I’m So Excited Right Meow: Seattle Pet Photographer Wins A WPPI Silver Award.

I am not kitten around. I am so excited right meow. Yes, those puns were worth it because I have something awesome to celebrate with you all. I’ve won a Silver Award in the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International Annual 16×20 Print, Album and Filmmaking Competition. This was my first time entering such a prestigious competition, and I am basically unable to stop dancing around in celebration because I am so dang happy to have received a Silver Award!   Perhaps the thing I am most excited about is that it was this particular image (I entered three. The other two came so close to receiving Silver Awards as well) that received the Silver Award. This image is of Doris, a 19 year old cat who was waiting to be adopted at Homeward Pet Adoption Center in Woodinville, Washington. I chose this image because it’s one that almost never happened, and it represents work that I am passionate about (capturing the stories of rescue animals). I photographed Doris in a tiny room at Homeward Pet Adoption Center after doing an outdoor session with a small dog for The Limelight Pet Project. We were asked to come inside to meet this senior cat (Doris) to take some photos of her. I brought in my white sheet to lay over a bench, and a single flash with a 26 inch umbrella softbox setup to shoot against a wall. Doris was magical. She gave intense eye contact, and made a point to cross the room after our eyes met with hers so that she could touch me (there were three of us in the room, and she did this with each of us). I was connected to her before we even began shooting. Right before I shot this image, she had looked me in the eye in a way that communicated that she was about to do something weird. It was an amazing moment of connection between us, and that’s why I love this image.  I want to thank Kacy Bradley from Homeward Pet Adoption Center who is the reason this image was created. She asked me to photograph Doris, and she knew that we would connect with her right away. Thank you, Kacy, for all the work you do for the animals, and for including us in telling their stories! I also want to thank my friend Holly Cook of Holly Cook Photography who was there in the room, and experienced the intensity of Doris along with Kacy and me. We can’t tell the stories of these animals without the people who are doing the hard work required to care for them. Thank you to all of the rescue community for the work you do for animals and the people who love them. Also, thank you to Doris (who has been adopted) for being weird and wonderful. This win is for you and all the rescue cats who are waiting to connect with their forever homes.    In case you can’t tell already, I LOVE photographing cats. I am currently booking as many cat sessions as I can get my paws on because cats are SO MUCH FUN for me to work with. If you have a cat, and want to have them photographed by an award-winning pet photographer, let’s chat. To book a session, you can reach me through my contact page, or email marika@dirtiedogphotography.com.

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