Why I Volunteer My Time Photographing Dogs & Cats

mastiff mix dogOnce I went full time with my photography business this year, my number one goal was finding shelters and rescues to work with. These dogs and cats have just one chance to make a lasting impression on their potential owners. I’ve been known to flip through Petfinder.com and the right photograph stops me in my tracks. I was thrilled when both Pets Without Parents in Clintonville and Noah’s Too – The Rescue Foundation in Gahanna, decided to let me show them what I could do to help increase their adoptions.

I can’t say that deciding to volunteer with these groups was my idea. One of the main goals of a group I belong to, HeARTs Speak, is to create a community for artists who’s goal is to donate their time and services to help save these animals’ lives. One of the members, Teresa Berg, was featured on CBS News recently, because of her work with adoptable animals. To see Teresa’s interview – click here. I met Teresa back in 2009 when I attended the Unleashed Pet Photography workshop that she was co-teaching. Teresa shared with us her work with rescues and when she began photographing these adoptable dogs, their adoption rate increased 100%!

If you are a pet photographer, I highly suggest helping a rescue or shelter that does not have a professional photographer volunteering their time. It is such a rewarding experience! I also recommend checking out the HeArts Speak website and consider applying for membership if you plan on working with shelters or rescue groups. These artists are more than happy to share ideas and tips with each other, in our quest to find these animals homes.

I recently received another email from a family that adopted one of the dogs I photographed. When I read emails like this, I know that it is worth every minute that I spend photographing the dogs and cats.

Hi Danielle,

My family recently adopted a dog (Cheyenne, now Grace) from Noah’s Too – The Rescue Foundation in Gahanna. After looking at thousands (literally thousands) of beautiful dogs in need of homes on Petfinder, we came across Cheyenne’s picture. Out of all of the dogs, we chose to meet Cheyenne first.

While Cheyenne’s personality and temperment (and my current dog liking her – not an easy thing for him 🙂 were the ultimate decisions on why we adopted her … it was your pictures that lead us to her! Thank you for donating your time and talent to these deserving animals. Please know your generosity truly made a difference!!!!

Sincerely, Courtney

And while we’re on the subject of adoptable animals that need homes – the photographs above, are of  Abby Jo from Noah’s Too – The Rescue foundation. What a sweet girl she is. When I photographed her, she had only been at Noah’s for about 24-hours. Hopefully she’ll be able to find her furever home soon! Here is a link to Abby’s information on Petfinder.

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A Dog Loving Photographer Living In Buckeye Country