AMHERST, N.S. - Meagan Cormier snaps her fingers furiously as she presses the shutter on her camera.
The subject of her photo, a thin Calico named Morticia, seems to love the attention and raises its head in fascination at this woman and the snap, snap, snap the camera makes every time she depresses the shutter.
Cormier, of Gallery 8 Studio in Amherst, has again donated her time and talent to the L.A. Animal Shelter as it prepares to release its fourth fundraising calendar.
“This is such a fun project,” Cormier said. “Although it can be interesting trying to keep their attention long enough to get a good photo. Some were definitely a lot easier than others and there was a lot of snapping fingers and playing with doggie or kitty toys to get their attention for that split second for me to get the right photo.
“I imagine if you had a video of the behind the scenes it would probably be pretty funny.”
Cormier is also a member of the shelter board and takes photos of the animals up for adoption at the Smith Road centre.
Shelter vice-president Terri McCormick said this is the fourth year the organization is selling calendars as a fundraiser and it follows on the success of the three previous calendars that featured shelter animals around town, with their owners, and the success stories of the cats and dogs who’ve been adopted.
“Last year we had fur babies and the things we like to do and we also had fur babies and friends around the community,” McCormick said. “This year we decided to do something a little different with portraits, or close-ups of their faces.
“Meagan suggested a different colour background and it really worked out well.”
McCormick and shelter president Barb Bowes spent hours trying to set the animals up with Cormier so they could get the perfect shot. It wasn’t easy.
“I think I had bruises one day. Oreo, now known as Apollo, was so rambunctious,” McCormick quipped. “We’ve had a lot of laughs at the predicaments we got ourselves into getting these photos.”
All the animals in the calendar have been adopted. At the time of the photoshoot, some of the animals hadn’t been adopted.
McCormick said it has become a very successful fundraiser for the shelter that only receives minimal funding from its municipal partners in Amherst and the Municipality of Cumberland.
“We sold out last year and we’ve had people tell us they wait for the calendar to come out every year so they can buy one as their calendar for their home or business,” McCormick said. “People wait for the shelter calendar just to see what we’ve done this time.”
Cormier said there’s a waiting list of people wanting their feline or canine friends featured in the calendar. Sometimes when people adopt an animal one of the first questions asked is “can we get him in the calendar next year?”
There are 300 calendars for sale and they’re available at Maritime Mosaic, Simply for Life, the Amherst Veterinary Hospital, WAG Canine Centre, Park Your Paws and the shelter.
The calendars are $20 each.