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.

To be loved by a cat. Seattle pet photography by Marika Moffitt.

When I was 21 years old, I lived in a two bedroom apartment in a fourplex with two roommates. It was my first apartment, and I think we only paid around $750 per month for rent. We only lived there for a year, but so many wonderful memories come from that year. One of my absolute favorite memories is the day a friend came to visit from the city, and when he showed up at my door, he had a tiny, dirty kitten in his hands. He had seen it running across the main road just a few minutes from my apartment, and somehow, he was able to catch it. I don’t know how to explain to you what it felt like to have this happen. My heart broke and exploded at the same time. This kitten was so tiny, and so dirty. All I could think to do was put it in an equally tiny handbag and walk to the grocery store to find some food for it. I think I squealed the entire walk there and back, and then continued squealing while giving the poor thing a bath. As soon as we had him cleaned up and fed, this thing turned into a maniac. He was jumping from the counter to the couch, and climbing all over us. He was pure joy, and I have never experienced anything like it since. My friend decided to leave the kitten with me as he would not have been able to bring it back to Seattle with him. So, there I was with this tiny kitten. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Technically, I couldn’t have any pets living in my apartment unless they were approved by the landlord. And I had two roommates who needed to have a say in whether or not we kept this kitten. I took three days to decide. Three days of this kitten living in my apartment and sleeping in my hair. I’m serious. He slept curled up in my neck and made muffins with his paws in my hair. I fell asleep to the sound of his purring, and woke to the sound of his hungry meows. I was in love. This tiny thing had completely captured my heart. I wish I could tell you that I got to keep him, and see him grow into an old man cat. I wish I had photos of him that I could use to accompany this story, but I don’t. This all happened during a time when our cell phones didn’t have cameras, and I wasn’t yet a professional photographer. I loved this kitten so much, and I knew he loved me. I sobbed the entire drive to the Skagit Humane Society. I really felt like my heart was being torn out, but I knew that this was the best choice for him to have a great life. The staff at Skagit Humane were so kind to me, and reassured me that he would find a great home easily because he was so dang cute. I said goodbye to my little love, and then I sobbed the entire drive back home. I’ll be honest, it’s been 14 years since that kitten left its mark on my heart, and right now I am totally crying while writing this story. Three days. That’s how long our story was, and it still gets me smiling, laughing and crying when I remember it. I never had a cat of my own again after those three days. Not that I didn’t want to, but other life choices made it so that cats would not be able to be a part of my home. They do, however, still get to be a part of my life in other ways. Whether I am learning the stories of adoptable cats that I photograph for #WhynotMEpets, or cats I photograph for clients here in Seattle, I am always reminded of the love I had for that tiny dirty kitten so many years ago.   Since I don’t have any photos of the tiny dirtball, I would like to share some of my favorite portraits of cats that I have had the honor of photographing over the past couple of years. Some are from sessions for #WhynotMEpets and some are from sessions for my wonderful clients. (Please note that I have photographed quite a few cats over the past few years, but I am only sharing some of them here. I love ALL of the cats I get to photograph, and I hope to share more of their portraits here with you soon).               For more information about portrait sessions for the cats you love, you can give Marika a call at (360) 941-3588 or fill out the Inquiry Form here to get in touch.

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