I'm so glad you found me! I'm a San Francisco photographer, and this blog charts my journey in the ever-evolving world of photography. One of the things I love about photography is that it's a journey, not a destination. I'm constantly learning and meeting wonderful people. Please peruse the blog to your heart's content, then check out my website and feel free to contact me! (I love hearing from you.)

“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow." – Imogen Cunningham

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Cats on Gray!!

It's hard to believe, but it's been more than a year now that I've been volunteering as a photographer at the shelter. And I think as a photographer, I've come quite a ways. Here's the first post with the first pictures I took of kittens, if you'd like to check it out.

So I've learned a lot about photographing cats, and hopefully I've helped some of them get adopted sooner as well. And even though I haven't been able to take them all home, I know that they've found safe and warm homes through the shelter - that's a big thing.

Whenever you photograph inside, setup becomes a large part of the process. It's inevitable. And say what you will about the ACC (it's great), the light inside the building isn't the best. Basically it's built like a fortress, concrete everywhere and very few windows. That means very little natural light. What light they do have is big fluorescents on the ceiling, which can cause an icky green cast to images. So I always use flash in my images there, even though in the rest of my work I use natural light as much as possible. Still, we can't turn off the lights because we're usually photographing while people are coming in and looking at animals, and so a bit of the fluorescent light sneaks in. Ah, what can you do, right?

Another problem was the white paper we usually shoot on. White is a great background choice in many situations, because it really showcases whatever you are trying to present, but ideally when shooting on white you should have a multi-flash setup (which is not the best when you are chasing cats around the room) to knock the background to pure white. I only ever use one flash at the shelter, to keep things as simple as possible, and so I often found myself retouching the background in Photoshop with varying degrees of success and believability. White cats, or cats with some white, were especially hard.

Enter: gray background paper! I bought a roll on Amazon of 'Fashion Gray' paper to try photographing the cats on it, and I must say, I think it's quite a success! Cats of pretty much any color still pop off the paper, but a lot of the difficulties with the white paper are avoided. The only problem is that wrinkles and dust and cat hair show up a bit more, but if I'm more careful while shooting, these problems can be avoided.

This gentle but playful guy is Tiger.

He came into the shelter with his equally lovable and handsome brother JoeJoe.

I hope they get a chance to be adopted together.

I love this photo!

And this is Nora. She's a real beauty, and very sweet as well.

She and her brother Roma are a bonded pair. They will be adopted out together. Whoever gets them will be very lucky!

Roma was a bit shyer than Nora, but still a great guy.

And this big bundle of love is Eebie. What a girl! Super big and fluffy, and the best poser, the fastest cat I have ever photographed. You are dynamite in front of the camera!

Then this young gentleman is Danger. He's well named - fast, inquisitive, and very playful, but also quite affectionate. And such a slender thing! He'll make a beautiful cat.

Whoa, what is that bright flashy thing you are pointing at me?

Don't forget they're all adoptable! Kittens get adopted faster, but adult cats are great to adopt because they've already mellowed out and you know more about their personality when you adopt them.