I have often been asked where my company's name comes from and who Potok is. A historical figure? A poet? No, she was my beloved gray tabby cat, the love of my life.
Potok was born in Budapest, Hungary on September 1, 2002. From those international beginnings, she went on to become a world traveler, living on 3 continents and in countries such as Finland, the United States, Ecuador and India.
From the day she adopted us (and not the other way around, of course!), my husband and I considered Potok to be our firstborn child. Even her simplest movements and poses were the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and that is why she became my camera's favorite subject. Like most first-time cat parents, I became determined to capture every look of curiosity and those elusive movements that cats are so adept at making. And like most new cat parents, I failed miserably at the start! She seemed to delight in outsmarting me and looking away at the last second. It took years for me to learn to always have my camera ready, just in case!
During a routine medical exam in June 2012, Potok, then almost 10, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which is progressive in cats. What followed was a long and exhausting battle that the three of us fought against this horrific disease. For almost 1 1/2 years, it looked like we would win. But I couldn't stop worrying that her time with us might not be as long as we hoped. On one anxiety-filled day, I decided find a way to immortalize Potok, and I founded Potok's World Photography in honor of her on March 8, 2013. My goal was to share the joy she brought me with other people who loved their cats as much as I loved her. I wanted to help them record unforgettable memories, so that when their furry loved ones are gone, they still have pictures that make them smile.
In August 2013, when Potok's health worsened, I hired a photographer myself, because I wanted to be in the photos and not behind the camera as I usually am. And today my husband and I are so very thankful that we have those pictures of her. Even more so given that our beloved little girl lost her long and hard battle on October 12, 2013.
In 2014, the Potok Martin Fund was created with the aim to help cats who need treatment and whose caregivers are not in a position to pay for the procedures that might otherwise save the cat's life. The Potok Martin Fund has partnered with Just Cats Clinic, an exclusive clinic for cats based in Reston, VA.