I’m very excited to announce a fun project in the works! I am teaming up with Brittany Bang, owner of Audrey’s Pet Supply & Services on Newbury Street, to make a fine art book showcasing beautiful rescue pets in the Boston area! This is coming from our mutual love of pets, of pretty photos, of pretty photos of pets. Absolutely 100% of proceeds will be donated to an animal charity!
But a little back-story before I get into the details…
This excitement is mixed with a lot of sadness, and some bitterness let’s be honest. Audrey’s is closing its doors – tomorrow. A frozen yogurt shop will take its place, one of many already on the street that no one visits. The story goes something like: Business is doing great, you love your customers and they love you, then one day you get a new landlord, he/she/it has huge mortgage to pay off, and they pass the excess off to you. It hurts the pockets but you want to stay in business, you try to broker a deal. Then along comes a chain business with loads of cash to burn. They don’t care about the insane rent. Or that Boston doesn’t give two flying monkeys about another fro-yo shop. The storefront is really just a glorified billboard to them, and they have the money. So just like that your blooming, beloved neighborhood shop is out. Needless to say it’s been a heartbreaking several months for Brittany and her family – and the customers who love her! This scenario is playing out among many other local businesses of late, some who have been on Newbury for decades. It really is a huge disservice to small family businesses, to the neighborhood, to the city at large.
Let’s go even further back (bear with me!)…
I first met Brittany just before her store opened 3 years ago. She knew way before a single item was stocked on a single shelf that large prints of her rescue pets would grace the shop walls. We spent a lovely spring afternoon taking photos of her cats in their Back Bay home, and outside with their boxer Kendall on the Esplanade. Some photos of that day are here. Several weeks later, 6 or was it 7 huge canvas prints came in, including one over 5 feet wide, and in that still-empty store Brittany, her husband Brad, Dan and I tore through the boxes and had ourselves little unveiling party. My pet photography business was still new, so these were the biggest I’d ever seen my own photos. I’ll never forget how it felt to see their faces light up, to hear the gasp when they first saw the prints, to feel happy and proud of their new adventure, to be included in all the excitement.
A year later in 2011, in a random act of kindness to promote my business, Brittany allowed me to take over her store for my first Open House. In that year since we’d met, I had started shooting weddings. It was my official coming out party as a “pet-and-wedding photographer.” It was a wonderful night – tons of people came, we had drinks, we had prizes, and we raised a bunch of money for animal rescue charity. I will always be grateful to Brittany for opening the doors of her store to my clients, and for always looking out for me!
OK, NOW ABOUT THE BOOK!
Now in the midst of the store closing we are soldiering on. Brittany is never down for long and I so admire her for that, and for the endless energy and passion puts towards the animal rescue cause. No store closing is going to stop that!
An excerpt from Brittany’s newsletter to her customers, and our postcard with more details:
The first project that I am SO excited to announce will be my co-collaboration with one of the most brilliant photographers that I have the pleasure of knowing in coming out with a “coffee table book” to help rescue animals. One day after a long working lunch, I asked Li Ward, owner of Fat Orange Cat Studio if she wanted to work on a crazy project with me. I told her I wanted to produce a coffee table book that featured all rescue animals, along with a little bio about them, and then donate 100% of the proceeds back to an animal related charity… All I needed was the photographer!
Much to my amazement Li said that she loved the idea and our first joint project was born. Now we are leaving this up to YOU! We are asking anyone who has a rescue pet (dogs, cats, critters, and more) who might be interested to contact me as soon as possible so we can start the scheduling process. Spaces are limited so if you are interested please e-mail me so I can send you about the next steps and all pertinent information! Please see our official invitation at the end of this email.
I plan on photographing every single rescue pet we feature!!
We are imagining the spreads sparse and beautiful, where some pets might get a full spread. Something like this:
Fun right? That’s my Bingley at top and Brittany’s Yogi. Both are big cats with bigs paws and big tails. And of course, big hearts. Can you believe Bingley was ever so small, left in a box on the streets of Everett? Now look at him, happy as a clam!
And that is ultimately what we’d love to have the book showcase: beautiful photos of very happy clams!
SO! If you have a rescue pet – cats, dogs, pigs, geckos – and are interested in being a part of this project,
please email Brittany at BangEnterprises dot com.
Let her know what kind of pet you have, where it was rescued, and where you live. As we see how much interest is out there, we’ll be able to figure out the number of featured rescues we can accommodate, the shooting schedule, the process, and all that jazz.
We’re still thinking of a title but will let you know when we know!
BRITTANY AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!