Moving!

I am happy to announce that one of the exciting things that I have planned for this year is a NEW WEBSITE!  Check it out at www.katkuphotography.com

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Kfashionhouse.com mini-Valentine’s Day Shoot

Here are a couple of images from the shoot. Check out the rest on the front page of the website at www.kfashionhouse.com!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!!!!!

Hopefully, everyone survived the holidays with the crazy shopping, merry festivities, and catching up with family and friends!

A new year means new possibilities. I have a lot of exciting projects that I’ve been working on which I hope to share with you in the next couple of months. It’s been hard work putting everything together, but I know it will be worth it in the end. Check back often for updates!

Ta ta for now.

>^.^<   aka Kat

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Dakota and Ebony

I did a photoshoot with Jason and his two ABSOLUTELY gorgeous female huskies Dakota and Ebony. We met at a dog park in Wixom after work, and all I can say is I wish I had as much energy as them! It was great watching them run around and chasing butterflies while I (and Jason, lol) tried to keep up with them. A couple of hours later and after a runaway dog, I was able to get the following images. Thanks Jason for your patience and letting me have this experience. Enjoy!

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The Importance of Choosing a Reputable Breeder

$750??? For a kitten?? Are you serious? Screw that. I’m going to check the classifieds. I can get the same type of kitten for $300!

Stop right there. If you decide you’re going to go the purebred route for acquiring your next puppy or kitten, please read the following before you make your purchase.

$750 seems like a lot of money for your new pet, but if you think about it, your pet is going to be with you for the next 12 to 15 years, meaning you’re paying $.17/day for your happiness. Is that really so much?

Contrary to popular belief, breeders charge $750 for a reason, and it’s not for profit. After you factor in all the costs, such as proper vaccinations, neutering/spaying, vet visits, it will be fortunate if a reputable breeder can break even. Breeders breed for the love of the breed.

Now you have to ask yourself, why is this person selling this kitten or puppy for so cheap? Often the case is that they are moggies that look like the breed (you might as well just go to the shelter and adopt! they have just as many wonderful cats and dogs). Or if they do look like purebreds, usually the person will be breeding without the original breeder’s consent. How does this happen? Well, some breeders have a spray/neuter contract which states they will provide papers once they receive proof. These people don’t follow through with the contract, and voila! you get backyard breeding.

So here are a couple of things to look for: Reputable Breeder vs. Backyard Breeder

A reputable breeder will have their breeding cats or dogs tested for predisposed traits common to that breed; eg. hip dysplaysia, HCM, and make sure that they are negative to ensure that it is not passed on to the offspring. A backyard breeder doesn’t care, so you’ll most likely get a kitten/puppy that is sick from the start. Your “bargain pedigree” can soon becomes quite expensive, with many costly vet bills (that will soon exceed the $750 that you didn’t want to pay), further down the road!

(Source: Megailee Ragdolls)

A reputable breeder will provide a health guarantee and pedigree papers (check that it is registered with one of the main registries: AKC, TICA, CFA, etc). If the breeder you’re talking to asks you to pay $300 extra for papers, run in the other direction as fast as possible. For cats, registering a litter and getting papers for them costs as little as $10.

A reputable breeder will make sure that the kitten or puppy is well socialized (for kittens – keeping them 12 weeks or more so they can learn the proper lessons from their siblings and mom) to provide a loving, well behaved pet. Whenever you visit a breeder’s home, the kittens and puppies should be confident and curious. A backyard breeder will try to get rid of them as soon as possible (age 6-8 weeks) to reduce the added expense of having to take care of them longer, which also results in missed important social lessons for the little one.

A reputable breeder will breed their bitch (dog) or queen (cat) once a year or every two years, having a small number of litters per year. This ensures that the breeder has enough time to give special attention to each little one, as well as giving the mommy time to recover from the huge toll on their body of having to raise so many. A backyard breeder will breed as many times as possible to make profit.

Last, but not least, a reputable breeder will, but not always, show their cats or dogs to ensure that they are conforming to the standards. I actually recommend going to cat or dog shows to meet the breeders in person. You can meet their cats/dogs, put a voice to the face, and be able to ask for references.

I could go on and on but knowing how people have short attention spans, I’ll stop here. I hope I touched enough on the important aspects of what to look for when choosing a breeder.

If you ever find yourself in a backyard breeder situation, as hard as it may seem, especially if you find the puppy/kitten to be in horrid conditions, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy from them. It will only encourage a ruthless cycle and potential heartbreak for you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this entry and hope you are all the wiser. Good luck on finding your next furbaby! – Kat

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Shoko – Ragdoll #1

For today’s entry, I thought I would share with you my first furbaby, Shoko, who is going to be two years old at the end of January. It’s hard to believe that I’ve already had him for that long. I still remember picking him up when he was an itty bitty kitty (see image below of him passed out during the first night home), weighing about 3 pounds, and now he’s 13 pounds! 10 pounds in less than 2 years! Imagine that! I hope he gets bigger, muahaha. According to their breed profile, it takes them 4 years to fully mature. So just maybe 😉

I would say Shoko doesn’t have the full temperament of a Ragdoll, mostly because when I was still ignorant, I got him from a backyard breeder (More on the importance of choosing a reputable breeder, if not adopting, in the next entry), and he wasn’t properly socialized. He is a bit of a scaredy cat, afraid of everyone and the vacuum (see the image of him hissing, lol), even though he is HUGE, and very serious. He also acts kind of aloof like a typical cat, but he’ll secretly show his affection by having to be in the same room as you, sneaking in during the middle of the night to sleep in between your feet but be gone by the time you wake up, and acts quite the lovey dovey fool when he is in the mood.

For people who are unfamiliar with the Ragdoll breed, here is a description of the physical chracteristics and temperament. Thanks Wikipedia.

“The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colorpoint coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name “Ragdoll” is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.

The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds with a sturdy body, large frame and proportionate legs. A fully-grown female weighs from 8 pounds (3.6 kg) to 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 12 pounds (5.4 kg) to 20 pounds (9.1 kg) or more. The genes for point coloration are also responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll.

Ragdolls come in six different colors – seal, chocolate, flame, and the corresponding “dilutes” such as blue, lilac and cream. This also includes the tortoiseshell pattern in all colors and the three patterns. All Ragdoll kittens are born white. They have good color at 8 – 10 weeks and full color and coat at 3 – 4 years. There are three different patterns:”

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A Sneak Preview: Introducing Shoko, a lynx-point ragdoll.

More to come in the following week!

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Live in East Lansing?

I will be there from November 25 through 28. So if you have always been interested in having (you and) your pet photographed but thought Ann Arbor was too far away, and you think you can fit in a session in between all that turkey and pumpkin pie, here’s your chance!

Shoot me a message: info@katkuphotography.com

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Sasha the Persian

With the holidays coming up and the year quickly coming to an end, the photography projects have slowed down quite a bit as people, including myself, have less and less time to spare. That being said, I am going to try and keep this blog better updated.

For today’s entry, I thought I would share with you the very first pet photoshoot (which got me hooked) that I did with my friend Jess, who I feel like I’ve known FOREVER, pretty much since the wee days of Chinese school. Jess and her boyfriend, Daniel, were wonderful to work with. Very patient and willing to try out all the ideas I had; Sasha–not so much. I could tell she was getting a little cranky with being picked up and set down at random places, lol.

Sasha is the TINIEST cat that I have ever seen. She probably weighed like two pounds and makes my cats look like they’re wildcats. Seriously, my cats were bigger than her when I got them as KITTENS. Are Persians supposed to be that small? Can anybody familiar with this breed enlighten me? Well, despite being tiny, Sasha still had a lot of character, as I’m sure you will soon see from the photos. :p

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Fabulous Fall Fashion

I know this isn’t pet photography related, but I thought I would share with you guys a shoot that I did this past weekend. I teamed up with Yena J. of KFashionhouse.com, and Lori M., a half-Korean (defines the term caucASIAN, lol), aspiring actress/model (okay, maybe not model, but I think she definitely could be one) to help showcase a small portion of KFashionhouse’s Fall Collection. Yena planned 10 looks, but unfortunately, due to time and weather constraints (dam* Michigan weather–says it’s supposed to be sunny, and it always end ups cloudy!!), we weren’t able to get through all of them. So look for Part 2!

KFashionhouse is an online Asian Fashion retailer of the latest Asian styles from Japan, China, and Korea, and can be checked out here, and her blog here. They have super duper cute clothes, and you don’t have to be Asian to wear them! I had a really hard time resisting not running off with everything in sight. :p

This is my first venture into “fashion/editorial/portraiture” photography. Let me know what you guys think!

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Lori M, model (left), and Yena J. of KFashionhouse.com (right), getting together for a quick picture while in between looks.

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