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 wild baby animals: skunks, raccoons, opossums, fawns, groundhogs, squirrels, rabbits, as well as goats, chickens, alpacas, and a resident therapy pig.
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. All were absolutely adorable, but unexpectedly my favorites were the baby skunks with their round bellies and soft bed-head fur.
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, made for successful shoots time I want there.