If you’ve visited the RAPS Animal Hospital and fallen in love with any of the enormous photos of beautiful animals on the walls, or if you have a Regional Animal Protection Society calendar, you are familiar with Michele Wright’s work.
Wright is an animal photographer and the proprietor of Furry Friends Photography. She captures the whimsical, quizzical, adorable and sometimes awkward faces of all range of beasts.
Now, her work is being offered in the form of a monumental coffee table book. “Rescued: Animal Adoption Stories” features two-page spreads – and moving individual tales – depicting each animal’s transition to a forever home.
“I started it in September 2018,” says Wright. The book is part of a fundraising project for rescues. More than $1000 has already been raised for RAPS from photo session fees and part of the book’s revenues will also go to the organization, says Wright.
And those are only pre-launch sales. While “Rescued” has been available on Wright’s website, the book has not officially been offered to the public. A book launch will be held in the coming weeks.
“I've been into photography for years but doing it professionally probably just three years,” she says. While taking photos of animals has some parallels with photographing children, it has its own challenges and charms.
“You have to have a lot of patience,” she says, laughing. Keeping their attention is tough. She uses noisemakers, because the obvious alternative – dangling a favourite toy or an orange ball, which may well keep their attention – can also have unintended consequences.
“I try not to use their absolute favourite toy or they'll look like they're absolutely crazy,” says Wright.
Some of the subjects in the book passed away during the making of the project and Wright has included touching memorial pages for them.
In addition to raising funds for rescue organizations, including RAPS, Wright says she has a message she hopes the book conveys.
“I want people to realize that rescued pets are amazing,” she says. “They are not broken. They need a second chance. They get a second chance just through being rescued and loved.”
The book is available at a reduced pre-launch price at furryfriendsphotography.com, or on her Facebook page, where you can also check for updates on the book launch.
Wright is already planning her next volume.
“I'm hoping to do another one just on greyhounds,” she says.
Michele Wright and Gracie. Photo courtesy Toni Horncastle of Asher Photography.
Pat Johnson is communications manager for the Regional Animal Protection Society.