When I decided to make Pet Photography my business, I had no idea how much of an impact it would make on different areas of my life. I already volunteer with Border Collie Rescue Texas (http://www.bcrescuetexas.org), and have volunteered with other rescue organizations in the past. I've always had rescues as pets in my life, and always will. Then my niece, Sara, sends me a link about a photographer in Dallas who volunteers studio time to dog rescue organizations. Sara saw this piece on CBS about Teresa Berg and decided I needed to look her up, so I did. I found Teresa's web site which led me to, "Unleashed", a seminar on fine art dog photography led by Teresa and Bev Hollis (http://unleashed2009.wordpress.com). I managed to get into their July session here in Dallas.
As part of the seminar, we were offered the opportunity to sit in on a session with Teresa about volunteering our time to shelters and rescue organizations. She talked about the kind of photos that get animals adopted, and how to approach organizations. She talked of her experiences and how rewarding it is to see adoptions increase with good, happy, photos of the animals in need. I decided then to give some of my time to help. It is simply daunting the number of organizations out there! I thrashed around trying to figure where I could best help. I did a session at Dallas Animal Services and was surprised at how much work it was, yet, I came away feeling so good after looking at the shots later that day. Wow, what a difference a photo could make.
I finally decided I wanted to focus on helping in my local community. I began to approach the city of Mesquite to find out how to volunteer. Since then I am on my way to finishing the process and hope to be taking photos at my home town shelter next month. Teresa put out a request on our seminar Facebook page asking if anyone was close to Rockwall. Rockwall was only 15 minutes away, I had been there before looking at Border Collies. I took the request and was able to go out there this week. My friend Christy and I spent a little over two hours taking pictures of well deserved dogs at the Rockwall Adoption Center. I posted the photos for the shelter personnel later that day, hoping they would like what they found. The response: "Oh My GOSH! These pictures are fantastic! I can't wait to upload them to our site!! Thank you so much - amazing what a difference these will be able to make in the lives of our residents! Thank you so so much!! Can't wait to work with you again!" I was happy, really, HAPPY. I had no idea, a few hours of my time with these dogs would mean so much to me. Each one of them came up to me after and just leaned into my lap, almost as if to say thank you. You can't help but scratch their ears and look into their eyes. I will spend one morning a week, alternating between Rockwall and Mesquite.
Look at the before and after shots below from three of the dogs from the shoot this week. Photographers out there, tell me you can't see how these updated photos will help. Think about checking out Teresa's online webinars to find out how to help (http://focusonrescue.com/tag/teresa-berg-dog-photography).