Kickstarting: “Finding Trust” Finds An Intimate Human-Animal Bond

Annie Marie Musselman uncovers animal emotion with her photos of vulnerable critters. With a German publishing house on board, she’s looking to raise half the funding for a book of the photos via Kickstarter.

Animals are people too, or at least they have many of the same kinds of emotions we would identify as human, and Annie Marie Musselman is trying to prove it.


The Seattle-based photographer began a photo essay series six years ago to document what she was seeing in her work at the Sarvey Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which is located 75 miles north of Seattle. This small sanctuary is where wild creatures end up when they’re injured. It serves as both infirmary and hospice center, and it is here that Musselman has seen all manner of emotions and communicative ability between the animals and their human helpers. Now she wants to share photos of these wonderfully expressive creatures with the rest of us, and she may be getting her chance, thanks to Kickstarter.

The German publisher Kehrer Verlag is keen to publish a Finding Trust book in 2013, provided that Musselman delivers half the funds for its printing. The photographer has posted the project on Kickstarter to raise the money.

As she notes on the Kickstarter page: “The work I produce documents the delicate union that exists between humans and animals. It’s not just the actual places where were our lives often intersect, like a park or forest, but the spaces where our emotions meet. When a creature on an examining table turns toward my camera, I see the universal reactions of pain and confusion in its eyes. The work documents the infirmed animals’ recovery with a sense of wonder as they heal, hoping to return to the wild forests of the Northwest. I hope to capture the palpable emotions in my photographs because I can’t help but contemplate how much we actually know about each other.”

As of January 4th, Musselman has raised $10,000 of the necessary $15,000, with less than two weeks left.

Have a look through some of her images of animals in the slide show above.

[Images: Annie Marie Mussleman]