Photo of Darrell by Gregory Byerline Photography
If you've ever searched for an adoptable pet online, then you've seen the stark photos of shelter dogs cowering for their mug shots and that quintessential living room photo showcasing Fifi's less-than-lovely red devil eyes. True, shelters and rescues do the best they can: after all, they are animal rescuers, not photographers--and their time is focused exactly where it should be, on the rescue and care of the homeless animals in their custody.
But if a picture is worth a thousand words, don't homeless pets deserve a beautiful introduction to potential adopters?
Case in point: take Stella, one of the dogs rescued from a Warren County puppy mill in March by Animal Rescue Corps. You'll notice two photos of her below: on the left is the photo I took of her with my point-and-shoot camera at our emergency shelter, through her cage. On the right is the breathtaking portrait photographer April Hollingsworth took of her for our summer issue.
Which dog would you want sleeping in your bed? Which photo most captures the spirit and story of this dog--wounds and all? While my grim shelter photo indeeds conveys the horrid conditions this poor girl had been living in, it is April's photo that not only captures the wounded spirit in Stella's beautiful eyes, but also shows her in a sweet and gentle light that is so true to her personality.
Photographers like April know the value of a professional shot. That's why, when she's not running Harmony Designs Photography, she can be found photographing adoptable dogs for Agape Animal Rescue to help them find their forever homes.
It's the same passion that drives local photographers Gregory Byerline, Jen Wood and Adrian Hitt to capture our perfect cover shots issue after issue, in hopes of finding loving families for the many adoptable pets we feature on the front of our magazines. After all, it's been proven to rescues again and again: good photos turn into good adoptions. Good photos save lives.
That's why, according to a CBS News interview, Dallas, TX based Teresa Berg is sending out a plea to her fellow photographers to "pick a rescue group" and offer pro bono portrait sessions for homeless pets. "I can't stand to think for want of a good photo that a dog goes homeless," she told CBS.
Help give a homeless pet a great start in life. Watch the CBS video below, then share this post with a photographer you know. Together, we can make a difference!