This week is about giving back to the local pet rescues in our area. You would probably be surprised how many rescues there are! There are many that are breed specific and others that are for a wider range of dogs or cats. Definitely most rescues are either for cats or for dogs (I don't see many that cross this barrier). For us here at VP Shoots Photography, we work with Maxx and Me Pet Rescue (www.maxxandme.org) located in the Westchase area of Tampa, Florida. This rescue is entirely foster based. We started doing photographs of rescue dogs back in 2015 for this rescue and last year we photographed over 80 dogs for them.
Maxx and Me Pet Rescue is run by individuals that have full time jobs in many cases and do rescue work because of their love of animals. Many of the dogs that come into Maxx and Me are mixed breeds and often are senior dogs or dogs that have come from a situation that is less than desirable for the dog. My heart aches when I see how some of these dogs have been treated, but our specialty is to spend time with them and capture some images that will help them find a new home - one where they can be loved.
Thus far this year we have photographed a few golden retriever girls who were formerly with a breeder. These girls have never actually been in a loving family. It's interesting to see how different their personalities are. The first one came out and was pretty happy just having 3 people (all photographers) giving her all of their attention and treats that she wanted.
The second golden retriever was quite the opposite - very uncertain of the whole situation and trying to stay away from us as much as possible. So, what do we do? Well for starters, we spend a bit of time just trying to get her comfortable. Then there is time we may just ignore her and talk for a while as she gets the idea we aren't there to hurt her in any way. Eventually, we realize that she has been through a lot and it's time to 'improvise' and get some photographs of her.
And by the end of our 45 minutes with her (yes, some take longer than others!) - she is happy to give us a few poses as long as we don't tell her what she must do.
Sometimes we have dogs come into the rescue that are 'owner surrendered' - meaning for whatever reason the owner no longer wants the dog. This is always sad because many times the dog is coming from a good situation that ended in divorce, death or some other reason the dog has found itself without a human. Recently we photographed a few dogs that were in this situation and they were a joy to photograph because they had been loved, but perhaps were more adjusted than some that were abused (translate to 'easy to get photographs'!).
Teddy is a chocolate lab - and he was very good with posing! I love the next photograph because I gave him a toy knowing full well this was the end of this little ball's life but the expression on Teddy's face says "Oops, I wasn't supposed to do that?"
Our next little guy was taught how to do a lot of tricks, so at some point he was given a lot of time and just loves being with humans.
This big boy grew up to be a wonderful dog - but he is a big guy coming in around 80 pounds! Loves to play ball or frisbee and needs to have humans that want an active dog.
So there you have a sampling of the dogs at Maxx and Me Pet Rescue. There are other rescues that we also do volunteer work with including Polka Dogz located in central Florida (Clermont, FL). They work with a lot smaller dogs and often these dogs have health issues that are addressed once they come into the rescue. If you are interested in a smaller dog, you might consider this rescue - polkadogz Dog Rescue.
We work with any rescue that is in need of our services. If you are a local rescue that needs help with photographing dogs or cats (we haven't done other animals, but that doesn't mean you can't be the first!) feel free to reach out and providing our schedules allow us to assist we will!
Interested in Pet Photography Session?
If you would like to discuss or book a custom pet portrait session, send an email to [email protected] or give us a call/text Linda at 813-610-2671 in the Tampa Bay area (Hillsborough/Pinellas/Pasco/Polk counties in Florida). We have flexible rates and packages to fit most everyone’s budget as we believe that having wonderful photographs of your pet is important to so many people.
This is a personal project that I try to participate in each week (as much as possible). This post is part of a 'blog circle' which is with several other Professional Pet Photographers around the world. Each week a different theme is provided to the group and we, as pet photographers, interpret the theme in our own way. Follow the link provided at the end of each of my blogs to the next pet photographer's blog - and when you arrive back at my blog - you've completed the entire circle of blogs for this theme. For more pet photographers sharing their take on this theme, head over to Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography raises funds to help the animals of the MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA.