded brothers with Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue - Sammy and Jet, I saw them in the gallery and couldn't believe it - they've been passed around through a few homes and spent years in the foster system. Two boys who sounded just lovely!  That's crazy.  So Kris of K9 Studio Pet Photography and I made a date to try to get their photos, even though we were warned they were shy.

These boys are great cats! Jet spent the first half hour under the bed, then walked out into the living room and right over to me (a stranger) for a head pat! Cats are so funny.  Kris got some beautiful photos of Sammy, but Jet (the black cat) wasn't as cooperative (and is black, making him more challenging to begin with).

Once again, I'm so impressed with the photographers I get to work with - they take crummy lighting situations, busy backgrounds, faulty equipment.... and somehow in the end manage to have beautiful photos.  Thanks Kris! Keep your eyes peeled for Gallery 4 with Kris's photos.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Card Sales

Haven't been scheduling photo shoots lately, have been spending time working to peddle the greeting cards.  So far only 13/100 have sold, but I have high hopes for the holiday season. I've got a free table at the Blim Community Market this Sunday thanks to the organizers and!

I did have a nice coffee date today with Kris of K9 Pet Photography, who caught my eye when I saw her amazing photos of shelter dogs. We're hoping to work together soon - so stay tuned for that.

unrelated HomeFinders kitten
She also told me about a very interesting organization called Hearts Speak that works to "unite the individual efforts of animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change."  They seem pretty awesome - I encourage any animal rescue groups hoping for photography service or other donated artist skills to contact them and see if they can connect you with someone in your area.  One of my favorite parts of their website is the before and after photos - it really powerfully shows what a difference great photos can make!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cards Ready for You!

I picked up the greeting cards from the printer!

So exciting to see the photographs printed out - I think they look great. Please consider buying one or several. All the proceeds go to the animal rescue groups that do such tireless work to save these beautiful animals.

Just by buying a card from this fundraising effort instead of from hallmark, you can help make a difference, how easy is that!

Cards are listed in my etsy shop and will be available at some craft fairs around Vancouver, BC.

The 4 designs are shown below.

"It's your birthday AGAIN?"
Wow, your birthday sure gets a lot of attention.

[blank interior]
And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Those eyes

*sigh*  I always want to take them all home.  Look at the eyes on this little thing!  This is the infamous bunny cat Stellaluna whose adorableness cannot be overstated.

Photos being uploaded to Jackie's gallery now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jackie & the Bunny Cat

Jackie and I visited some lovely ladies and their foster cats today, including Stellaluna the bunny cat. Born with a funky tail end, Stellaluna is a pretty accurate cross between a kitten and a bunny, complete with adorable little hop (she's quite speedy) and a little puff tail. Seriously, it's pretty much the cutest thing ever. When Stella is a bit bigger, they'll be able to x-ray her and try to see the cause of her uniqueness; it's hard to predict if she'll be just fine as she grows or if she'll have issues/need surgery. Right now, she's pure adorable. Hard to get her to stay still for a photo, actually!  Jackie the photographer fell in love and I think is plotting a way to steal her.

We also visited a cute & friendly stray cat found by a lady who helps people find their lost cats. She hasn't been claimed and is looking for a new home. She's very sweet, playful and posed nicely for the camera - hard to ask for a better cat really!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I'm super excited!  It's been on my brain since I started getting these amazing photographs from my volunteer photographers to do something more with them than post them to the internet.  Since animal rescue groups are always in need of funds, I really wanted to come up with a product that people would want to buy, with the proceeds going to the rescue groups. After slaving away over Illustrator files, I just submitted 4 greeting card designs to the printer! 2 birthday cards, 1 holiday card, and 1 blank card. I even found a green printer in Vancouver who gave me a great (discounted) price for the cards (on 100% recycled paper).

I'll do a big reveal once the order comes in - I hope everyone loves them (and buys them!)

In the meantime, to distract myself, I've got a photo shoot scheduled tomorrow, so a few new photos should appear here soon!

In happy news - several of the cats in the galleries have been adopted! Including stunning bengal cat Shyla (with her brother), Christie, Tora, Arizona, Denny, Avery (yay)!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cat in a Hat

Moxie in a hat.
 I've been carrying this little cowboy hat to every photo shoot since I started this project and every single time I get distracted by the adorable cats and forget about it. But on this last photo shoot I was packing away some stuff in my bag, saw it, and caught Jackie, the photographer in time!

We grabbed the nearest kitten and had a fun time trying to get the hat on it's head long enough to get a photo (the kitten, Moxie, was more interested in trying to play with the hat). It was pretty hilarious. And, we got a photo. 

This hat may come out more often now. Is it wrong that I'm on the lookout for a mini tophat also?  I'm pretty sure that's a bad sign.

Adorable Roche
Speaking of Jackie!  Jackie Dives, who I know because we work together on an event called Swap-o-rama-rama in Vancouver (giant community clothing swap & repurposing event). Jackie is also a doula and photographer, and artist! I was checking her blog one day and she had posted some photos from her latest newborn photo shoot and she happened to catch the family pets on her visit and I had a 'duh' moment.... realizing that here was another talented photographer right under my nose!  I sent my pitch email and happily she was very willing to try!

Playful Furrero
We arranged to meet up with a VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association) foster mom who was taking care of 3 kittens and 2 cats (she's awesome).  The lighting in her apartment was challenging, and one of the cats was very shy and wouldn't let us photograph her - but the kittens were hilarious, and the other cat super friendly and cooperative. And the photos turned out lovely! We had fun (kittens sure are a handful).  And I got my photo of a cat in a cowboy hat. Thanks Jackie!

Check out the new Gallery 3 for Jackie's photos!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cats on the internet

Other cat-related blogs - in case you need additional distraction & entertainment:

I Have Cat: Tamar began "I Have Cat" as a way to chronicle her life as a 30-something NYC singleton looking for love despite the complication of owning cat. Very funny posts.

Best Friends - not a blog but the website of a magical, wonderful animal rescue & welfare group. They do really amazing work and their sanctuary in Utah is a place worth visiting if you want your faith in human beings restored (I went in 2009). I recommend their Guardian Angel pages - where they document the progress of animals in particular need of special care.  Or their news pages. It's all very uplifting stuff. - Are you kind of person that hates 'cutesy' cat stuff? And cat furniture that looks terrible?  This site is a collection of AMAZING modern design cat stuff - litter box enclosures, cat trees, cat shelves - you name it. Often the stuff they find is crazy expensive, but still, it's fun to dream!  Here's an example - furniture that doubles as a shelf & a climbing space for cats - without making it look like you live in a cattery!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Avery is shy & tiny & a love.
So much cuteness!! It's pretty funny watching 7 kittens  romp around, let me tell you!  Cindy once again worked her magic and got amazing, lovely photos of the kittens, even the shy ones that were trying very hard not to be photographed. Turns out the mom cat was the most challenging - sometimes cats are just not going to cooperate and the harder you try, the more they freak out.

Cindy also took a photo of me getting some kitten snuggles (kittens were not looking to snuggle, they were looking to play; I snuggled anyway) - these snuggles are the perk to this volunteer gig, and it's pretty awesome.  ;)

I'll get more of these great photos up Gallery 2 soon - in the meantime, you should check out gallery 1 (Ben's) to see some of the photos he took last week! 

And, of course, if you want to adopt anyone - check out HomeFinders Animal Rescue!
This is Arizona - super friendly & playful.

Denny - a bit shy around new people, but still awesome.
Trying to get kittens to stay still for a group shot? Hopeless.
(l-r) George, Arizona, Charles

Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Kittens!

I feel  somewhat bad focusing on kittens so much lately - because kittens usually have an easier time finding homes than older cats, but I'm weak. I want to play with kittens and hold soft purring kittens and see adorable photos of a pile of kittens.  Also - it's kitten season so the rescue groups are bursting at the seams with kittens. So - Cindy and I have a photo shoot scheduled for Monday with a foster home that has a mom and her 7 kittens - 7!  Fingers crossed the schedule holds & there will be even more cuteoverload on the website.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cute Overload Again

I'll be working to post some of the new photos to Ben's gallery - but here are a few!

So many adorable, lovely cats (and a turtle!) in need of homes - contact HomeFinders Animal Rescue if you want to take one of them home!


Photographing kittens. Sheer Khan and someone's tail.
Teeny tiny turtle!


Saturday, July 28, 2012


It took a few reschedulings but we made it to HomeFinders to photograph a pile of cats (and a turtle) for them - yay! It will take a while for Ben to process the photos, but I'm guessing he got some awesome ones. The cats were generally superstars (and the kittens were rascally and hilariously hard to catch when we were done). One of the perks of doing this is getting to hold purring kittens, I'll be honest.

I finally remembered to take my camera and get a photo of Ben in action with his studio-esque setup. (These photos also show you why I am not taking the animal photos!) Because Ben and I usually schedule photo shoots in the evenings, he's got a set up with a flash and a light umbrella which produces amazing photos with a very different quality than natural light photos. Sometimes it freaks the cats out - the noise and the flash - but Ben makes it work!

Will have photos to show in a few days I hope!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Was going through Cindy's photos of Katie's Place again to add to the gallery page and came across this one of Walter hanging out in what is probably the best spot in the place - a basket chair that has been hung from the rafters. Whoever thought this up is a genius. I'd like to nap there!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Blog Love

Ben and I didn't make it out to Home Finders last week - it had to be rescheduled, but fingers crossed we'll make it out tonight!

I've been spending a fair bit of my internet time reaching out to people in the Vancouver blog world to see if they'd be willing to feature some of the cats that we've gotten photos of as part of Orphan Animal Pics. And, because these people are wonderful - blog posts have been popping up (including some weekly features).  I'm so pleased - hopefully the photos will tug someone's heartstrings and cause some adoptions that otherwise wouldn't have happened. Given the number of animals in shelters, we need a lot of new homes to step forward to take in an animal or two if we're going to find happy endings for these creatures!

Here are the wonderful bloggers that have featured the project/animals so far - I'm so grateful!
The Anthology
Kimli of Delicious Juice
Lotus Events (organizers of the wonderful Got Craft)
Kim Werker

Friday, July 13, 2012


Heading out to HomeFinders Animal Rescue tonight with Ben to get photos of the new animals they've got. Fingers crossed for some puppies!! (we haven't done puppies yet)

In any case - you'll get some lovely new photos to see next week (I'm off camping for the weekend, so there will be a delay before the gallery gets up.)!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Just got an email plea from HomeFinders Animal Rescue that they are in need of photos - apparently they are buried under animals! They are a foster-home based animal rescue group so if you live in the Vancouver area and are willing to give being a foster home a try (for dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, rabbits) - please consider contacting them!  You can be a foster home temporarily in emergency cases (while they find longer-term foster homes), or until an animal is adopted; it's usually flexible.  HomeFinders rescues animals that are at risk of being put down - so being a foster home can mean you are literally saving an animal's life.  How awesome is that? You get to have a temporary cute family member and it makes you a hero!  Win-win.

Stay tuned.... sounds like we'll have new photos from HomeFinders in the next week or two! And it's kitten & puppy season, so probably there will be ridonkulousness on the cute scale.

(Photo is one Ben took of some HomeFinder kittens previously.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My favorite part of doing these photo shoots, aside from getting to play with cats and kittens is seeing the amazing photographs. I'm in the room when they are taken, I see the light, I see the setting, and yet, every time I am blown away by how the photographers are able to capture the best and filter out the clutter. They make the light magical and luminous even on an overcast day, you see the cats in a new way that you miss in person. I never get tired of it. 

The next best part?  Sending the photos to the hard-working volunteers who care for these animals day in and day out - who get them through their medical issues, work on their behavior issues, and give them as much love as they can. 

Of Cindy's photos, the ones of the white cat, Nicole, really got the attention of the volunteers on Katie's Place's Facebook page.  Someone posted the before and after set below and said the following:
"Seriously I am blown away by these pictures. I see these guys every day and I see them on their good days and their bad days. I see them sick and cranky. I curse when they spill their water or swat me in the head or dart out the door. They've become part of my life and I am so used to them sometimes I don't even notice them. Pictures like these remind me of how amazingly beautiful each and every single one of them is."

That is the power of photography.  

Nicole's story: She was born in the wild outside to a cat someone abandoned. She came to Katie's Place as an unsocial older kitten because she wouldn't have had much of a chance of surviving in the wild being deaf. She has tamed up quite a bit and is becoming more confident every day.  Also, she's beautiful.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Katie's Place Photoshoot

Today Cindy (of Muddy Love Pet Photography) and I made it out to Katie's Place Animal Shelter, along with a friend who is looking for a new cat (or two?) to add to her life (yay adopters!).

We had a wonderful time meeting all the cats and trying to get good shots of as many as we could. Some were natural models, totally working it for the camera, some were quite shy, some were frisky characters - there was a bit of everything.

The Katie's Place volunteers were lovely, staying late so we could work. 

I usually fall in love with one or two particular cats every time I visit a rescue and this time was no different. The guy who really caught my eye was Trump (photo at left) - this is one big, attention-grabbing cat! He was super chill and friendly to us and I think I'm going to make it my mission to make sure this guy finds a home (should be easy, he's ridiculously handsome). He's a Himalayan/Manx mix (no tail!), very unusual!

Cindy took amazing photos - I'm so impressed by her skill and willingness to use it and her free time to help homeless animals try to find loving homes; yay for good people!

I'll be adding a photo gallery of some of her images soon - first I have to get the photos on the hard drive of the rescue group so they can use them! I'll put a few here so you can see how fantastic they are. Thanks Cindy!
Nicole (deaf)



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Heading out to Katie's Place Soon

Katie's Place Shelter is a magical place. There are lots of kinds of shelters, Katie's Place is one where you feel like the cats have it all right while they wait for their forever homes. Sure you wish they'd all get adopted asap, but your heart doesn't break into a million pieces the way it does in some shelters.

The key, I think is the communal rooms. The cats are not in cages - they have room to run and play and access to a sunroom where they can laze in a sunbeam, just the way cats should.

Katie's Place also takes in cats other shelters might consider 'unadoptable', and if necessary, they provide a home for these cats for life at the shelter - though they fully believe there is a home for every cat. Let that be a thought next time you're looking to adopt, are you a possible home for a special needs cat?

I've only been to Katie's Place once before to visit - it's a ways outside Vancouver (in Maple Ridge), but I'll be going again near the end of June with Cindy from Muddy Love to see if we can get some nice photos of some of the residents to help show the internet how fabulous they all are! I'm excited to work with Cindy - we met for lunch and she seems awesome; I think we'll have a lot of fun!

Stay tuned!