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Kristin Zabawa

Photography · Portland Oregon United States

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65 jobs completed
Projects starting at $200

I worked as a professional zookeeper for 15 years, always learning from the wild animals in my care. Over the years, strong working relationships were created. One of the many lessons I learned from the animals included how to acquire the skill of patient observation with less ego and judgement. I found that my zookeeping work flowed more easily when working directly with the animals. This became an important part of my artistic process with animal photography. I became particularly interested in the bond between animals, and between animals and the humans in their lives. The sessions took on more of an unspoken collaborative quality, as I quietly allowed the unique moments to present themselves to be photographically captured. My fine art photography of a herd of semi- wild Welsh ponies is the result of years of being with them as they wander among the woods and fields. My prior experience and inner work have created images that show a true collaboration. Over the years I’ve photographed the power of therapy animals working with inmates in prison, as well as hospice patients who want images of themselves with their beloved animals.   Five years ago a friend asked me to photograph himself with his dog, Hoover, who was nearing death. The session included telling stories, reminiscing, laughter and tears. Afterwards he shared that the images helped him to grieve and to heal. This experience began the journey which has brought me to create what I call SoulSessions, recording the bond between humans and their animal family close to the end of life. I have provided this service for no fee, and I have appreciated donations. I believe that SoulSessions should be available to everyone, regardless of their ability to donate. Every session is unique, and I am available to photograph people who have strong loving bonds with the animals in their life. SoulSessions are on a donation basis, to help the next person who would benefit from this service. Regular sessions are $200.

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