I started photographing Animal Haven's adoptable dogs in October 2013. A few days ago I realized I had photographed over 150 dogs at this shelter since I started volunteering for them (oh, and a few cats)! This is such a beautiful achievement. I have helped many rescue groups and shelters over the past years, but Animal Haven is the place where I did most of my work.
Striking Paws started with a simple idea: good photography saves lives. Good photography presents adoptable pets in a better light, but it also helps giving shelters a good image! I always wanted to photographer shelter dogs with as much care as any other model. I am demanding with them, yet caring. I consider these shoots team work: the handler, the dog and I work together to capture the expression, the face that will attract potential adopters.
Before I met the team at Animal Haven, I had been trying to volunteer for shelters for some time. But getting my foot through the door of any of them had proven more difficult than I had hoped. Luckily, Animal Haven gave me a chance to show what I could do. Rapidly, our relationship grew stronger, with trust and mutual respect at the heart of it. Thanks to Animal Haven I have been able to evolve as a photographer and a volunteer, refining my own voice and strengthening my skills. I hope my images also made a difference for the adoptable dogs I met.
It has been wonderful working with the staff at Animal Haven and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tiffany Lacey (Director of the shelter) for welcoming me as a volunteer photographer, Mantat Wong (Director of Operations) who coordinates the shoots and has handled more dogs (and cats) that I remember for me, and Kendra Mara (Associate Director) whose reactivity in posting the photos and making sure every dog shines made my work that much easier. Also a huge thanks goes to all the staff members and volunteers who help during the shoots. I could not do this work without all of you!
Here are some highlights from the 150+ dogs I photographed at Animal Haven since October 2013. You can also check that page for all the shelter shoots I have done since launching Striking Paws.