I have been photographing for animal shelters since 2012, and I have seen a lot of things. I see how hard it can be to care for these animals each day. I see how hard it is to get them adopted. I see even in your best case scenario, sometimes things just don't work out for the animal. I see how emotionally draining it can be for everyone involved.
My job is to try to spruce up the underdog, work with their personality and make them shine. So that when you look at their photo, you can easily see you and that animal together, doing family stuff!
Most dogs are excited to come out of their kennel and stretch their legs and be petted. They even tolerate having fancy collars and head pieces on them. SOME even seem to enjoy it.
Today was a different story. I photographed a year and a half old German Shepard mix. She was so scared as Laura walked her in to the photo area, she just let loose and peed. When she got to the photo area she was shaking horribly. She did not want to stand up.
Laura tried to get her to relax and pose, but it wasn't working. This is where your assistant is your savior.
Laura spent probably a good long 20 minutes laying on the floor with her, talking to her and petting her. After about twenty minutes, the dog finally stopped shaking. But she remained on floor, in a rigid pose.
This dog was shutting down out of fear. It was her way of saying please leave me alone. I could have called it a day with her, but Laura felt the need to give her the time so she could relax and settle down and MAYBE hopefully get a good adoption portrait. Laura took her time with this dog.
LOOK! I see TWO smiling faces. Well, okay.... maybe 1 smile and 1 grin. Laura had brought this dog a long ways. She eventually got the dog to stand up and walk around. The final and finished pose, Laura finally got after being super patient and soft spoken with this girl.
I hope this photo catches the eye of someone who can give this girl a lot of love and time. And groceries. She is a sweet deserving creature in a noisy scary place.
This is why I photograph where I do.
This is why I love my job.
This is why I left my 8-5 great paying cubicle job.