Several months ago, after the summer shoot with Jack and Nicky, Rhonda, her friend Julia, and I got together for dinner at Yard House to gab about our animals. Julia runs special events for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm – which means she is an all around awesome human.Read More
When I photographed her in early October last year, Libby was a energy-packed 3.5 month old Australian Shepherd...and she is SO beautiful.
And I certainly wasn't the first to think so. Apparently, the little lady has already been featured in an ad by Gap! This pup is going places. :DRead More
I met Buddy this past September after his mom Kerri messaged me saying she had won a photo session in a raffle. YAY!
Kerri is the owner of the lovely dog training company I'm the Cheese, and she's been a dog lover for years. For her, Buddy is the one who started it all. Here is the story in her own words:Read More
A few months ago, my little furry friend Pumpkin lost her love Poppy. This broke my heart because Poppy was one of the sweetest angels to have ever graced this planet. So Pumpkin's mom, Abbie, did what every sweet fur-mom would do.
She adopted some more friends for Pumpkin: Peanut and Petunia.
We got together in October to celebrate the arrival of fall with some lovely photos! Each of the buns got to eat treats and put on their costumes – we had such a marvelous time.
Peanut has the BIGGEST personality, and was hamming it up for the camera. Petunia was shy but so lovely. We gave her a cozy picnic basket to hide in. And Pumpkin was perfect as always, although perhaps a little put out that she had to wear that hat! :D
Here's some of my favorites from the day. <3 <3 <3
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
When I first met Valentina the pigaroo at the Boston Spring Pignic this past June, I was instantly drawn to her. When I found out that she had four pigaroo sisters, I insisted that all of them needed to come for a photo shoot.
And they DID!Read More
A few weeks ago I got a delightful Facebook message that read something along the lines of, "My girlfriend's birthday is next month and since our little darlings are getting on in age I figured the best present for her would be a lovely photo of our ratty rats. Any interest?"
Um, do you know me? Yes, absolutely yes. Never any question, yes.
We surreptitiously plotted a time and date that would work for both of us, and I promised to not post any of the photos until after the big reveal.
SO MUCH PATIENCE I HAD TO HAVE! But now, I am tickled, I am overjoyed, I am ecstatic to present to you the portraits of the two white Fancy Rats: Andromeda and Nebula.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
Yesterday I got the chance to photograph one of my favorite pigaroos in New England: Jack Pawkins. I met Jack last year for our Thankspigging photoshoot, and he was such a little babe.
Sadly, Jack just lost one of his best friends in the whole world: Pip Pirrip Jackson, who was one of the greatest pigaroos to have ever lived. But, he also recently acquired a new buddy bud, the infamous Nicholas Piggleby.
When Jack and Nicky's mom Rhonda first told me about Nicky, she said, "He's a runner, make sure you bring a box."
I was expecting that he would be quite the handful, but as it would turn out, he was an absolute darling.
Here's the rest of the photos from their big photoshoot day!! <3
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
Sitting down to write this is undoubtedly one of the hardest things I've ever done. Something so small shouldn't have this much impact on your life right?
When Ginger came into my life, he changed everything.
Many of you know the story of Cinnamon, the lovely lady pig we adopted from MSPCA-Angell and who subsequently gave birth to four stowaways a handful of weeks later...well, Ginger was one of the four stowaways, alongside Clove, Sassafras, and Nutmeg.
When he was born in Chimæric's and my living room, we didn't know that he was a boar. We didn't know he would be the only boar. We named him Ginger because of the tint of his fur and slowly watched him grow up.
Three weeks later, we were quite surprised when he started trying to mount his mother. We looked at each other and said "yup, time to move him." At the same point, Chimæric turned to me and said...well, do you want to be the one to take care of him?
Yes yes yes yes yes yes a million times yes.
Since he wasn't female, we went from calling him Ginger to "Little Man" and then "The Ginge."
He was grateful for this, I'm sure.
He lived as a solitary pig for the whole summer. As a new guinea pig owner, I wasn't fully aware of how sad they can be when they are on their own. He and I cuddled every night and he seemed happy...but then I realized that he was starting to become more and more lethargic.
In early September I began the search for Ginge's brother, which was far more difficult than I could've known ahead of time. There were no single boars within 200 miles of Boston at any of the shelters or rescues, which I doubt was actually true but I blame advertising. So, I turned to Craigslist.
Within a few days I found a 2 month old pigaroo named Max. He had been living with a boar who had been bullying him, but since the little boy preferred the bully pig, Max had to go. I swooped in and now Max was part of the family.
After a 2 week quarantine period and another week of shaky introductions, Max and Ginge officially became roommates.
Insta-best pigaroo buds. Plus, Ginge's energy level was nonstop for the next 3 years.
Ginge was an odd pigaroo who had boundless energy. For some reason his little paws were always super hot, so he would cool himself off by standing in or on things...especially if they were ceramic or pre-chilled. I think he also wanted a higher vantage point from which to view the world (and to see if there were any treats approaching).
He also did this trick where he would stand on his back legs and beg for food, showing off his perfect little tummy.
He was a pigaroo with so much personality...anytime I had an idea for a photoshoot or a video, I would always cast him as the wily protagonist. For a guinea pig, his face was so expressive...you could always tell what he was thinking.
Here is a highlight reel all of all his best moments on film <3
For three years, he was also the main instigator on my guinea pig-themed Facebook page The Wheekly.
I know I'm biased, but I don't think there's ever been a pigaroo quite like the Ginge, nor will there ever be again. He's the main reason why guinea pigs are such an important part of my life, despite their diminutive height and too short lifespans.
Ginge died suddenly around noon on July 8th. I woke up that morning to find him puffed up and looking miserable, and we took him to VCA Wakefield immediately. They gave him fluids and some pain meds and told us to bring him back if he took a downward turn. The doctor said she was uncertain if he would make it through the night, but no one knew exactly what was wrong with him...he had even been to the vet a month before for a full checkup and received a clean bill of health. *sigh*
We never even left the parking lot. He started making horrendous whimpering noises then stopped breathing. I ran him back inside but it was already too late. My little love was gone.
And that's the thing with guinea pigs. They often come into our lives unexpectedly and leave the same way.
I had so many beautiful moments with this tiny babe. He was spoiled and over-cuddled (if that's a thing). I have no regrets...but I will miss him for the rest of my life.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
**Disclaimer, this is the kitty aspect of the Ohio tale, for the human side, check out joeyphoenix.com in the next day or so.
Twice now I have helped a cat-loving someone relocate their life to a different state. The first time it was the eponymous cat Stanley, who continues to thrive in Portland, OR with the darling Caroline. This time it was the distinguished 13 year old tuxedo cat Sebastian and his dear owner Sierra.
The original plan was that the two of us would ride in the cab of the U-Haul with Sebastian and tow the car behind us, but they gave her the wrong truck and then one thing led to another and I ended up driving her car. It was probably for the best, as it would give kitty kitty more space to breathe.
We left Salem on Saturday July 2nd mid-afternoon and made our first stop in Catskill, NY. That's right CAT-SKILL, thus, the land of educated and highly talented felines. This is not to be confused with CATS-KILL, NY where more rugged kitties go to test their strength in thunderdome style arenas.
I rest my case.
Giving Sebastian the chance to run around and do cat-like things inside the house, Sierra, myself, and our dear host took a stroll over to the other side of the creek. While strolling about, taking in the scenery, we met our host's dad and a most exceptional pup, Brynna - A 15 year old Border Collie who was a touch camera shy but still adorable.
We followed the pup and dad and host inside to meet a couple more fuzzballs: Luna and Kanje, who are living like royalty in their forest paradise.
So, back to Sebastian.
We all made it to Ohio safe and sound, and despite being excessively scared of things being moved and shifted around when we unloaded the truck, he seemed to warm up to the space (and to me) quite quickly.
By the last day, he was spending a lot of time in the guest room with me while Sierra slept. He obviously wanted food and more belly rubs, but I took the opportunity to photograph his adorable face.
Sierra adopted Sebastian from the Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, MA 3 or so years ago. She told me that she had been there for 5 1/2 hours, determined to pet every cat there before making a final decision. Sebastian was the second to last cat, and she knew immediately that he was the one for her. Seeing the two of them together, I know she definitely made the right choice. He's a perfect darling and such a sweetie.
I'm certain that he will greatly appreciate his time as a midwestern kitty, and will spend endless hours watching birds through the broad eastern windows.
To see the photos in HI-res ---> Click Here.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
Several weeks ago I received a photo inquiry from Henry's mom, Sherri. She told me that she adopted him from the PetSmart shelter 12 years ago, and that Henry also had a rare and fatal disease known as Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and didn't have much time left.
My heart broke, I immediately found a spot in my schedule (no brainer) that worked for both of us in late April.
Come to find out, Henry did not in fact have FIP, but instead something equally sinister - Metastatic Colon Cancer. Fortunately, Sherri was able to implement a number of different treatments, including a successful Vitamin C treatment, that not only extended his beautiful life, but made his final weeks much more comfortable
From the moment I met Henry, I fell head over heels. Henry is a regal cat, the kind of kitty who lets other cats know he's in charge without lifting a paw. Two of Sherri's other cats, James and Toby, despite being quite nasty to each other, did nothing but show deference to Henry whenever he was present. It was obvious they knew Henry was boss, even in his weakened state.
I approached him slowly, not wanting to upset him in any manner. He waited patiently, obviously not threatened at all by my presence. When I reached up to pet him and scratch behind his ears, he purred triumphantly. "Yes, human," he seemed to say, "This is what I wanted, do not stop."
What I loved most about photographing this darling was the distinctiveness of his face. His yellow eyes peer knowingly out from above decadent whiskers, and his heart shaped head is perpetually cocked to the side in observation. The little white soul patch beneath his mouth adds a touch of joviality to a fully black visage, as if to say, "take me seriously, but not too seriously."
There is something unique and wonderful about tuxedo cats. It's as if they are always wearing their finery in a way that's both smart and casual. They can be dressed up or dressed down in any setting, but without doubt they are always the best dressed.
In between snapping photos of his handsome demeanor, I would pause for belly rubs and chin rubs and Henry would eat up the attention. Such a charmer that one.
A week before the shoot, Henry's mom had started to give him a Vitamin C treatment in an attempt to boost his immune system. The doctor had given him less than 2 weeks to live, and by the time I met him he was reaching the end of that duration. Yet, despite looking a little boney, he seemed happy and alert, ready to rule his kingdom.
When I returned a couple of weeks later to visit Sherri for tea and talk about which photos were her favorite for prints, Henry was still purring nobly, although he looked a little more ragged around the edges. He had gone in for additional treatment and the fur on his legs was partially shaved. Yet, that didn't stop him from doing one of his favorite things: hopping into the sink for a little drink and a cool down.
Henry passed away the morning of June 16 in his mother's arms, living for 7 weeks and 6 dayslonger than anyone thought he was technically supposed to. Sherri had told me over and over again how he had been her favorite cat, the one who had always understood her and was there for her on her bad days, and her good ones. Henry was the kind of cat that you'll never be able to forget...and there is no question that wherever he is now, he is ruling all the felines in his domain with compassion and grandeur.
I feel so privileged to have had the chance to meet Henry and know him for those few short weeks. My life has been enriched by knowing him, the cat who would be king.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
"If there ever comes a day when can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." - A.A. Milne
The first time I saw her I knew she was special. Her spiky red and white and beige fur was sticking up in a thousand directions, and her sour expression made her look more porcupine than pig. They told me her name was Cinnamon though she was 6 months old (but weren't quite sure) and was the kind of pig who would never stop talking.
I liked her immediately.
When we brought her (and her bonded mate Saffron) home from MSPCA-Angell and started getting to know her, we were delighted by her voracious appetite. The sound of the fridge opening or a bag rustling was enough to send her running across the cage wheeking and popcorning in gleeful anticipation. We also noticed that the more she ate the more she grew, until one day she could no longer fit in her tube.
She had become convex nearly overnight.
Cinnamon, you're obese! We teased, and considered putting her on a diet until reality dropped seventeen floors into our laps.
Some investigation would prove that she had been carrying stowaways the entire time.
Terrified by what we're getting into as first time guinea pig parents (and soon to be grandparents!), we watched her almost round the clock for three weeks. We gave her treats, made sure she had more than enough hay and water, we rubbed her tummy, gave her massages...until one morning we awoke to the most beautiful of surprises.
Four little fur-buds: Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove, and Sassafras.
Those teensy weensy pups followed her around for 3 weeks until we discovered one was a boy who was getting frisky and we decided it was time to separate them and give Cinnamon long overdue mommy alone time.
In 2013 we moved to Salem and had a year and half of mostly uninterrupted bliss. She was happy, constantly demanding food, and despised being picked up. Although, once you got her swaddled into a towel on your lap she would coo and purr like she was the most pleased pigaroo who ever graced this big blue planet. She spent her days lounging in her hutch, wheeking loudly at meal time (or whenever she thought there was a treat coming her way).
She was living the guinea pig life of legend.
In early 2015 things started to take a turn downwards. We would hear her at night spasming and screeching in obvious pain, sometimes seizing and knocking the hutch around the cage. We took her to the vet close to where we live and they confirmed they she had developed sizable ovarian cysts and would need operation. Unfortunately, the vet we spoke to mishandled her so badly during the visit (she obviously had little experience with exotics) that Cinnamon refused to be touched for several days afterwards.
A friend of ours recommended that we try VCA Wakefield Animal Hospital, and we are to this day infinitely grateful for that recommendation. Dr. Franquin treated Cinnamon with such patience and care, holding her against her chest and saying sweet things. Dr. Franquin was pregnant at the time of the first visit, and it seemed that Cinnamon felt that motherly kindred spirit and relaxed against her.
Dr. Franquin confirmed the diagnosis but said that the cysts weren't at the moment life threatening. She said our options were surgery or hormonal injections because as long as the cysts were there and continued to grow they would be problematic. We told her that we needed some time to think things over because operations can be life threatening, and we weren't sure if we were ready to take that risk.
She sent us home with metacam (pain meds) and said if the seizures continued or if Cinnamon began to lose hair or stop eating to bring her back in immediately.
Cinnamon has always been strong (and strong-willed) and over the next few months she seemed to be improving. She ate heartily and her crazy sheep-like fur stayed in tact, unlike her daughter Sassafras who soon began to decline. She also had ovarian cysts, and needed surgery immediately. Also, out of nowhere, we lost Clove - unexpected sudden organ failure. September and October were miserable for us.
Fortunately, Sassafras did recover from her surgery (thanks to the loving hands of VCA's Dr. Corcoran) and began to bounce back. Since we had just lost one piggie, and Sassy proved that successful surgery could happen, we decided to go ahead with Cinnamon's surgery as well.
The problem was, by this point (and having racked up $2,000+ in vet bills) we were broke.
I launched a Fundly page called "Help Make Cinnamon Well Again" asking for $500 to help subsidize the $800 surgery. I didn't know what to expect, I had never asked for help like this before. I just knew that we needed to do what we could to make her well.
To my immense happiness, the campaign was fully funded within 72 hours. She was going to be ok. I still have so much gratitude to the people who reached out helping hands to make this possible. You saved her. You gave her the change to be with us for these last few months.
Her surgery went off with out a hitch. Dr. Corcoran said that she was the easiest surgery patient he has ever dealt with. I knew she must have charmed him with her chubby chubby cheeks. Even the recovery went well. She was eating normally within a day of coming home and she was back in with Saffron by the end of the week.
And for the last few months, she's been her normal bristly self, in every sense of the word.
Last night came as a surprise to us, as although she'd been a little lazy recently she hadn't given us any reason to think she was unwell. We think she may have suffered a heart attack, and there's nothing we could've done to foresee or prevent this terrible thing from happening. As my friend told me this morning, maybe she was needed somewhere else.
Maybe she missed Clove. Who knows. All I can hope is that she didn't suffer, and that we were able to provide some degree of comfort and happiness to her while she was here with us.
Over the last 4 1/2 years she has been the inspiration for countless images and videos and has become beloved by all who have seen her tubby face and crazy sheep fur. She was one of the first pets I photographed, and I have her to thank for me falling head over heels for this kind of life.
I'm so grateful she picked us. It's incredibly difficult for me to write this because I miss her so much and I will continue to miss her for the rest of my life...but I'm also thankful to have had the time with her that I did. I'm surrounded by images of her, and in a way, she'll never really leave.
Here are a few of the things she and I have made over the last few years.
I love you forever, Cinnamon Bear.
© 2016 Salem Pet Photo
I saw them again at the Fall Pignic, and Doug mentioned that he had an older pup named Tahoe that he would love for me to photograph. At first I was merely curious, that is until he told me that Tahoe was a 9 year old Golden.
Every Golden Retriever I have ever met has been an absolute darling, and Tahoe is no different. When I walked in the front door, he immediately greeting me by sticking his little nose to my knee and wagging his tail in obvious delight. My heart melted.
What's more, it was the most beautiful day. It was late Autumn, the yellow leaves covered the chilly ground and the sun was shining bright. It seemed the world was trying it's hardest to be like Tahoe.
After the shoot, Doug sent me a picture of Tahoe when he was 3, and I paired it next to a picture from our session. He's become so handsome and so happy as he's gotten older.
Many people don't realize how wonderful and special older dogs can be. They are attracted by the allure of new puppies...but old dogs are calm and sweet, and often have lost their families not because of anything they've done, but because a family member had died and no one could take care of the sweetie.
Anyways, the love of an older dog is a strong one...especially if it's a darling Golden like Tahoe.
© 2015 Joey Phoenix Photography
Perfection has little to do with beauty...in fact, it can easily be argued that it's the imperfections, the unique attributes of a being that make it noticeable, that make it admirable...
That make it beautiful.
I met and fell in love with a cat a couple weeks ago when I was photographing and him and his fur-moms for their Christmas card. When I came into the house, he was naturally terrified of me...and sprinted up to the upstairs bedroom to cower beneath the bed. I wasn't offended. I'm 12 times his size.
Calmly, with a non-verbal apology in my body language for how I smelled and looked and sounded, I followed him upstairs and introduced him to my camera. Eventually his terror transitioned into cool indifference...and I only admired him more.
Ninja is a cat with well-defined tastes and a strong sense of self. His favorite things in the world are chin scratches, his little brown bunny, and the sound of a tuna can being opened.
Several years ago, when he was a scruffy little guy living with one of his Moms in California, he got into a scuffle with another cat in the house. The scuffle led to an infection that would eventually take his eye. But, Ninja never let a little thing like perfect sight hold him back. Soon after, he made the cross country trip with his Mom and moved to New England.
He's obviously much more suited to the cool calculated cucumber temperament of Massachusetts than to the laissez-faire absurdities of Californ-i-a.
Ninja will love you, Ninja will deign to approve of your existence, Ninja will be mad if you try to pick him up.
He is a cat who knows what he wants. And I adore him for it.
© 2015 Salem Pet Photo
Did you know that Salem Pet Photo makes house calls? That's right. We will come to your house, set up a backdrop and/or follow your animal around to take pictures like these. Contact us today to inquire about a session of your own.
For all the photos of this lovely darling, click Here.
"This is my baby. His name is Chase. Chase is silly, joyous, cuddly, gentle and kind. He is more than a dog. Chase is our family. He is better than any person I have ever met. I love that these pictures show him with the big goofy smile that wakes me up every morning, with that waggy tongue that licks my face clean to start the day, and yes then I go wash it. He has brought such happiness to our life, more than he could possibly know. But that's his job. He's just a dog.
Thank you Joey Phoenix. I could not have hoped to have captured his spirit and light so beautifully." ~Michelle
Chase was the most darling of pups to photograph. I decorated this pictures with rainbow brightness because that's just who he is. I'm delighted to share them all with you now. <3
© 2015 Salem Pet Photo
"Try to be like the turtle -- at ease in your own shell..." - Bill Copeland
So last week we left you wondering what the size and shape of the turtles' new digs would be. Well, the wait is over. The materials arrived, coffee tables were purchased, various and sundry decorative (and practical) items were installed. It was like HGTV Red Eared Slider Style.
It all began with a coffee table, picked up from Witch City Consignment for $20, and a sizeable Exo Terra Bent Glass Turtle Aquarium from Dr. Fosters and Smith for a bit more.
Next to arrive were the turtle river pebbles, decorative basking platform with built-in filter, extra filters, additional basking platform, floating decorative log and hiding place, and the heater.
After opening everything up and inspecting for damage, we set about to cleaning. Unfortunately, the Zilla Basking Platform Filter had a piece missing (it had snapped off en route) from the bottom front. However, since it wasn't going to affect the filtration process we decided it would be best to go ahead and use it and just plug up the hole with a medium-sized rock. It's harmless, but we didn't want any little turtle parts getting curious, and as a result, getting stuck.
Now, in cleaning and maintaining turtle equipment, it's absolutely essential that you don't use soap. It's white vinegar only, and lots and lots of rinsing. We began with the tank, scrubbing down the sides and removing all the styrofoam bits, rinsed it a bagillion times (ok like three, just until the vinegar smell was gone), and then moved on to the rest of the implements.
Once the pebbles were set, we added all of the rest of the magic and turned on the filter. We had to wait until the water heater became "accustomed" to the water before we turned it on (a 30 minute process), but we dumped water in that was between 78 and 82 degrees, with the aid of a handy candy thermometer, so that the turtles wouldn't have to wait.
Chimæric filmed as I transported Phineas and Disco to their new digs.
They were super wigged at first, thrashing about and wondering what on earth had happened to their old environment. Then, once they realized that more space didn't mean instant death, they came around and started exploring.
Photos by Chimæric
One thing we noticed, however, immediately after we put them in the tank was that the rocks were too small. We knew this because the little guys were desperately trying to eat them, and almost succeeding. We checked the bag, and realized that we had picked up pebbles suitable for turtles less than 4 inches...and these turtles were at least 6 inches.
Moving quickly, we took the turtles out, and then set to pulling all of those rocks we had so carefully placed in the tank. Chimæric went to the Doctors Foster and Smith website, fast track ordered a larger pebble variety, while I put some large rocks in the bottom of the tank for the time being.
Two days later, a new package arrived and we were able to remedy the situation.
Although they tried to eat these pebbles too, they weren't quite able to do it. Apparently they also try to eat/move rocks when they're bored...there's a whole wide world of turtle behavior that I have yet to learn.
The weekend of June 5, 6, and 7 Salem Pet Photo joined up with Creative Salem for the 2015 Salem Arts Festival. We set up between Derby Square and Artists' Row, and in addition to the debut of the Salem Pet Photo Booth, there was also art by Deanna Jacome, Allison White, caricatures by Josh Madruga, and the Creative Salem 3x5 Art table as part of the Interactive Experience.
When I first proposed the idea to the Creative Salem president back in March, I wasn't certain if I was going to actually be able to pull off a full photo booth. In the past I had done small-scale photo booths, mainly for Guinea Pigs, and in theory I figured it would work. I just needed a backdrop, backdrop stand, lights, a tent, a second table, a bench, extra blankets, a professional quality printer, high gloss photo paper, photo sleeves, a whole lot of planning and determination...
And yes, I also needed a sign.
Fortunately, thanks to the kindness of my friends and family, and some timely photo gigs, I was able to get all the equipment I needed within a few days of the festival. That just left one thing...
Making the Sign
My dear Chimæric pointed this out to me a few days before the festival...people weren't going to know what I was doing if I didn't label the booth. He came up with the idea of creating an old-fashioned carnival-inspired sign to hang from the tent (like the example on the left).
So I went to Home Depot with the mission to grab some paint, a couple of brushes, and a long lean plank of wood. Home Depot is a place that generally terrifies me, but I've recently come to see it as more of a turbo-infused art supply store so it's slightly less intimidating.
Fortunately I was able to acquire these things on my list, and on Friday night (yes the night before the beginning of the festival) Chimæric and our designer friend Jamie set to work while I packed everything I needed for the next day. Procrastination is truly an art form, in my humble opinion.
Day 1 we just had the first piece, and I spent many of my spare moments using gaffer's tape to stick it to the tent so that it wouldn't fall on any festival goers. It was less than ideal.
That night we went back to Home Depot for some eye hooks, more twine, some jack chain, and a second piece of wood (for the price!) It worked quite a bit better.
The Photo Booth was a huge success. The first day we had about 20 pups, and the second day more than twice that. The second day we also had two snakes and a guinea pig come to visit, which is a bit extraordinary I think. Most people don't take snakes out for a walk.
There are some improvements to be made, like getting a more neutral backdrop and sturdier backdrop stand, but that's not difficult. I plan to take this setup to events all over New England, starting this year. Recently I've found out that I've been chosen to bring my booth to the New England Pet Expo in Wilmington, MA on September 19th of this year. It's a huge event, and an absolute honor to be included.
Because, honestly, I need more pets in my life. :D
Behind the Scenes
Here are some photos of how the booth looks in its current state, some improvements yet to be made!
Photos by Abbie Loewenstein
Pet Photo Gallery!
Without further ado...
A HUGE thank you to Creative Salem for letting me be a part of this year's festivities, and for letting me debut my photo booth in style!
Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. - James Bryant Conant
A few months ago I had the privilege of meeting and photographing Annie and her two red-eared sliders Disco (left) and Phineas. It was one of the most fun and adorable shoots of my life, especially considering I'd never before photographed reptiles, let alone spent much time around them. Check out the whole "Princess and the Turtles" shoot Here.
Needless to say I sorta fell in love with the adorable little guys. So, when Annie mentioned that she would be leaving the country for several months, I immediately suggested that I would be willing to look after them. I mean, I kinda have my hands full already with seven guinea pigs, but the last thing I wanted was for Annie to have to give up her turtles (animals known to live up to 50 years or more) when she will be perfectly able to care for them when she got back.
Besides fostering is fun. :D
After a few weeks, she called me to see if I would still do it. I said, of course, and then on a drizzly Sunday went to go scoop them up from her apartment. 1 all-glass tank, 8 heavy rocks and a couple of smaller ones, a filter, shell maintenance ointment, water purifier, two medium containers of pellets, a bucket, a heat lamp, and two 6 inch turtles in a large metal soup pot were transported to my house. Annie showed us how to set everything up, how to feed them (once every two days, and separate from their tank so as not to make a mess), and gave us some info on when to turn the lamp on (it mimics the sun woot!).
The only snafu of the adventure was that the filter she had picked up needed a minimum water level much higher than what was conducive for the turtles. It's more suitable for fish, really. After saying her quick farewells to her kids, she thanked me profusely and then I took her home.
When I got back to my house, I found my boyfriend pacing back and forth, deliberating over whether or not this was a good idea after all. I mean, he had a point, we hadn't asked the landlords first – which is a serious no no when bringing pets home (even if they're only going to be staying for a while). He also didn't like the idea that the turtles were in a tank sitting on the ground, which could be a leaking hazard if the tank cracked. Our landlords also live beneath us so we didn't to surprise them with accidental water damage. He also raised a few other concerns which I thought were legitimate. I assured him that if we got the landlords' approval, then we would work to rectify the situation.
Fortunately, the landlords were ok with everything and Disco and Phineas were in the clear. They'll be with us until December 31 (or so), so we figured it was best just to make sure. We also started making a turtle shopping list. What could we do to make their lives better? I mean, it's a huge transition moving to a new house, and they probably missed their human Mom a lot, so we decided that the best way to help them along was simply to spoil them rotten.
The goals: more space to swim, more space to bask (you can see them cuddling above, which is probably more out of necessity than affection), some way to monitor water temperature, some elevation (no tanks on the ground), and places to hide.
With plans made, and general anxiety abated, we all felt a little better.
Stay tuned until next week to see what we came up with!
More Blog Posts from Salem Pet Photo
For Puppy Mill Awareness Day 2014, I was hanging out on Salem Commons with all the puppies for PMAD Salem. In addition to photographing the event, I also donated a complementary pet photo session for the raffle.
Little did I know that I was about to meet some of the best fur-babies, and one of the best people, living in Salem.
Abbie, an ambassador for Bunnies in Baskets, was the winner of the raffle prize. She is the mother of two adorable therapy bunnies: Poppy and Pumpkin.
I got in touch with her and we set up a bunny play date. I've photographed bunnies in the past, and every time I meet a new bunny, I realize how much I adore them. I'm convinced that, next to guinea pigs, they are the best pets (but don't tell the other animals I said so).
I must tell you, it's pure joy laying down in the grass with bunnies hopping around you. Pumpkin, the dominant bun in this pair, stayed close to me, investigating my camera to see if it was edible. Poppy, on the other hand, was leading her mom around on the leash, exploring the limits of the yard and having loads of fun in the autumn sunshine.
Abbie and I and the two furry ladies had such a blast during this shoot that we decided to have a part 2 in January of this year. She had talked about wanting to introduce Poppy and Pumpkin to the snow, and we decided to develop and art concept to go along with the plan.
Introducing the Rabbit Queen:
To find out more about Bunnies in Baskets: Check out their Website www.bunniesinbaskets.org
Abbie will also soon be starting her own Therapy Bunny Business! Stay tuned for more info.
© 2015 Salem Pet Photo
On Saturday, January 31 I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours at MSPCA at Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA for the annual Festival of Flight! The festival is celebrated each year in honor of January being Adopt a Bird Month!
The training and education room was filled to the brim with feather-friendly vendors, raising funds to support the MSPCA's homeless birds. There were also two doves on display, including a 22 year old darling with the whitest of feathers, as well as a rooster on walkabout. The little guy was too distracted by the newspaper to give me a proper hello. I don't blame him, newspaper is weird.
It was a small but fun event, but don't take my word for it, check out the photos!
Stay tuned, because on March 7, Nevins is hosting GUINEA PIG DAY! Which, if you know me, is right up my alley.
© 2015 Joey Phoenix Photography
Stanley the cat is one of few cats to travel cross country by car, and still retain his sense of humor.
Here is his story.Read More