Pil­grim’s pet project

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Photography - Emma Young

TAK­ING re­dun­dancy was the best thing Kelly Pil­grim- Byrne ever did.

Pil­grim-Byrne, once ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer in re­search devel­op­ment at Curtin Uni­ver­sity, is now a pro­fes­sional pet pho­tog­ra­pher.

Last Oc­to­ber, when her depart­ment restruc­tured, her job was made re­dun­dant. But rather than panic, Pil­grim- Byrne took the op­por­tu­nity to reeval­u­ate what she wanted in life.

She was al­ready a self- con­fessed pet tragic, with six dogs (in­clud­ing two ‘foster fails’), two cats and a Stim­son’s python called Flow­ers.

She also ran a small board­ing ser­vice, spe­cial­is­ing in a “home away from home” ser­vice treat­ing guest dogs as part of the fam­ily.

Part of the ser­vice in­cluded tak­ing pic­tures of the dogs and post­ing them on so­cial me­dia for own­ers to see.

Once she had been do­ing this for a while, us­ing an au­to­matic cam­era, Pil­grimByrne was swamped with re­quests from own­ers want­ing to buy the pho­tos.

She gave them away freely but as re­quests kept rolling in, de­cided to at­tain a pro­fes­sional stan­dard.

She has now stud­ied with Perth pet pho­tog­ra­pher Alex Cearns of Hound­stooth Stu­dio, known for books Joy and Mother Knows Best, and Queens­land pet pho­tog­ra­pher Char­lotte Reeves.

She was ac­cepted as an emerg­ing mem­ber of the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Pro­fes­sional Photography, a process that re­quired her to sub­mit a port­fo­lio for as­sess­ment by a panel of three judges, who all had to score the work above 75 per cent.

Pic­ture: David Baylis www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d433878

Pho­tog­ra­pher Kelly Pil­grim-Byrne with Monty and Vi­o­let.

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