Professional photographer Bonnie King shoots weddings, high school senior portraits, families, glamour shots, and infants, but among the hardest subjects to shoot are animals. So why does she volunteer to photograph the cats and dogs at Metro Animal Services in Sumner?
“It’s a worthwhile cause,” said King, who adopted her cat, Calvin, from Metro seven years ago.
Every few weeks since February King has taken photos of animals at Metro that have been placed on its website at www.metroanimalservices.org. She gets a lot of satisfaction knowing the pictures she takes helps animals get adopted.
“It’s my job to go in and pretty them up,” she said. “The cats need to look inviting, not frightened.”
Shooting cats is a real challenge. For Metro, King found an enclosed room with a waist-high cupboard that works perfectly. She drapes a blanket over it for a backdrop. Only problem is, that is also where Sage the housecat sleeps. It didn’t like being displaced.
“Sage was unhappy about that,” King said, adding sometimes she brings a feathered cat toy to the shoots. “Sometimes it works. The kittens love it.”
King has one simple tip for amateur photographers who want to shoot animals. “Take lots and lots of pictures.”
As for dogs, she likes to take them outside on the grassy lawn. She uses Photoshop to erase the leash.
“I don’t like to take pictures in cages; it looks like they’re in prison,” she said, adding having dog treats around also helps.
King said the only thing that comes close to shooting animals in difficulty is toddlers when they first learn to walk because it’s “fly by shooting.”
King, who is semi-retired, has done a lot of things in her life. She took art lessons at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a teacher after getting her bachelor’s in education from Washington State University. She even ran a dating service.
But photography is her life now.
“Photography is not just my business, it’s my passion,” she says on her website at www.bonniekingphotography.com.