Strike A Pose. Save A Life. Part Deux.

Posted by Pia

I recently shared the story of fashion photographer extraordinaire, Richard Phibbs, focusing his lens on the plight of shelter animals. Having now had the good fortune to spend a day with Phibbs, his crew and the NY shelter staff- who he very accurately described as amazing- I'm here to share my account of 'shelter runway shoot part deux'... That's French for ‘part two’... I thought some French lingo might be more fitting in reference to such a high brow event!

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Honey struck a pose for Phibbs and a local camera man from NBC news!  She's a natural!
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

1 Honey struck a pose for Phibbs and a local camera man from NBC news! She's a natural! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

Phibbs looks over photos of each critter to choose the best one for adoption website.

2 Phibbs looks over photos of each critter to choose the best one for adoption website.

Model taking pre-shoot direction from Master photographer Phibbs.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

3 Model taking pre-shoot direction from Master photographer Phibbs. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

4 "Which is my best side?" (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

5 "Yeah, Phibbs...let's get another close up just to be thorough..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

These colorful canines came in to the shelter together (sans accessories).
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

6 These colorful canines came in to the shelter together (sans accessories). (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Elizabeth waits off camera for her turn to shine.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

7 Elizabeth waits off camera for her turn to shine. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

8 "Make me look kind of hip and gritty...I'm much more complex than people think..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Choosing the best accessories is all part of creating the perfect shot.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

9 Choosing the best accessories is all part of creating the perfect shot. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

10 "Simple, red, understated, classic...it works..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

Phibbs crew member, Georgia Nerheim, knew what was needed to properly light each work of art.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

11 Phibbs crew member, Georgia Nerheim, knew what was needed to properly light each work of art. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

12 "Profile? Head on? What are you looking for here Phibbs...if that is your real name..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Keeping a super model's attention for long enough to get the shot is a skill in and of itself!
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

13 Keeping a super model's attention for long enough to get the shot is a skill in and of itself! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

Phibbs crew member Noel Worden watched closely to be sure shots were coming out as planned- they were then uploaded for adopters to see right away! 
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

14 Phibbs crew member Noel Worden watched closely to be sure shots were coming out as planned- they were then uploaded for adopters to see right away! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

15 "It's about time for some feline fabulousness..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

16 "Yay or nay on the chiffon head scarf?" (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

17 "I'm thinking the chiffon is a bit old school, no?" (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

18 "Ummm, yeah...Mr. Phibbs?...I just wanna thank you for helping me out...You seem like a really nice human..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

19 "...I know you have a dog already but...well, perhaps....maybe I could come home with you...just puttin' it out there...something for you to consider..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

Crew member Joe Toto takes a special liking to Onyx...
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

20 Crew member Joe Toto takes a special liking to Onyx... (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

I got to meet Flops who was featured in last week's shoot- what a love!!!
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

21 I got to meet Flops who was featured in last week's shoot- what a love!!! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

When The Humane Society of NY agreed to help Berry, he caught the next flight and came all the way from the Virgin Islands! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)  Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

22 When The Humane Society of NY agreed to help Berry, he caught the next flight and came all the way from the Virgin Islands! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

The shelter was covered with signs of love and appreciation for it's residents!

23 The shelter was covered with signs of love and appreciation for it's residents!

Dedicated volunteers made sure residents were not only warm but chic as well!  (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

24 Dedicated volunteers made sure residents were not only warm but chic as well! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)

Little Blue shows us that perky, playful side! We later learned that Little Blue felt the polka dot scarf seemed outdated, so we made sure to alert the wardrobe department.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

25 Little Blue shows us that perky, playful side! We later learned that Little Blue felt the polka dot scarf seemed outdated, so we made sure to alert the wardrobe department. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Alvin and Bella are star struck and rendered speechless by Phibbs!
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

26 Alvin and Bella are star struck and rendered speechless by Phibbs! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

27 "I'm not one for all this fanfare but if it helps me get the love I crave, then snap away..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Maximillion and Shane showcase the winter accessories line.
(See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY)  Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

28 Maximillion and Shane showcase the winter accessories line. (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

29 "I guess i'd have to say my ears are one of my most unique features..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

30 "Some humans liken me to Marilyn...perhaps it's my fetching beauty mark..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

31 "You wear the hat." "No you wear it..." "You..." "Fine...be that way..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

32 "So I like a bit of flair...it accents my eyes and balances my missing back leg... is that so wrong?" (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

33 "Just to be clear Phibbs, I own the rights on this photo..capice?" (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

34 "Make sure the shot captures what a happy wiggly little lover I am...with an edge...make sure you capture the edge as well..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

35 "Too cute? You want sultry? Serious? Pensive? I've got tremendous range..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs. Phibb's creative director, Teddy Borsen helps get photo spreads ready from back at the main studio.

36 "I hate to rush such obvious talent but, I'm late for high tea...It's not ladylike to be late for tea...." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

Even Dr. Pia got the honor of being shot by Phibbs... but only after Roxy consented to being hugged and kissed on camera - which made her even later for high tea! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) 
(Dr. Pia Salk and Roxy- Photo credit: Richard Phibbs)

37 Even Dr. Pia got the honor of being shot by Phibbs... but only after Roxy consented to being hugged and kissed on camera - which made her even later for high tea! (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) (Dr. Pia Salk and Roxy- Photo credit: Richard Phibbs)

38 "We've really got to raise awareness on how superior felines are...our magic seems to go unappreciated by the masses...." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

39 "No hat? Why no hat? I look so chic in a hat..." (See animal details at link below blog post- The Humane Society of NY) Photo credit: Richard Phibbs

What an amazing day it was- made extra special by the 2, 3 and 4 legged souls who took part! Everyone’s commitment to the animals made a seemingly tough task go as smoothly as the fur on a cat's nose!

Phibbs transformation of a tiny exam room into a pop up 'cat walk' wasn't the only demonstration of a resourceful approach to maximizing space! The Humane Society of NY- including it's busy walk-in veterinary clinic- occupies a narrow 5 floor building in midtown Manhattan.

The staff and shelter volunteers make efficient use of every inch they have. And they do so with a mind towards making the animal residents as comfortable as possible while they await adoption into a loving home.

What I found most notable about the staff and volunteers was their positive attitude and willingness to go the extra mile for the critters. Sadly this kind of spirit can be hard to maintain amidst the gravity of the pet overpopulation crisis. But there was no lack of hope running through the veins of these dedicated Manhattan professionals.

Phibbs and his crew mirrored the staff’s dedication as they rolled on the shelter floor with squeeky toys to get the best angle for a shot of their furry muse! Phibbs kept the shoot on a steady pace in an effort to photograph as many needy faces as he could. Changing lighting and lenses was punctuated by calls from couture designers and top selling magazine editors competing to schedule Phibbs for a heavy hitting project!

Witnessing Phibbs and his crew devote equal effort to the shelter and it’s animals - clients who couldn't even begin to generate the kind of fees Phibbs talent commands... told the story best. If anyone needed Phibb’s caliber of PR and an eye towards revealing a soul’s inner beauty- it was the loyal animals who had suffered from their human’s misfortunes. These former family pets needed a head shot and a good publicist –Phibbs provided both.

These are the moments that define a person. Like Phibbs, we each must retain some perspective on things that matter if we are to fulfill our fullest potential.

On behalf or the animals at The Humane Society of New York, and those in shelters everywhere... I extend heartfelt gratitude to Richard Phibbs and his crew.

Having been granted this very special 'snapshot' of one man’s dedication, leaves me with a renewed commitment to our fellow creatures. Thousands of worthy companions go unseen each and every day in our nation's shelters . They urgently need us to apply our respective talents to their plight- their lives depend on it. Only then will they get a chance to receive the love they so deserve.

Let's follow Phibb's example and join forces to get these loyal souls seen and saved.

In kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Be sure to check out THE ADOPTABLE ANIMALS IN TODAY'S PHOTO GALLERY and spread the word far and wide. Each of those showcased only needs one committed person or family to secure a happy future.

Comments (9)

  • Good morning Dr.Pia,
    What a great joint effort on all the humans and the animals for that photo shoot. Everyone looked so stylish. I hope those pictures get people interested in giving a loving home to a dog or cat that lost theirs.
    Love to all,
    Maddox

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    And hello to you too Dr. Pia. Ah, pictures again today. Now everyone will know just how hard it is to sometimes get just the rights shot. Now take me for example. I just love having my picture taken. I often pose for what seems like hours just to get the right shot. Well, maybe it is only a minute or two but it works out. I read somewhere that one should count their blessings. My list is very long and is getting longer each day. Everyone should remember those shelter animals and do what they can to help out.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Adorable photos and what great talent Mr Phibbs has! I don't know how you do it Dr.Pia, this just made me cry knowing that humans caused this problem with unwanted pets. I don't know the stories behind each animal shown, but my heart just aches knowing that they are in this position. Honestly Pia "I admire you so much" with your strength and compassion.

    Sometimes I think I love animals more then humans...yep I do need therapy. ;-)
    All I can do right now is pray for them and hope that they get furever homes.

    Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

    delia & Kitty =^, ,^= <3

  • Wonderful article, and thank you for sharing all the photos. With any luck, someone reading the Wag today may choose to adopt rather than buy. It is abundantly clear that short haired and long, large and small, and pure breed or not, are all available and in need of loving homes.

  • Hello Dr. Pia,
    How wonderful for everyone to get in the outfits and have a photoshoot. They are all really stylin' and I know the efforts will not be in vain. Please keep us posted on their forever homes. Know they are being adopted as I blog.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Hi Dr. Pia, OMG! You did a fantastic job again today with Richard Phibbs and others at the Manhattan Humane Society of NY! Isn't that the one that's on the Animal show on TV? They sure do provide a great place for these beautiful cats and dogs who deserve great caring homes with terrific humans who care very much about them! These photos by Mr. Phibbs are some of his best and I am overwhelmed viewing them over and over again! Our prayers are with all of those animals, the people who are caring for them, and those who will adopt them! Thanks so much for sharing this special blog! Hope you all have a great weekend and stay safe! Love, Jan and DDR

  • Hello Dr. Pia,

    This is such a fabulous project. I wanted to bring your attention to another project that is just for pugs! The 1000 Pugs project is photographing 1000 pugs in one year by one photographer all over the U.S. The photographs will be then made in to a book. $10,000 will go towards Pug rescue groups. More information on this project can be found here: http://1000pugs.com/the-project/

    Best wishes,

    Sakura

  • Dr. Pia and my dogger blogger buddies..this makes me so sad to see all these wonderful critters without homes..people disgust me most of the time..I know harsh words but it is true...hope all these beautiful dogs and cats and whatever else people leave behind find loving homes like we have...with that, we must go out and try to catch another feral cat and have it fixed ..they all get to live out their lives here at the farm/ranch..Oh no, Lucinda bought a sweather on sale and is making me another hideous vest..thank goodness i won't be able to see it...and if one raccoon, otter, beave or deer laugh at me they will have a problem..blind or not...later..Cora-belle

  • Outstanding work as always. Thank you for not only what you, but also showcasing those wonderful people helping animals in need as well.

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