If you know anything about me, I am a passionate person. I am passionate about many things in my life: my family and friends, photography, musical theater, having fun... But one passion of mine has a separate, special place in my heart - shelter dogs.
I've found a way to combine two of my passions together for a good cause: photography and shelter dogs. Almost every Saturday for the past 2 years has begun the same way...with a trip to my county's high-kill animal shelter. I spend some time photographing all the shelter dogs that are up for adoption that week. And it is always enjoyable to see my "models" of the week, as they are always happy to be out and about, going for walks, and getting their picture taken. After the modeling is over, I spruce up the images at home and post them to the shelter's website and PetFinder.com to increase the dogs' publicity, which gives them a better chance at finding their forever home. In fact, people from several states away have adopted dogs from our shelter after falling in love with the dogs' pictures online. It is the best feeling knowing I'm helping to save the lives of some amazing animals!
I would like to say that it was at the animal shelter, photographing dogs with my little Nikon point and shoot, where I fell head over heels in love with photography. I loved capturing the personalities of the dogs through their smiles and their eyes. I learned a lot about how to photograph a subject's best and unique qualities. It was here where I discovered that I was meant to be a photographer and encouraged me to earn my digital photography certificate from the College of Coastal Georgia and start my own business, which is in the works. So I guess the shelter dogs helped me just as much as I helped them!
If you are an animal lover, like me, and you'd like to put your photography to work for an amazing cause, I encourage you to contact a shelter in your area to see if they could use your services. (They will not turn you away, I promise. You are needed more than you could imagine!) This is definitely the most rewarding way I have ever chosen to spend my time.
And, without further ado, a look back at some of my very favorite images of my furry friends from the past two years. All were successfully adopted and are living amazing lives in their forever homes.
One of the first images I took at the shelter, and the one that solidified my interest in photography
Getting some lovin', which is the best reward for my time...ever!
Cowboy is my favorite success story. He was found wandering around with a gaping wound on his lower neck - he had been tied up so tightly and neglected by his owners, he freed himself and escaped. (I'll spare you the details on how he freed himself.) Diagnosed as heartworm positive, my friend, Mary and I raised $300 in two days for his treatment. He is now living on a boat in the SE Georgia islands and has an amazing life!
I am allergic to cats, but that doesn't stop me from occasionally photographing a beautiful face!
And to finish - MacKenzie and Dash, my two rescued pitbull mixes. I'm a proud Momma!
Born at the Siskiyou Humane Society near our first home in California, MacKenzie was born at the shelter and was the last to be adopted at 4.5 months. We are so glad she waited for us!
Dash was adopted from Nassau Animal Services in Florida just days before his euthanization date. He likes to think he is the protector of our home, and is the biggest sweetheart/cuddle buddy ever.
After adopting MacKenzie & Dash, I don't think I'd ever adopt another breed but a pit bull. Both dogs have put to rest the pit bull's bad rap. Extremely loving, smart, loyal and happy-go-lucky, we love everything there is to love about our pit bulls!
Opt to adopt...and save a life!
For more inspiring stories and photographs from other "do-gooders" around the world, click on the I Heart Faces button. How will YOU choose to help make this world a better place?