“Allowed To Grow Old:” Photographer Captures Rescue Animals Who Escaped Slaughterhouses Or Farms (15 Pics)

“Allowed To Grow Old:” Photographer Captures Rescue Animals Who Escaped Slaughterhouses Or Farms (15 Pics)

The photographer said that farm animals don’t behave uniformly. “Like the dogs and cats we share our homes with, these animals have distinct personalities. Some are very outgoing and affectionate, others are shy and reserved.”

Many of the animals Leshko met for her project were rescued from horrific situations involving abuse and neglect. “These animals are trauma survivors, and some are understandably wary of new people. For these animals, in particular, I spent a lot of time with them before even taking a single photo. I often spent days with a single animal to develop a rapport with him. I wanted the animals I photographed to be as relaxed as possible so I could depict their true personalities.”

Leshko also didn’t want to be in these pictures. She wasn’t interested in capturing the animals reacting to her presence. “I wanted to be as invisible as possible so I could observe them behaving naturally and comfortably. If any animal seemed really uncomfortable with me, I would not photograph them. Although animals cannot provide verbal consent to being photographed, they are excellent at communicating when they wish to be left alone.”

Also, these photos were not posed. Leshko followed the animals wherever they went. It was important to her that the animals felt in control of the situation and that she photographed them on their terms and not her own. “For this reason, I worked with natural light and did not use any artificial lighting that might be disruptive to the animals. I also photographed the animals at eye-level because I wanted viewers of my images to gaze directly into their eyes. This meant spending hours contorting my body in odd positions while lying in mud and animal scat.”

Ryan Sanders

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