This is a relatively new blog – but if you’re a photographer that has just discovered the wonderful power you have for helping abandoned animals by photographing them – welcome! Your help is so acutely needed! A recent attendee at one of our monthly photo clinics brought some sobering statistics to my attention — ONLY ONE IN SEVEN dogs currently housed in a Dallas shelter gets adopted. This means that thousands of animals (one source said 29,000) animals per year die through no fault of their own. Very sad.
We have statistics that show that adoption rates almost double when they have good photographs to use when advertising these animals! So if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and photograph some pets but you don’t have a shelter or rescue group in mind, scan the Shelter Coalition list here
Our next photo clinic for rescue volunteers will be held May 19, 2011 at Teresa Berg Photography. You must sign up in advance! Call the studio to get your name on the list.
If you’re using a small built-in flash on a point and shoot camera, chances are you’re struggling with red, glowing eyes and very harsh shadows when photographing animals.
Watch this cute little video for tips on how to soften the harsh light from your camera’s flash in a very easy non-tech way.
Such a wonderful opportunity — I talked about photographing rescue dogs with Emmy Award winning journalist Steve Hartman of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. His story about us will be part of Assignment America (stay tuned for a date). I was thrilled and excited to have the chance to see these guys work. And with their help, I know we’re going to have a lot more people out there adopting and photographing homeless dogs. Thanks, Steve and many thanks to Jamie Brown Public Relations for pulling this all together — and a HUGE thank you to Dallas Fort Worth Dachshund Rescue for the endless hours of coordinating and driving and arrangements made.
“There’s not a lot of that type of statistics on many aspects of sheltering,” says Kim Intino, the director of animal sheltering issues for the Humane Society of the United States. “But I think that every person that has worked in a shelter can attest that in shelters animals with black coats can be somewhat harder to adopt out — or to even get noticed.”
Even after a year had passed at a Los Angeles animal shelter, no one had noticed Estelle. Except, of course, for the staff; they fawned over the big black dog and her gentle demeanor. They started letting Estelle roam the office during the day, which let one couple see her in action — outside her cage and calmly interacting with people. They fell for her, and took her home.
But not every black dog is lucky enough to get that kind of special attention, says Madeline Bernstein, the president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles.
“They’re the hardest to adopt out, they’re in the shelters the longest and therefore, they’re most likely to be euthanized if nothing happens,” Bernstein says. (Breeders don’t tend to face this problem at the level that shelters do, simply because they have fewer animals to deal with than a city shelter that takes strays in every day.)
Bernstein has plenty of theories about why people might not want black dogs in animal shelters. It’s mostly an unconscious thing, she says, which may explain why black cats have the same problems finding a home. People who are aware of superstitions about black cats (don’t let them cross your path!) may also be unconsciously harboring superstitions about black dogs.
We’re working on the Focus on Rescue class materials. Our goal is to have an easy to understand plan that volunteers and photographers everywhere can use to train animal shelter/rescue volunteers to make better photos of the animals waiting for their forever homes. Information about our webinars is on the webinars page (see tab at the top) and we hope you’ll join us. Statistics show that better photography helps save animals lives!
If you’re interested in getting this information, just email us and we’ll make sure you get the download link as soon as it’s available. Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org