Sanctuary

From 2013 to 2015 I volunteered at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Western New Jersey to photograph their rescued and rehabilitated wild mammals and farm animals. The goal was to reproduce my photos on calendars, greeting cards, and other printed materials that were then sold to raise funds for the sanctuary.

It was a magical experience. Never had I had such close and intimate contact with baby wild animals: skunks, raccoons, opossums, fawns, groundhogs, squirrels, rabbits, as well as goats, chickens, alpacas, and a resident therapy pig. My heart would beat faster and faster each time I drove up their long driveway at the beginning of a shoot - I couldn't wait to see who I had to photograph.

I quickly learned that photographing both wild and barnyard animals was a completely different experience than photographing the domesticated ones I had grown so accustomed to. They’ll rarely make eye contact, they won't strike a pose for a treat, and they never stop moving. It called for an enormous amount of patience. That, paired with the invaluable assistance of the sanctuary staff, plus shooting hundreds of photos during each visit, thankfully resulted in getting successful photos every time I went there.