From my very earliest memory, I have always felt a deep and profound connection with animals. I spent my childhood rescuing lost dogs, pigeons with broken wings, stray cats, reading any and all stories about animals from “Born Free” to “Black Beauty” to “The Plague Dogs”, and even burying a number of animals in our backyard that I found on my way home from school. A defining moment in my youth was the day I met a caged wolf, and my realization for the first time, surrounded by my friends, that I was the only one there who seemed to truly understand how he felt as he circled in his cage. It was as clear as if he were speaking to me. I was able to empathize with him, and that moment changed me – and my understanding of my connection to animals – forever.
I’ve spent my adult life, here in Los Angeles, working to make animals’ lives better – whether companion animals, wildlife, or farmed animals, my passion has always been to help them in any way that I am able. I’ve worked with such diverse organizations as EarthSave, PETA, Mercy for Animals, Sea Shepherd, Stray Cat Alliance, Beagle Freedom Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, FARM, and many others listed under links on this page. I’ve donated my event planning skills, my resources, and my photography to help raise awareness about animal welfare and rights issues, and I am proud to have spent the past decade on the screening committee of The Genesis Awards, an annual televised event dedicated to awarding major media for stories that shed light on animal issues.
I have studied with such photographic notables as Greg Gorman, Mary Ellen Mark, Amy Arbus, Bobbi Lane, Frank Ockenfels, Lauren Greenfield, Ken Merfeld, Andrew Southam, Scott Kelby, Josh Sanseri, Aline Smithson, Julia Dean, Jeff Jacobson, Sam Abell, Mark Berndt, and Kevin Scanlon, among others. My photos have appeared in Rolling Stone, ALetterToMyDog.com, The Jane Velez-Mitchell Show, Ecorazzi, HSUS News, The Easy Reader Magazine, My Cat From Hell tv show, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Cesar’s Way Magazine, Cat Fancy Magazine, Woof! Magazine, Catster.com, Beaglefreedomproject.org, Hauspanther.net, Theadvocate.com, Compassionate Living Magazine, Lenscratch, and others. Read an interview with me discussing my photography at http://www.moderncat.net/2012/11/10/pet-photography-q-a-with-susan-weingartner/
My theatrical training as an actress and dancer has informed my photography, including thousands of shots of various rock bands onstage. I believe this training brings a theatrical aspect to my animal photography as well. My animal portraiture is truly working “from the inside out”, and creating a communion with each animal, because of my deep empathy and understanding of who they are as sentient beings. I believe my style has a slightly surreal beauty and drama that reminds me of my days in the theater and film. Now, of course, the stars are the animals – whatever shape, size, species, wild, farmed, or animal companion – I love working with them all and creating artistic images that you’ll cherish for years to come.
You can view my other work, including wedding, headshot, and human portraiture, as well as my extensive work shooting musicians in concert such as Muse, Slipknot, Vampire Weekend, Pennywise, Xavier Rudd, The Red Paintings, Band of Skulls, The Temper Trap, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Dead Weather, Perry Farrell, She and Him, Jessie J and others; at such venues as Coachella Music Festival, Smokeout, Musexpo, The Fillmore, House of Blues, Hard Rock Café, The Viper Room, The Roxy, The Beatles Revolution Lounge, Key Club, Hotel Café, and Bar Sinister at: www.susanweingartner.com.