It is truly amazing to know that a photo really can make the difference in the life a homeless pet. People who are looking for a pet usually search the web or Facebook first before even stepping foot into a shelter or rescue – so shouldn’t the dogs up for adoption be displayed at their best? What if you overlooked a potential pooch just because of a poor photo and missed out on your new best friend?
Let me put a disclaimer here – the “before” photos you see posted were taken by the staff of KC PAWS where I regularly volunteer. These “before” photos are not meant to be an insult to the staff- but rather display what a huge difference that a photo can make by using the best resources and remembering the little details. I realize that most shelters and rescues do not have the resources to buy expensive cameras and many don’t have the manpower, time or volunteers necessary to create spectacular photographs. However, there are some small ways you can improve your photos of adoptables.
You can click here to read a previous blog post with tips and tricks to photograph dogs in a shelter environment. Shelters and rescues can also look into purchasing an entry level DSLR camera such as the Nikon D60 which can be found on Amazon (used) for a little less than $400. Even if you can not afford a DSLR camera, there are still great point and shoot cameras like the Coolpix L810 for around $279 new on the market by Nikon – just remember if you HAVE to shoot indoors (I recommend natural light outside) to switch the setting to a high ISO (1600) and do not use a flash! My biggest tip is to use TWO people when photographing dogs. One person needs to be controlling the dog on a leash (for their safety and to calm higher energy levels) and one person photographing. There is not a chance that I could take a good photo with the higher energy dogs if I did not have someone controlling the dog while I got into position to work my magic. Sandi Outlaw is the owner of KC PAWS and is amazing with the dogs – I could not do it without her! So find a fellow volunteer and bring them with you when photographing dogs in a shelter environment – finding someone you have good chemistry with is key also – Sandi and I are a great team! So what are you waiting for? Grab a friend, your camera and volunteer at your local rescue or shelter and help save a life. Click here for a previous blog post with a list of local Kansas City shelters and rescues.