Founder & Photographer KT Merry's Creative Print Process

Many steps and much careful consideration go into creating the unique images that end up in our collections, and ultimately, on your wall. Every stage of the process is essential and equally important and designed to ensure these photographs provide a lifetime of inspiration. Here is a behind-the-scenes-look at the life of a print, before it arrives on your doorstep.


Before embarking on any adventure, KT is diligent about packing for the unknown. She likes to have anywhere from 4 to 6 cameras with her, never knowing what perfect shooting opportunity may present itself. For a typical trip to Africa, KT and Chad travel with more than 80 pounds of photo equipment, in addition to their safari clothes and modern essentials (like laptops).


The trip to Kenya can take as long as 30 hours from KT’s home in Florida. The duo tends to overnight in Nairobi, upon arrival in Kenya, before departing by bush plane to one or more of our conservation partners. Bush flights can be as short as 30 minutes but our conservation partners are located deep in the heart of the wilderness so KT and Chad often travel more than 2 hours by prop plane to reach their final destination. All told, it takes more than 48 hours to reach rural Kenya.


KT and Chad carefully plan their interactions with the wildlife they photograph so as to maximize their chances for success. All of the animals represented in the Render Loyalty collections are wild, even the orphaned elephants. In the case of the baby elephants, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust cares for the abandoned calves until they are old enough to be re-introduced into the wild. This process takes roughly 3 years.

Apart from the elephant orphanege, every animal KT and Chad photograph is wild and living in its natural habitat. As such, patience and luck play a large part in KT’s ability to capture print worthy images for the series. Often spending more than 12 hours a day on Safari, KT and Chad roam the bush in search of the perfect subject and never know what they might come across. While the shot lists are specific, the timing of capturing each shot is very loose. Interacting with wildlife cannot be planned rather it must be embraced and allowed to unfold naturally.


It’s not unlikely for KT to shoot several hundred rolls of film per visit.  Upon return from Africa, all of the shot film is sent for processing in California. Once the film is processed each image receives color correction and is added to a final group of processed files. These processed files make up the complete catalog of images captured and from this catalog KT will begin to make her selects. KT carefully combs each image and categorizes the images by number. It takes dozens of hours and eventually KT will refine the catalog to around 20 final images. This number usually represents 1% of the images shot and these 1% are the final images that make up each series.


Each photograph is color adjusted and printed on the highest-quality Hahnemuhle fine art cotton rag photographic paper at our partner studio in California. Next, KT hand-signs each print to ensure its authenticity. Each is then hand-framed in the US using a classic wood frame and archival quality plexi that complements the artwork without competing with it. The integrity of our final touches ensure your photograph will bring joy to your home for years to come.


Of course, the best part is last, and we hope you are able to find pieces in our collection that speak to you. To help guide your selection, consider our blog post: Choosing the Right Art for Your Home or reach out to us at with questions or ideas for your special purchase.


Picture above from top to bottom, left to right: 

Dust Play


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