dog photography dallas

Photographing dogs for animal rescue | CBS Sunday Morning

WOW! what wonderful responses I have had from so many wonderful animal lovers across the country. You inspire me!

If you haven’t sent me an email and you’ve just stumbled upon this blog – please watch our wonderful news clip. A big hug to Steve Hartman, a wonderful journalist with a heart AND a brain for doing this story. We need more media professionals like him!

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just a few notes:
If you’re a professional and feel competent with your DSLR and are
ready to start selling your work — our Focus On Rescue workshop will
not teach you marketing, sales, and professional photographic techniques
using professional equipment. We have a wonderful book written
specifically for pros called DOG SHOTS: Tips & Tricks for Pet Photographers which is available on my PETS website. Click on “For Photographers” It
covers equipment, camera settings, location shooting, etc. It’s a
shooting/creative guide to making beautiful portraits. It does not cover
the business end of things. You can see sample pages and read reviews
on the Unleashed | fine art of pet photography blog.

If you are interested in a fine art pet photography workshop in Dallas
with me, to learn marketing, sales, studio lighting with live models,
etc. please let me know. If there is enough interest, we can set up a
two day workshop and really do some hands-on work with live models and
studio equipment, and get down to business!

For beginners:

The FOR (Focus On Rescue) workshops are for beginners and rescue volunteers who are using point and shoot cameras and photographing pets specifically for their online
adoption listings, i.e. Petfinder.com.  In these workshops we often have
people show up with DSLRS, but please don’t think we’re going to be
able (in 2-3 hours!) to teach you pet photography.   We can teach you to
greatly improve the quality of the photographs you take with the
equipment you have on hand.  These workshops are offered for a
non-refundable fee of $20 to cover the cost of handouts, etc.  We offer
these in Dallas only (at this time) and will publish the dates of the
upcoming classes on this blog.

If you’re unable to attend a workshop in Dallas and still want to learn
how to make better photographs and work with animal rescue and pets,  we
will be offering a webinar towards the end of this month for a nominal
fee (like $50).  I honestly have tried to have some sort of kit or
manual available for download but found that it was really difficult to
teach lighting from basic drawings on paper. At least with a
webinar I can take your questions and narrate the diagrams.  We will
have you sign up online and pay the webinar fee by paypal.

The webinar will also go over working with rescue organizations, and we’ll
have an opportunity to answer your questions re: props, backgrounds,
etc.

In the mean time, target the rescue group you want to work with
— some great tips on the Getting Started page of this blog.
When you’re ready to approach them and volunteer, I suggest you offer your services
GENTLY. Don’t walk in the door and tell them their photography sucks
and you could do better, because the person behind the counter has
probably worked very hard to get those photos online and he or she works
for little or no money doing it.  PARTNER with them, volunteer to
photograph their events and join their fund raising efforts –become a
part of the team before you try to take over the photography.  And
hopefully by that time, you will have some new skills to offer them!

Finally, you may want to join a group of professional photographers that is
organizing to support animal rescue around the country, take a look at Hearts Speak  They
also have a facebook page. They do not train beginners, but they are a
growing organization of professionals that are making a difference. They might even be able to match you up with a pro in your area for some mentoring.

So thank you! and I hope to see you on our Webinar next week.
Teresa

15 comments

  1. I’m a Dallas native currently living in Indiana and heard about your great work from my mom. I have a little experience with photojournalism and own a DSLR. I have a pretty crappy lens because I bought the camera in college and had access to the school’s equipment. I’m very interested in combining my two passions–photography and helping homeless pets!! I can’t attend a session and I doubt I’ll be able to attend the webinar due to my work schedule. I’m hesitant about approaching a shelter…any tips? The pics on the websites of my local shelters are pretty sad. I want to make the fur babies shine like they do in person! 🙂

  2. I can totally attest that a great photo make a HUGE difference when I adopted. I’ve been a dog person all my life, so when my Buddy died in April there was no question that I was going to go out and get another dog. But the wonderful photos taken by Cynthia Poel Barker for the dogs rescued by the Alvin-Friendswood Veterinary Clinic Adoptions in Texas made me put one of their guys at #1 on the list. And he is a sweetie. 🙂

  3. I am moved and excited at the opportunites. I am a Newburyport, Massachusetts photographer. I do a great deal of work with animals and their people. I would love to carry on your work in this part of the country. There are a great deal of shelters and rescue organizations here. I would love to know the best way to approach a shelter and take one of your seminars. What you are doing is fabulous and i am ready too.
    Kay Bice
    BearSpirit Photography
    Newburyport, MA

    1. First, the experienced photographers:

      If you’re a professional and feel competent with your DSLR and are ready to start selling your work — our Focus On Rescue workshop will not teach you marketing, sales, and professional photographic techniques using professional equipment. We have a wonderful book written specifically for pros called DOG SHOTS: Tips & Tricks for Pet Photographers which is available on my PETS website. Click the For Photographers, tab. It covers equipment, camera settings, location shooting, etc. It’s a shooting/creative guide to making beautiful portraits. It does not cover the business end of things. You can see sample pages and read reviews on the Unleashed | fine art of pet photography blog.

      If you are interested in a fine art pet photography workshop in Dallas with me, to learn marketing, sales, studio lighting with live models, etc. please let me know. If there is enough interest, we can set up a two day workshop and really do some hands on work with live models and studio equipment.

      For beginners:

      The FOR (Focus On Rescue) workshops are for beginners and rescue volunteers who are using point and shoot cameras and photographing pets specifically for their online adoption listings, i.e. Petfinder.com. In these workshops we often have people show up with DSLRS, but please don’t think we’re going to be able (in 2-3 hours!) to teach you pet photography. We can teach you to greatly improve the quality of the photographs you take with the equipment you have on hand. These workshops are offered for a non-refundable fee of $20 to cover the cost of handouts, etc. We offer these in Dallas only (at this time) and will publish the dates of the upcoming classes on the FOR blog.

      If you’re unable to attend a workshop in Dallas and still want to learn how to make better photographs and work with animal rescue and pets, we will be offering a webinar towards the end of this month for a nominal fee (like $50). I honestly have tried to have some sort of kit or manual available for download but found that it was really difficult to teach someone lighting from basic drawings on paper. At least with a webinar I can take your questions and narrate the diagrams. We will have you sign up online and pay the webinar fee by paypal.

      The webinar will also go over Working with Rescue organizations, and we’ll have an opportunity to answer your questions re: props, backgrounds, etc.

      In the mean time, look for the group you want to work with — a well organized group with a board of directors (not necessarily a brick and mortar building) a bank account (maybe 501c3 status?) and an online presence. These three things you can easily discover — and they are the first and most important steps you can take.

      When you’re ready to approach them and volunteer, I suggest you offer your services GENTLY. Don’t walk in the door and tell them their photography sucks and you could do better, because the person behind the counter has probably worked very hard to get those photos online and he or she works for little or no money doing it. PARTNER with them, volunteer to photograph their events and join their fund raising efforts –become a part of the team before you try to take over the photography. And hopefully by that time, you will have some new skills to offer them!

      If you want to join a group of professional photographers that is organizing to support animal rescue around the country, take a look at Hearts Speak They also have a facebook page. They do not train beginners, but they are a growing organization of professionals that are making a difference.

      So thank you! and I hope to see you on our Webinar next week.
      Teresa

  4. Teresa,
    I volunteer taking photographs for Operation Kindness. Even though I’m pretty decent with my DSLR, look for me to sign up for one of your courses. I’m thinking I may want to learn studio set up as I’ve been toying with the idea of shooting less in natural light like I have been. Thanks so much for inspiring others to get involved!
    – Jennifer

  5. It is my great pleasure to visit your website and to enjoy your excellent post here. I like that very much. I can feel that you paid much attention for those articles, as all of them make sense and are very useful. Thanks so much for sharing. I will be…

  6. Theresa, I am so glad I saw the cbs clip about you. You have created a way to incorporate two things that I am passionate about-photography, and animal rescue. You are my new hero and I will be checking out your webinar and your book for photographers. Such an inspiration!

  7. As a proud mom to two shelter boys, I was so inspired to see this piece on CBS Sunday Morning! Thank you for doing such a wonderful thing for these lovely creatures who just want a happy home. Hopefully others with you talent and eye for photography are inspired to follow in your footsteps!
    Claudine

  8. Theresa… although it was almost two months ago that your fabulous work and efforts were highlighted on CBS’s “Sunday Morning”, I still have a haunting [in a very good way!] memory of what you did and still do. You are an angel here on earth… and if there are any pets in heaven, I KNOW they are smiling down on you!

    I am looking at doing the same thing you’re involved with here in my hometown; God’s helpless creatures are deserving of wonderful, caring homes, and if we as their human caretakers can help, we owe this to them.

    God bless…

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