We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Kloth and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Going through school, my role models, for the most part, all did their own thing so it seemed the natural choice to start my own business when it was time. In retrospect, I regret not doing some assisting first, but at the time I didn’t live in a market where that was really practical. I learned a lot of lessons by trial and error but ultimately, I really appreciate the flexibility that being a small business owner affords.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Professionally I’m best known as a pet photographer in part because I wrote and illustrated two books as the result of my graduate thesis work (Shelter Cats and Shelter Puppies both published by Merrell Publishers, LTD). I fully enjoy working with animals and I still give back to the community by providing my professional services to animal rescue groups (primarily Pima Animal Care Center now). Because of that, I do a lot of pet portrait sessions for clients but I also enjoy doing commercial and fine art work as well. My commercial work includes portrait and still life work while my fine art tends more towards abstract art. My current fine art project is best described as microscopic still lifes.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Outside of the pandemic, there are a lot of great opportunities here in Tucson for showing a guest a great time. We actually have a list of suggestions about three pages long of local activities and restaurants that we love. Every time we have an out of town guest, there are a few must-do experiences with the first being the Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum. We are members and get there a few times a year during normal circumstances. The Tucson Museum of Art and Tohono Chul Park are also favorites. If they are up for a bit of exercise, then hiking at Sabino Canyon or Saguaro Park will be on the list as well. For a little hands-on activity, I’d suggest a class or two at the Sonoran Glass School as maybe a metal art workshop with local artist Emily Mann (solaz.biz). As for food, some favorites include Baja Café, Café Poca Cosa, The Little One, Tumerico, The Hub, Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria, Calle Tepa, and so many more. I really look forward to a time when we can visit these places safely again.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are a lot of people that I owe credit to for helping me get where I am today starting first off with my wife, Robin. We were lucky to meet when we were teenagers and we started dating as in college. We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in May. There are of course friends and family too that have helped me along the way. It would be impossible to understate the importance of everyone that I met and worked with at the Academy of Art University and especially two photographers that I did independent studies with – Amanda Jones and Traer Scott. I’d known both of their work through pet magazines and books before starting school so it was a real honor to have the chance to work with them both during my training. After I graduated, I had the pleasure of helping get the non-profit HeARTs Speak off the ground with founder Lisa Prince-Fishler and a few key others including Phoenix photographer Jill Flynn.
Other: www.tucsonpetphotography.com www.vimeo.com/michaelkloth
Portrait of Michael Kloth by Reena Giola
Nominate someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.