Effect of Photography on Rescue work

For the last 10 months I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer work with local rescues, including taking cute photos of the pups (and sometimes cats and rats) available for adoption. It’s been some of the most heartbreaking work, as I see dogs come in that are broken, starving, scared, and sometimes quite ill.  It’s also been very heartwarming, seeing how these dogs still have faith in us to care for them, despite their past. They still have lots of love and cuddles to give us, despite their history.  I’ve seen a family break down into tears upon meeting their new family member, coming in off transport. These dogs deserve all the love we can give them, and since I can’t adopt ALLLLL THE DOGS, the best I can do is give them the best chance they can get at finding their new forever home.

The thing I notice about rescue photos, the dogs sometimes look scared. They’re usually blurry cell phone pics (trust me, as a professional dog photographer, I am very aware that dogs – especially nervous dogs – move around very quickly).  When people are scrolling through facebook friend statuses, a blurry dog pic is likely to get lost, because it’s not unique. Everyone posts blurry cell phone pics of their pets (even I’m guilty of this..) What stands out, what gets a dog noticed? A clear, well edited picture of a cute pup. This sometimes takes a lot of patience, treats, and exercises in trust.  Anyone that’s visited my site/facebook page/instagram, knows that my dog Abby is one of the most photogenic/handsome/cute/adorable/expressive dogs. But let me share with you her photo that was sent to us when we agreed to foster her.

That’s no doubt our Abby. But she doesn’t have the same spark that comes across in all our pictures. Even in the pictures that I took of Abby in the first days she came to live with us, she oozes personality.

What I’ve heard from the rescues I’ve worked with, the dogs get a lot more applications, social media shares, attention when they have professional photos of the dogs. Even the most scared pups, with enough patience and trust, allow you to capture them completely relaxed.  When we get a dog adopted into a loving home, you’re saving two lives. The dog that just got adopted, and you freed up a rescue spot for a new dog that is in desperate need of a new chapter in their life.  I love my job, I know that I have a large impact on these animals that just need to know they’re going to be loved and cared for.  Someday we’ll open our home to foster another dog, but for now, I am happy knowing that I play a role in successfully rehoming these dogs.

 

**Recently I created a Family Day campaign for a rescue, making fact posters for each of the dogs up for adoption. Previous to these posters, this rescue would get between 0 and 5 shares on any post regarding a dog available for adoption. With these informative posters, they were getting around 25 shares per poster! THIS IS AMAZING. What’s even better? Is out of the 8 posters I created, 4 dogs have been adopted, and the rescue has interest & applications on all the other pups, in just over a week. Best feeling in the world.