Living in a world of instagram and capturing every moment with your phone is now our daily lives. It can be challenge to step back and realize that YOU ARE NOT a photographer! I mean, I try my best for @pharrellandrosie, but shoutout to iphone for their amazing camera and major shout out to ColorStory, for making every photo look 10000% better that it was before. But, let’s face it, these photos are the photos that are only going on the gram, they are not being printed and hung up in my home, there is not cool fading effect on any of them or anything of that sort. So the search for the PAWfect photographers begin. This can also be challenging, because a good pet photographer and when I say pet, I mean dog, is literally a mastermind and the good ones know how to get your fur-baby to look right into the camera and tilt their head to the perfect angle. When I was doing my search for a new project we are working on at GBF “PAWfect Photos”, where will will be spotlighting different pup photographers from all over, I came across Kat Ku Modern Pet Photos , and I was instantly obsessed! She is young pet parent like us Gals, so she gets the look we are all going for and the best part is that she is traveling the US taking photos of pups and their hooman in all the most amazing cities! I was lucky enough to grab her while she was in New York for a few weeks to get some great photos of my and babes! We asked her a few questions to get to know her, what inspires her and what’s next on her journey! Below are her amazing answers!
How did you get started?
This is bit of a long story. The easiest, and shortest answer is combining two things that I have always been passionate (or obsessed) about my entire life: photography + pets.
The long story: I used to work in the corporate field before I went full time in March 2016. I remember about 2 years into my corporate job, I started having a bit of a quarter life crisis. I don’t do well with routine; I get bored easily; and I’m not good as kissing @$$, or talking about myself in general (although I have slowly gotten better about this over the years), which are all essential for moving up the corporate ladder. I remember thinking to myself, “Is this really what I’m going to be for the next 40 years of my life?”, waking up at the same time every day to go sit in a gray cubicle? I seriously felt like a part of my soul was dying each day.
Around the same time, I had gotten a DSLR, as well as my fur-kids. Since I was obsessed with them, I took a lot of photos of them and was sharing them on FB with a lot of positive feedback. I also had some entrepreneurial friends, and you can say they rubbed off on me a bit. Well, you can probably guess what happens next.
It actually took me a little bit before I decided to specialize in pets though. Before, I dabbled in wedding and “fashion” photography first, but it wasn’t until I started photographing pets, did I really find how much I loved photographing them. They’re such cute, lovable bundles of joy; it’s hard not to be sad when you’re around them. Plus, they never complain about looking fat or ugly!
Of course, being able to get good photographs of pets is a whole another set of challenges, and takes a special kind of personality, but that’s a whole nother story.
But yeah, having started this business, I feel like I’m never bored because there’s always something new to learn. In addition, I wake up each morning, excited, because I’m creating meaningful work that gives people joy.
What inspires you?
Honestly, getting to witness and experience the bond that each animal has with their human. It really is special!
While I only get 1-2 hours to work with pets (and their owners), it’s enough of a glimpse to get a feel for their essence and individuality. Within that, you can, see how and why they bring their humans so much joy. Some of them have a lot of personality, and it’s hard not to fall in love!
Then just being able to document that and give to people; that’s what really inspires me!
From a physical aesthetics standpoint, I love how beautiful animals are. They come in so many different colors, forms, and textures! Abstract, detailed shots are probably some of my favorite type of shots to do.
Where did your passion for dogs come from?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved animals, not just dogs. I think part of the attraction comes from being a painfully shy kid growing up and having a love for reading. Dr. Dolittle, Watership Down, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and the Redwall series were some of my favorite books, and each character in the book felt like a best friend. Having an overactive imagination, I liked to pretend that I could also speak to animals. (Okay, I know this makes me sounds like a giant weirdo, haha).
In my group of friends, I was always the one that wandered off to pet the dog or cat while everyone else hung out in the living room. In a world where people are judgmental or have expectations of you, animals simply let you be. You know the quote where “I like animals better than most people”? That.
Another part of it is probably because my parents never let me have a dog or cat while growing up; they always gave the excuses that they were too much work or allergic! And I guess what you can’t have, you want even more! So I had to make do with my dog and cat encyclopedia books, which I spent many hours looking through the pages and learning all about the different breeds and temperaments.
But I would definitely say that my passion for animals has definitely evolved over time from before until now. Before, I think it was a bit naive; now, having worked with hundreds of animals, and having owned and fostered, I think I have a deeper understanding, respect, and appreciation for them. They’ve taught me so much, and have added so much more to my life. The lessons on unconditional love, forgiveness, being present in the moment, etc, etc, that people always speak of, are so true. And based on my observations and interactions, I think it really is possible to “speak” to them, and they do understand what we ask of them.
How should dog lovers book you?
In 2018, I’m planning on becoming an official destination pet photographer. I’ll be in Scottsdale January – April; Ann Arbor/Detroit May – August, and San Francisco September – December, with side trips to other nearby destinations.
Isn’t she just great! I know, and her skill are even better! If you are in any of the cities she mentioned above, please do yourself a huge favor and book this girl! Below are her rates!
[MY PET] & ME SESSION
This session is dedicated to capturing the personality of your pet(s) and the wonderful love that you have with them.
1.5 to 2-hours of shooting time
Up to two pets & two humans [Pets must reside in same household.]
Travel within a 45 miles radius of Ann Arbor, MI ($0.60/additional mile, each way)
30 minute pre-session consultation meeting,
30-45 professionally edited images to order from
Private, online proofing gallery
Sneak previews on my blog and Facebook page.
THE STREETS (FINE ART) SESSION
This session style was inspired by my work with rescues, where most of the photography took place either in an alley, or in the parking lot of the building where the adoption event was taking place.
Dedicated to capturing the form, texture, colors, and details of your canine pal, this is a 60 minute urban shoot that takes place in downtown Ann Arbor. An alternative location may be chosen for a travel fee. The purpose of this session is to create LARGE artwork for display at home or office.
The session includes a pre-session consultation meeting, and 15-40 professionally edited images to order from.
@ the Studio Session
For a clean, contemporary look, your pet is photographed against either a white, gray, or black seamless backdrop at the studio located in Ann Arbor, MI.
Up to 60 minutes of studio time
White, gray, or black seamless backdrop
15-30 professionally edited images to order from
Private online proofing gallery
In-person ordering session (optional)
Make sure to follow Kat Ku Modern Pet Photos to keep inspired and for updates on cities she will be shooting in!