The fake room – Pet photography by Michael Kloth

It’s not that I’ve grown tired of using paper seamless backgrounds when I take photos of the animals at the humane society, but every now and again I feel the need to try something new.  Currently I’m working on the fake room.  As always, I want to feature each animal using an uncluttered backdrop so that potential adopters can’t be distracted by the living situation each animal faces in the humane society but rather, I want each photo to be only about the dog, cat or other critter featured.  The fake room is a work in progress as it’s rather cumbersome to transport, set up and break down at the humane society but I think it will see a fair bit of use over the summer.  My thought on the fake room is that it might help potential adopters to envision the featured animal as a pet rather than as an animal in need of a home.  It would be great if it helps spark increased interest in some of the great dogs and cats.  If not, well, at least I’ll enjoy a bit of variety.

So what do you think?  Any feedback is appreciated.

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This is the first time I set up the fake room at the humane society. It worked fine but took 30 minutes to set up.

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Spring helping me try out the fake room at home before bringing it to the humane society.

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Lyle wasn't a big fan but then again, he doesn't care for the regular set up either.

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Head shot of Lyle in the fake room.

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Maebe wasn't a fan either but photo shoots make her a bit nervous even when she's laying on the ground.

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Anything goes for Spring - she's always ready to model for me so long as I pay her for her services.

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Swapping looks is as easy as putting up new wall paper. This wall paper was probably on the clearance rack for a reason.

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The wood tiles are 1' square tiles from Lowe's and cost $0.72 each.

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It quickly became clear that I'll need to pay closer attention to keeping the molding level in the frame.

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Detail shot of Spring on the floor.

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Happy Gotcha Day Mr. Lyle – Pet photography by Michael Kloth

It was nine years ago today that Robin and I bought home an impossibly skinny puppy that we eventually named Lyle.  We’d been thinking it was time to adopt a friend for our precious Little Bit and I think it was on our second visit to the Lexington Humane Society that we met the puppy that was to become Lyle.  It’s hard to fully describe Lyle – he’s like no other dog I’ve ever known and we are lucky to have him in our pack.  We adopted Lyle about a year before I bought the camera that led to my current profession so we don’t have many photos of him as a puppy but he has been well photographed over most of his life.  I’ll leave you then with a slideshow of Lyle over the years.

Happy gotcha day Lyle!  May the next nine years be as good!

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Shelter Pets limited edition canvas prints on sale now – Pet photography by Michael Kloth

Did you get the chance to see the Shelter Cats – Larger than Life Exhibit in March?  Did you wish you could buy one of the limited edition gallery wrapped canvas prints but didn’t know how?  Well now’s the time.  Today through May 27, 2011, the remaining prints from the exhibition will be sold for the sale prices of $175 for the 20″ square and $200 for the 20″ x 30″ prints.  A portion of each print sale will be donated to the shelter that cared for the animal featured in the print.

Print sale – Images by Michael Kloth

Price does not include Washington State sales tax or shipping.  Local print sales will be hand delivered while others will be shipped via UPS.  Email me at info@michaelklothphotography.com with inquiries and please include a phone number with a convenient time for a return call.  I accept cash, check, Visa, Discover Card, MasterCard and Paypal.

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Ridge Dogs – Professional Pet Photography by Michael Kloth

Coyote Ridge Corrections Center - Ridge Dogs

On its most basic level, the program is about redemption.

Dogs brought to the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter in Pasco, WA, by animal control are not always immediately adoptable.   Anyone that has ever visited the shelter knows that it is a very stressful place for a dog to live and some dogs do not handle that stress well.  While the shelter uses every resource available to ensure all of their dogs find homes, the sad reality is that sometimes they are faced with the difficult decision of euthanizing difficult to place dogs.   Thanks to the Ridge Dogs program, they now have another tool at their disposal giving their dogs a chance to thrive before they find their forever home.

The Ridge Dogs program is a joint venture between the A2Z Animal Sheltering Services (the current contract holder for the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter & Control), the Washington Department of CorrectionsCoyote Ridge Corrections Center and Speak Dog.

I’ve been talking with Speak Dog owner Krystal Ellingson for a number of months about the program she started at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center.  With my schedule and with the required background check, Wednesday was the first opportunity I had to witness the program for myself.  I have to say that I am impressed.

Even before learning about the details of the program, I knew it would be a huge benefit for the dogs – after all, getting them out of a noisy and intimidating kennel to train them has obviously got to increase their chances of not only being adopted, but also to increase the chance that each adoption is more successful.   I also had a pretty good idea that the program would be good for the inmates involved because lets face it, dogs are special and they are great companions.  Still, I didn’t realize just how important this program is to the men at Coyote Ridge.  It seems that the dogs have a real calming influence in the prison and I was told on more than one occasion that since the first dogs arrived in December 2010, there have been fewer fights among inmates.  Granted, I didn’t receive any official numbers regarding in-prison violence from the Department of Corrections but even the perceived reduction in violence can be a very good thing because that perception can lead to real improvements in prison-wide safety.  It is clear to me that while the men are teaching the dogs to be better dogs, the dogs are teaching their handlers to be better men.

This program is good for our community and I hope that it continues to build on its early success.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I leave you today with a gallery of images from my first session.  I hope you enjoy!


Coyote Ridge Corrections Center – Images by Michael Kloth

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Book Signing Saturday at the Kennewick Barnes & Noble – Author and Pet Photographer Michael Kloth

I think there might be a trend forming here.  Book signing at Barnes & Noble, crazy running planned.  The first time I had a book signing at the Columbia Center Mall Barnes & Noble, I ran a marathon.  Tomorrow’s book signing?  Same day as the 15K Badger Mountain Challenge with over 2000 feet of elevation gain (and descent).  One could reasonably conclude that I might be kind of a glutton for punishment.

Naomi photographed 9/15/10

Whether I’m crazy or not, I’m hoping for a good turnout at tomorrow’s book signing (2:00 to 4:00 pm).  It’s not so much about Shelter Cats as it is about the shelter cats that will be there with me.   Don’t come to see me (although I’d love to say hello), but come for Naomi.  I first photographed her back on September 15, 2010 so she’s been waiting for quite some time to find her forever home.  Maybe tomorrow will be the day.

Who else will be there?  Well, you’re just going to have to come see for yourself.  I hope to see you there!

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