Use Dog Photography in Rescue Work - dummies

Use Dog Photography in Rescue Work

By Kim Rodgers, Sarah Sypniewski

Shelters and rescues across the United States (and throughout the world) house millions of homeless dogs just waiting to be adopted. Now more than ever, a good photo of a shelter dog has the power to literally save his life. Websites, social media, smart phones, and e-mail all contribute to the ability to send photos out over state and country lines and even overseas.

When people hit the Internet to find their next canine companion, a compelling photo catches their eye and causes them to click a link to find out more.

Overworked shelter employees often don’t have the time or equipment to take good photos of each of the hundreds of dogs in their shelter. Often, the only chance a dog has rests on a grainy snapshot taken while the dog was at his most fearful or injured. The animals waiting for adoption can benefit greatly from your skills as a dog photographer.

Your high quality equipment, photography skills, and kind rapport with dogs can save lives when you produce photos that get dogs noticed.


50 mm, 1/500 sec., f/2.8, 125

Here, you can see the before and after photos of Sugar, a pit bull who had been abused and then dumped at the shelter. The photo on the top was taken on a cellphone the day she was found, and the photo on the bottom was professionally done.

Using the cellphone photos didn’t yield much interest in Sugar; the photos were small and grainy and simply emphasized her scar. The professional photos showed Sugar in a new light, garnering her much attention and support from countless individuals, as well as Molly’s Mutts & Meows, an amazing rescue group that took Sugar under its wing and stood by her through thick and thin.

There’s no better feeling than when someone who’s just adopted a rescue dog says, “Oh, I saw the photo you took of him and just knew he was mine.”