Putting their best face forward
As busy and strapped for cash as most animal shelters are, it’s no wonder that the photographs many of them post of their adoptable dogs aren’t of professional quality, or even decent amateur quality.
We’ve all seen them — on shelter websites, on Petfinder, in emails — grim and grainy, poorly posed, out of focus photos, generally with stark backgrounds in which the animal you’re being encouraged to take home appears to be little more than a fuzzy blob.
Given the internet is the route most potential adopters take when looking for a dog, many shelters are missing out on a great opportunity — namely, luring adopters in with appealing, high quality photos of their wards.
Theresa Berg, a professional pet photographer in Dallas, is working on changing that.
As Hartman reports, she first teamed up with a dachshund rescue in Florida and took new, studio-quality photographs of all the dogs they had up for adoption.
Now she’s training volunteers from other rescues and shelters to take appealing photographs, and trying to persuade other professional photographers to team up with a shelter or rescue to upgrade their portfolios of adoptable pets.
Given all the turnover, it’s an unending task — but a worthwhile one.
“Thousands of dogs are euthanized every year for no other reason than bad marketing,” Hartman reported.
A good picture — and, we’d add, a compelling account of a dog’s history, to the extent it’s known — can go along way in leading to an animal’s adoption. I don’t think they all need to be glamour shots, with the dogs clad in pearls or boas — just photos, in focus, that capture the dog’s spirit.
Nor do I think the photographers need to be certified professionals. Decent amateur ones, students in college photography classes, retirees who know how take a good picture can all help a shelter or rescue put its best face — or that of its pets — forward.
So heed the call photographers: Adopt a shelter.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoptions, animals, appealing, dogs, increase, mug shots, nick nolte, pets, photographers, photography, photos, portraits, quality, rescues, shelters, steve hartman, theresa berg