You know how when you meet new people, one of the first questions we are likely to ask is what we do for work, & more often then not, its a pretty standard career choice? Then, every once in a blue moon, you meet someone who’s answer brings so much excitement you rattle off 20 questions without ever realizing it?!
Allow me to introduce Mrs. Kate Cortelyou. Kate has been the giraffe keeper for the Nashville Zoo for the past 4 years. That’s right…a real life zookeeper with a big heart for animals & is pretty easy on the eyes no less! As Kate puts it, she has a “dirty job”- meaning she looks better when she wakes up than when she comes home! Kate is very hands on with her giraffes, doing everything from the dirty picking up of the poop, scrub walls and floors to training giraffes, medicate them when needed, and so on. Kate is their mother, teacher, maid, & cook all rolled into one.
A while back, Kate found out that Ace Photography was holding a contest, awarding 3 brides with the best ideas/themes with a Trash The Dress photo session. I can only imagine the reaction the Ace staff must have had when they read Kate’s submission of wanting to do a vintage travel themed shoot with giraffes & elephants! I dont know about you guys, but I think it was a slam dunk for Kate from the start!
“I was lucky enough to fall into this position. When I started searching for zoo jobs, I knew I wanted to work with large african animals. The giraffe have caputured my heart & I cannot imagine working with any other types of animal. They are spectacular.”
Kate wore her Allure Wedding Dress from her May 28, 2011 Nashville Wedding to Justin Cortelyou. She had a very specific vision in her head from the start & did her best to make it a reality. She found the old luggage on craigslist for a steal as well as using smaller props she had which worked perfectly with the whole shoot.
In the middle of December, Kate & the Nashville Zoo suffered the loss of Kate’s favorite giraffe and her unborn calf during complications in labor. Kate is understandably heartbroken and distraught. She, along with her husband will be running a 5k for the zoo in her honor on January 21, 2012; helping the zoo raise money.
As it turns out, Kate received the TTD photos back 2 days after she had passed away, leaving Kate with photographs that are now even more sacred and dear to her then ever, giving her something she can cherish and hold on to forever.
If you would like to help Kate & Justin raise money in their honor, please donate! Click Team Binti for the link to their donation page.