We had a fab time on Tuesday night 10th September at the opening of CREATURE FEATURE at the Epson Print Gallery - Team Digital. Sincere thanks to everyone who came along and supported us, and the charities represented. Was lovely to see so many friends, clients and new faces too. I really enjoyed chatting to people about the incredible fine art Canson paper as well – it’s so beautiful and did the prints justice and then some! And the best news is, we sold half the images in the first hour! Thanks to the Team Digital Team as well for being such a fab sponsor for Houndstooth Studio. There are still some pics available and the exhibition runs until 10th October, so please call in and check it out. You can visit during Team Digital’s opening hours. Part proceeds go to Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA, Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, SAFE Perth – Saving Perth Animals from Euthanasia, Bali Animal Welfare Association and Malubillai Wildlife Carers Network. For further info check out the event page here
Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
TONIGHT!! Come along to the opening of CREATURE FEATURE on Tuesday 10th Sept at 6:30pm. An exhibition showcasing 20 of my favourite rescue works, at the Epson Print Gallery, Team Digital 268 Lord Street, East Perth. All prints will be signed and for sale as limited editions of ONE ONLY! Part proceeds to five animal charities - Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA, Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre , the Bali Animal Welfare Association, SAFE Perth – Saving Perth Animals from Euthanasia, Malubillai Wildlife Carers Network. Love to see you all there. Check out the event page to RSVP https://www.facebook.com/events/603829599655107/
It’s been another crazy year for Debora and me at Houndstooth Studio.
Our travels took us to Bali (to photograph for the Bali Animal Welfare Association), Cambodia (to photograph for Wildlife Alliance, Free the Bears and For the Animals), Norfolk Island (to stay with our dear friend Sorrel Wilby and her fab family), Cairns (to photograph crocs and cassowary’s), Melbourne (to hosting an exhibition of our Bali images at the Bali Street Dog Nights event), and Tasmania (to photograph for Brightside Farm Sanctuary). Between these trips and our wonderful studio clients, we photographed more than 1200 animals, including dogs, cats, mice, ferrets, donkeys, monkeys, sugar gliders, rats, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, birds, turtles, possums, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes and lizards. Naming them all one by one is a whole other post, haha!
There were TV appearances, business and photographic awards , images published in books and on magazine covers, photos going viral online and viewed by millions, and over a dozen media articles written about our work and studio. This was all fabulous recognition for what we do…
…but the three most important things for us in 2012 involved charity, friendship and a new pup:
GIVING BACK – Charity
Giving back is a large part of what we do. We are compelled to use our images to contribute to the greater good, and this is something we value greatly. Janice Girardi, founder and director of BAWA paid me the greatest compliment earlier this year by saying “Alex does not choose to adopt an animal charity in order to promote the social conscience of her business – she is the social conscience of her business. Her actions are living proof of this.”
In 2012 Houndstooth Studio donated in excess of $500,000 worth of photography services, images, vouchers and/or sponsorship to over 40 state, national and international animal charity organisations. Whilst this makes us very proud, it pales in comparison to how privileged we feel to work with these amazing groups and people who are changing the world. You are our heroes.
Speaking of People….
KINDRED SPIRTS – Friendship
Working with animals 24/7 brings the amazing bonus of meeting many like-minded ‘animal people’. We are blessed to call these people our friends – Janice and Kim from the Bali Animal Welfare Assocition, Anne Fulwood, Emma and Lizie from Brightside Farm Sanctuary, Jen Skiff author of the Divinity of Dogs, Cam the Badpiper, Dave, Geoff and Sahara from Diggers Herding, Amy and crew from Animal Amnesty, Rebecca from For the Animals, Suwanna from Wildlife Alliance, Suzie from Animism, Rach and Dave, Dr Tiff from Kalamunda Vet, Debra from Oscar’s Law, Morgan Marks, Christine from Keep Talking, Jayne from Heart of Horsemanship, Matt from Free The Bears, Lisa Baker MLA, all of the dedicated staff and vollies who give their time to the charities we work with (Bob, Colin, Karen, Pat, Mel Y, Gaye, Ruth, Nicole, Dave, Liisa, David S, Roz, Nat F, other Nat, Tan, Nick, Edie, Sue, Melita, Katrina, Anita, Cate, Dana, Ash, Mel J, Paula, Sue, Nicole T, Carmen, Lyn, Karen, Sue T, Sharyn, Lisa C, Lisa R, Jeff, Dave T, Jan, Lora, Donna, Kerryn, Helena, Tina, Deanna), our Team Houndstooth members (Dan, Vicki, Talita, Anj, Shannon and Caitlin), and the countless others. You are all family.
PIP THE PUP
Possibly THE BEST event of 2012 was adopting our puppy Pip from Greyhound Angels. She is indeed an angel herself and brings joy, love and light wherever she goes, even in her moments of bouncy puppy madness. We love her more than anything and she makes our home complete.
THE GOOD WITH THE SAD
2012 also brought some sad times and we know for some it was a year they would rather forget. In May my dear friend Richard Barry, a talented photographer and rising star, took his own life. Our BAWA photo exhibition, held just 3 weeks later, was dedicated to him and when his lovely wife Sam won the huge raffle prize, I wondered if maybe he was somewhere there too. I miss him every day yet am grateful for the new friends I’ve connected with since his death, who were his friends too. It’s nice to know that even in the darkest times, there are shinning lights.
There was an outpouring of grief when news broke about the passing of Koko kelpie, star of Red Dog the movie. I had the pleasure of photographing Koko, as recently as September. He was a one-of-a-kind superstar without the ego. May he live on forever in Red Dog; a movie masterpiece if ever there was one.
We want to extend the biggest thanks to you, all of our loyal, kind and supportive clients, friends and Facebook followers. Your excitement and joy for our work gives us the encouragement to keep striving for perfection and continue doing what we love most. We couldn’t do it without you and we promise you wonderful things in 2013 as we take Houndstooth Studio to the next level. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
In closing, our wish is for everyone to consider doing just one extra thing to make the world a better place for all animals – volunteer, adopt, foster, assist with shelter dog walking, help with transport, run or attend events, fundraise, donate unwanted bedding or towels, buy pet toys, give food, skip the pork at Christmas, help out in the office of your local rescue, choose cruelty free, sponsor a bear, orang-utan, farm animal or koala, sign a petition … no matter where you live or how much you earn, there are 101 simple ways to make a difference and it all adds up.
Stay safe, hug your pets for us, and see you back here in 2013!
Happy new year!
As Kanyana’s studio photography partner, I returned in early July with Susie and junior animal handler Erin, to take their next batch of wildlife pics. We photographed Pogo the bearded dragon, Precious the tawny frogmouth, two joeys still in their home-made pouches, a bettong and two green tree frogs.
Precious pulled out all of the poses you would expect from a tawny with a name like hers, and her eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw a container of fruit sitting on the floor! It was the most beautiful thing she had evvvvvver seen and so wanted to eat it all. The frogs just wanted to be sleeping, so to get this point across they got all three of us with a spray of urine. They had the best aim! What could we do but laugh! At least they shared it ’round and didn’t just target one of us (though I think I was the first to get hit). Ah, things like that are par for course in this profession.
Overall I think Pogo the bearded dragon stole the shoot - he was very well mannered (no sprays of wee, haha) and looked stunning against our white backdrop! And the chilled out little joey was a winner too! Such a cute guy, love his perfect kangaroo paws!
In early June I received a request from June Butcher, founder of Kanyana, to assist in making a short film documenting their new animal care facilities in Lesmurdie. With a background in journalism and media, Richard Barry from Richard Barry Photography was the first person who came to mind for the role of camera operator, whilst Suzie Phillips from Animism (who is also Houndstooth’s wildlife animal handler) was the perfect person to assist with the placement of the critters and creatures for the film. I always enjoy working alongside other like minded businesses, run by people who love animals and who have the same ethics as I do when dealing with them – and Suzie and Richard are two of the best.
The film Richard created is a 5 minute masterpiece and was presented at the 2010 National Wildlife Conference in Adelaide along with a Kanyana Wildlife Coffee table book created by yours truly and featuring studio shots of the Kanyana wildlife residents.
June was thrilled with the response to the film and book, saying both put Kanyana firmly on the map as an exceptional wildlife facility and the book could have been “sold 100 times over” – So I’m now looking at publishing options so that the book can be made available to the masses. In the meantime, you can check out Richard’s camera and production handywork by clicking here.
Also due out soon is the 2011 Kanyana Wildlife Calendar, produced in conjunction with our publishing sponsor Momento. Information on how to place your order will be available late July/early August. Watch this space!
Recently we had some tiny visitors to the studio – six little possums being cared for by Johanna, a volunteer from the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The first two images show Zarae, who was found in Gooseberry Hill sitting on a verandah. At the time she weighed only 172 grams. Now she is a healthy 300 grams and growing by the day!
Photo two is titled “An animal photographer’s occupational hazard”. Zarae (who might have been my favourite if I was allowed favourites!) took great delight in chewing on my thumb. Luckily it didn’t hurt much – it was more like teething bites. She even sat in my lap chewing on my thumb while I photographed the other baby possums. She seemed comforted by it. On the other hand, I was occassionally pained by it but didn’t want to upset her.
Also featuring in the pictures below is Millie, who was found in a backyard in Walliston, and Bessie, the largest of the six possums’ who was rescued by tree lopper after her mother was killed when he cut down the tree they lived in.
One of the additional highlights for me was bottle feeding the smallest possum, Banjo, weighing just 108 grams. Banjo was found abandoned in the grounds of Perth Zoo. Such a privilege to feed such a tiny creature!
Many thanks to Suzie for her amazing animal wrangling and to Johanna for entrusting us with her babies. The images will be used by the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre to create possum awareness and to promote their wildlife rehabilitation work.
On Sunday 27th December 2009, the second Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre studio photo session was held. This time the reptiles and animals came to our studio, and once again it was fantastic to be up close and personal to such unique creatures. It really is the best part of my job!
This time around we photographed:
Two barking geckos, with the most intricate patterns on their body. These lizards were so fascinating to watch, with their bulbous tails and beautiful shiny eyes.
A bobtail who had a fondness for tomatoes. You haven’t lived until you have seen a bobtail eat a tomato – It’s messy and dramatic, but lots of fun to watch.
An active stimson’s python who enjoyed being on the dark backdrop, merging into interesting shapes.
An 8 week old female quenda, a relative of the bandicoot family. Quenda’s are sometimes mistaken for rats, and are often found in people’s swimming pools, falling in when they lean over for a drink.
A 10 month old rare Queensland Swamp Wallaby, the last of his type as he only has 10 chromosomes. From the comfort of his pouch, he watched with wide-eyed curiosity as the other animals had their photographs taken.
A 6 month old baby possum, named Charlie, who didn’t stop to smell the roses – he ate them! Charlie was a photographers dream, with his active nature and cute possum features.
Many thanks to Bec, Nathan and Margie for giving up half a day to bring in their reptiles and animals; to Pauline for entrusting us with her precious wallaby; and to Suzie for once again being my head-animal-handler extraordinaire!
Don’t forget about our current special photography promotion in support of the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. From now until 28 February 2010 every studio photo session and gift voucher purchased will include a 5 x 7 inch print, valued at $120. Plus, we will donate $25 from each session and voucher sold to Kanyana!
You can view our entire Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre gallery here.
Big congratulations go to June Butcher for being named of “Senior of the year”. June founded the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre with her late husband Lloyd in 1986. Together, from their home in Gooseberry Hill, they built Kanyana into the ”powerhouse of energy and passion” it is today, with over 140 volunteers and 2000 animal admissions a year.
I am thrilled for June to be recognised in this way, and am looking forward to the opening of the new Kanyana hospital and animal centre at Paxworld in Lesmurdie later this year.
To volunteer at Kanyana, or to donate, become a member, or adopt an animal, visit Kanyana’s website here.
As part of our ongoing partnership with the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the Houndstooth Studio Crew recently conducted two studio photo sessions featuring Kanyana’s native animal residents.
The first session, on 21st December 2009, was held on-site at Kanyana and feeling that each animal is worthy of a special mention, we photographed:
Henry the red-tailed black cockatoo, who at age 16, is extremely intelligent and fun loving. Acting as an ambassador for his endangered species’, he regularly visits schools as part of Kanyana’s education program. He loves nothing more than having a dance and was an absolute delight to photograph, showing lots of personality and running up to me constantly so I could tell him a joke.
Ulart and Yorna, the blind bobtail lizards. Both victims of dog attacks, they came to Kanyana for life-saving treatment and are now permanent residents, unable to be released back into the wild due to their poor eyesight.
Jinda the Stimson’s Python, a beautiful, lithe snake who slithered into the most amazing shapes, when not fascinated by the red tracking-beam of my camera.
Aruba and Elle the echidnas, aged 5 years and 14 years respectively. They were bought to Kanyana as 8 week old ‘puggles’ – pink bundles of skin, devoid of spikes. They are curious and active creatures with plenty of character. On a previous photo shoot I did at Kanyana, Elle spent the entire time opening all the Velcro pockets on my camera bag and climbing all over it!
Froggy the tawny frogmouth who sat so still and was a perfect subject to photograph. He had magnificent eyes and cute tufts of feathers above his beak.
Mitika the burrowing bettong, also known as a boodie, a nocturnal marsupial and member of the kangaroo family. Bettongs are currently listed as vulnerable and are being rehabilitated back into the wild in certain parts of WA.
And Nwiri the bilby, one of Australia’s endangered and rare native animals. Kanyana runs the most successful bilby breeding program in Australia and their work plays a vital role in the survival of the bilby. To be so close to a bilby was truly special, and photographing one in a studio set up has never been achieved before. It was a Kanyana first and a Houndstooth Studio first! Possibly even an Australian first!
Many thanks to June for lending a hand and giving us the “ok” to photograph the animals, to Suzie for her superb animal handling skills, and to Lindy for organizing the session! And to Debora, my photographers’ assistant.
We are currently running a special photography promotion in support of the Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. From now until 28 February 2010 every studio photo session and gift voucher purchased will include a 5 x 7 inch print, valued at $120. Plus, we will donate $25 from each session and voucher sold to Kanyana!
To view more of the images from our Kanayana Photo Session, click here.
(Details and images from our second Kanyana photo session are coming soon!)