My name is Carli.
I take photos of our non human cohorts for a living. It makes me pretty damn happy. You can email me

Halloween is my favorite holiday! To celebrate: outtakes of Bella, a Neapolitan mastiff from www.shakethebook.com Most of the shots are not nearly as scary, but Bella’s jowly face can best be described less as a Shake shot, and more as a monster mash

Check out the book SHAKE, like the page http://on.fb.me/16eKrsr More outtakes posted every week.

About Fostering // Carli Davidson 

I picked Millie up from Panda Paws Rescue a few hours after she landed in Oregon. Millie was coming from an emergency relocation out of California, a shelter was losing it’s permitting, and all the dogs had weeks to find placement or risk being euthanized. I put her in a crate in the back seat of my truck not knowing if she was used to riding in cars.  With fostering you kind of have to assume the lowest common denominator, that the dogs don’t know things until they prove otherwise. It sets the bar low and means that every little good behavior is a positive, rewarding experience.  Anyways, after our drive I ended up taking her on a nice walk before going into my home for the first time to see if she was leash trained. She walked OK on the leash, but it was obviously not something she was used to. Then Millie sauntered into the house, stared at me, and took a shit.

 

Now that may sound like a nightmare to some people, but to me it was a golden (or perhaps more of a burnt umber) opportunity to teach Millie that maybe, just maybe crapping in the house was not so awesome. Here was this yearling Chi/Jack Russel terrier mix, totally unaware that she was doing something wrong, and with all the nervous innocents in the world.

Fostering can be a form of self-exploration. It has taught me that anger has a place, and that place is never in mistakes, never in misunderstanding, and never to be doled out in places of venerability. Anger is reserved for seeing injustice, and using the fuel of anger to change a horrible situation into a positive one.

That is not to say I never fuck up, or I never get frustrated and need to take a deep breath, or watch the tenor of my voice, its to say in the back of my mind is always the mantra that with dogs like with children, this is not their fault.

Millie was almost a foster fail. For all her initial neurosis of digging, and barking, and not knowing how to poop or pee on leash and a lack of housetraining she wanted so badly to please. She learned quickly to walk on leash, and then finally to go in such barbarically close proximity to someone staring at her (me) She learned sit and stay overnight, and became easy going around food which she was at first a bit possessive of, and even slowly tried to cuddle with my 100lb mastiff that she initially thought was a giant hairy ball of pure evil, she did not come very fond of other dogs. Most of all her compulsive burrowing quickly transitioned into a desire to bury herself deep in my chest, and nuzzle her nose into my chin any chance she got.

Millie made my husband and I laugh. We laughed more then we ever had in any given month. She was awkward, and funny looking, bouncy and so sweet. In the morning she was allowed on the bed and would bounce back and fourth under the covers like a tiny white shark.

Ultimately we decided that if a better home came around for her, we would recommend she be placed in it. We want to keep fostering when the opportunity presents itself, and she we weren’t sure she would be the best dog to bring another traumatized pet home to as she was a bit possessive of attention and while not aggressive she was dominant, even with our mastiff. That said, we were ready to wait as long as needed for that home to come, and that meant three months of having this tiny snaggle tooth beast in our home.

Millie Was adopted by a friend, a family of 5 with two dopey, passive labs to boss around, chickens and goats to wonder at, and a big piece of land to run around on. It was bittersweet dropping her off at their home, but after seeing footage of her playing with the other dogs, and pictures of her being loved on by kids, I know we made the right choice.

I still think of her from time to time, and wonder what it would have been like to keep her. I feel really proud that I helped prep her for a lifelong home, and gave her some tools to be a good pet. Millie made me feel good about myself.

A note on shooting Bub for her book // Carli Davidson:
Photography is something I love, and something that allows me to connect with some really amazing things in this world. One of those ‘things’ is Lil Bub, and her owner Mike.  Mike and I have a bunch of mutual friends through our love of listening to loud music in basements and tiny venues that smell like stale beer and sweat. Not surprisingly a mutual friend, kimyadawson , saw the potential for us to do something fun together and put us in touch.
There are people you get to work with that have such good intentions, and good energy that it just makes you appreciate your industry more. That is what I found working with Mike, Bub, and their whole big amazing community in Bloomington. I flew out there to shoot a few hero images for the book, but ended up extending my stay to help out with art direction, and hang out with everybody for the wrap party. The whole experience was uplifting, and reminded me of what drew me to the punk scene as a kid… the idea that your friends can come together and make something amazing that builds an alternative community and sometimes like in the case of Bub, really makes a positive contribution to the world. 
Animal art becomes viral because it makes people feel good. It combats the heaviness that mucks up the Internet. It gives us momentary reprise from all the important but overwhelming news of political strife, it reenergizes. Thanks Mike and Bub! 

A note on shooting Bub for her book // Carli Davidson:

Photography is something I love, and something that allows me to connect with some really amazing things in this world. One of those ‘things’ is Lil Bub, and her owner Mike.  Mike and I have a bunch of mutual friends through our love of listening to loud music in basements and tiny venues that smell like stale beer and sweat. Not surprisingly a mutual friend, kimyadawson , saw the potential for us to do something fun together and put us in touch.

There are people you get to work with that have such good intentions, and good energy that it just makes you appreciate your industry more. That is what I found working with Mike, Bub, and their whole big amazing community in Bloomington. I flew out there to shoot a few hero images for the book, but ended up extending my stay to help out with art direction, and hang out with everybody for the wrap party. The whole experience was uplifting, and reminded me of what drew me to the punk scene as a kid… the idea that your friends can come together and make something amazing that builds an alternative community and sometimes like in the case of Bub, really makes a positive contribution to the world. 

Animal art becomes viral because it makes people feel good. It combats the heaviness that mucks up the Internet. It gives us momentary reprise from all the important but overwhelming news of political strife, it reenergizes. Thanks Mike and Bub! 

Please read before you react, this is a happy, healthy cat.

Carli Davidson Pet Photography:

Chase No Face is a really joyful cat with a wonderful quality of life. She was in a car accident as a kitten that left her missing part of her nose, eyelids, and upper jaw but that tragic event occurred over 8 years ago, and since she has lived with a wonderful family and seen two kids grow up. She is a family member and deserves all the respect and acceptance that you would give any living creature, no matter WHAT she looks like. 

I have been very surprised at the reactions my friends and family have given me since I started posting about Chase… frankly they are grossed out. I hear a lot of ‘oh I cant look at that’ from horror movie buffs who spend at least one day a week watching zombies eat living characters on TV and don’t even flinch. I can’t watch that, I’ve actually had to stop watching The Walking Dead because of how disturbing I find it. But I didn’t give Chase a second thought as soon as I learned that she was in no pain. She is really playful and up beat and by all accounts happy. 

I know Chase’s deformities are intense because of how unusual they are, but they really call into question how we view the superficial as important, and how when faced with something different and initially scary we are allowed to make a choice, an informed decision on how we process the information and react. It can be with slander or it can be with curiosity and respect. 

We live in a time where we are primed to move past the idea of ‘freak’. We communicate on a relatively faceless Internet and are given the tools in that to build relationships without fear of visual judgment. We are exposed to the kinds of special effects that allow us to normalize seeing aliens, and monsters, and things that are classically grotesque in a way that looks as real as any ‘normal’ human character on TV and in movies. We’ve seen it. Perhaps too often portrayed as the bad guy, or as sick, but it is no longer an anomaly that is outside the realm of our imagination. 

There are people all over the world, people with burns, or cleft faces, accident survivors, and victims of gender violence whose faces have been severely deformed. They are regular people just like me in everything save that an event, or a small genetic defect changed the way the world would see that most important purveyor of first impressions, their face. I ask you to look at Chase and know that she is without question a happy, healthy cat. She gets some eye drops every day to help maintain her vision, she has a pension for licking people’s faces, and she loves feather toys. How do you feel about seeing her?

— Carli Davidson Pet Photography

Donations for her eye drops can be made here:http://bit.ly/14IOWrN