The power of a professional photo

Scout, a 6-month Hound-mixed, strikes a pose during a photo session with Eric Wilson, Square Dog Photography, and Adrielle Rudzitis, Tree of Life, who are volunteering time photographing dogs and cats needing adoption at the Lee County Domestic Animal Services in Fort Myers, Florida, Sept. 22, 2011. Photo by Debi Pittman Wilkey/ / Debi Pittman Wilkey, special to

In what seems like several eons ago, but was really only 5 years or so, I came up with the brilliant idea to showcase the homeless senior animals I came in contact with for an article in the newspaper. What better way to showcase these animals than by having professional photos taken and then splashed in color in the newspaper. This was made possible because I actually worked for the paper and a wonderful photographer there volunteered her time to take the photos. (thanks again, Lara)
This began a bi-annual adoption event which was successful in placing over 100 senior dogs and cats in new homes. The new families were also furnished an 8x10 framed copy of the photo to take home with them.
Pictures, as any good marketing person knows, sell. Professional ones are even better. Many shelters and rescues must use what is available to them, in most cases small, digital cameras with an employee snapping the photos as quickly as possible, simply to get a photo to post on a website. This works but professional photos work even better.
Professional photographers know how to capture the essence of the animal. I don't know how they do it, but they do. They have the ability to show the hurt, longing, devilry, spunkiness and any other emotion which comes through an animal's eyes.
So this story, in the Ft. Myers News Press, really caught my eye. It seems a professional pet photographer has volunteered to come to Lee County Animal Services to photograph their pets. It is a definite advantage for the animals.
Kudos to him for donating his time and expertise. The animals will all win.


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