I have been going through withdrawal. Puppy kisses and kitty purrs withdrawal, that is. It has felt like an eternity since I was at Pets Without Parents, photographing the adoptable animals. The one thing I knew I would really miss about Columbus was volunteering my services with PWP.
After the holidays, I started contacting local rescues and shelters in the Youngstown area. I will admit, I expected them to jump on the chance to have their animals professionally photographed. But, that was not the case. One group informed me that they had a digital camera and they were good with that. I tried to explain the benefits of having a professional photographer volunteer their time and how it quickly increases adoption rates. Still, no bites. I was deflated, but continued to contact organizations. Then I reached out to Alchemy Acres Animal Sanctuary in Salem, Ohio and they were excited to talk more with me. After meeting with Katie at Alchemy, I realized that they were going to be a great group to work with and it was worth the wait. For those photographers who work with rescue and shelter groups that stop by my blog, just remember if you are trying to get in the door, don’t give up! There will be an organization that welcomes and appreciates the assistance!
Alchemy is a no-kill sanctuary for abandoned and abused animals. Not only are there dogs and cats at the rescue, but there’s also rabbits! I have never photographed a rabbit before, so this could be very interesting when the time rolls around for their photos.
My first trip there lasted about two hours and I photographed over 15 dogs and cats. It was a great opportunity to get a feel for the setup of the rescue with my lighting and the flow of having the pets photographed. After spending over a year photographing at Pets Without Parents, I had my light, location and my workflow down pat. This time was a little different as George was not able to go with me. We have such a rhythm when photographing the animals that I really missed his assistance. Change is good and especially adapting to the new shooting locations along with a new group of people to work with! For my first time at Alchemy, I think it went pretty well and I was able to get some cute photographs of their animals.
There are A LOT of animals there, so I plan on going out pretty often until I get somewhat caught up with photographs. Then I will be there about once a month to photograph the “newbies” that arrive. Here are just a few from the first round of photographs!