Q&A with Annie Marie Musselman

Annie Marie Musselman just recently launched an amazing Kick-Starter campaign to help her launch her new book, Finding Trust. Annie Marie, a Seattle photographer whose work focuses on documenting the unique balance and relationships between humans and animals, and most recently the lives of recovering animals at the Sarvey Wildlife Rehabilitation Center reveals a glimpse into her vision and motivation in our interview below.

It feels as though Finding Trust embodies the photography that you’ve been working on for years. How has Finding Trust enhanced and influenced your current and future photographic endeavors?
When I started shooting at Sarvey and the work became recognized around the photo world, editors would frequently say, ” just shoot them the way you photograph the animals”. I realized I was photographing them in a really natural way but would steer the look to be other worldly or spiritual, I feel that humans and animals share an inexplicable bond and it was kind of a way of uncovering that thought. I became fascinated by this connection and traveled to Uganda and Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo to uncover more of those ideas in the animal world. My new work focuses on endangered species in sanctuaries around the world, I just finished working at Wolf Haven this past year on grant from Getty Images called The Getty Images Grant For Good.

How have the experiences you’ve had with your family and friends affected your work with Sarvey Wildlife Rehabilitation Center?
It’s actually more like how has Sarvey affected my relationship to my family and friends, because as far as my family goes, I felt more connected than ever……..to see life change so drastically from my mom passing away to other animals who were also my friends coming and going from my life, it made me feel the awesome-ness if you will of this earth, the work we have to do here and the beauty of our lives. I felt so much driving home from that amazing rescue center in the foothills of the north cascades, so much would happen their, so much urgency and so much love that coming home to the city felt so irrelevant at first and then I realized it was just that I was changing a lot, caring more for myself, animals, the environment, so I wasn’t interested in things that used to, I had a new vision I guess. It was so fun and still is. The animals touched me and gave me some truths about our true selves and who we are really meant to be, and now I can never go back….

What are the next steps for the publishing of Finding Trust once you’ve reached your fundraising goal?
Kehrer Verlag will request all the high res images for the book and there are so many so I’m sure it will be quite an editing process. I do have a dummie draft of the book that I sent to them, it includes 50 frames. Tony Angell is contributing a forward for the book. Tony is an artist and writer who has published a number of award winning books on nature. His sculpture and drawings of subjects from nature have likewise won national and international awards. Once published, I will embark on a coordinated program of promotion and distribution of the volume. This effort will be critical to the eventual enjoyment and motivation that this book will provide the reader. The book should be published in 2013, that is the plan!

What are your artistic goals and ambitions once Finding Trust is published?
Kehrer wants me to have an exhibition of the work along with the book release and i’ll be looking for a gallery for that. I’ve shown the work nationally and have had two earlier exhibits one in NYC and one here in Seattle but it will be great to have a show with the complete body of work.

Can you tell me more about your newest body of work, For The Innocent? How does it relate or not-relate to your past work?
It’s a continuation of the theme of animals relating to humans in the sense that humans have the ability to save an endangered species by breeding in private sanctuaries. I just finished working at Wolf Haven and they are working tirelessly to save the Red Wolf and the Mexican Grey wolf who are both highly endangered. I have a long list of sanctuaries around the world who are doing endangered species restoration and i’m so excited to continue the work.

Annie Marie’s work has been published in National Geographic, Real Simple, Marie Claire, American Photography 23 and 25 and several publications throughout Asia and Europe. This body of work has also made it to the top 50 in the nationally juried, traveling exhibition Critical Mass. Check out her campaign today.

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