One of my 2018 New Year's goal is to volunteer and give back.
It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and that's why I'm so thrilled to share that I started volunteering with a local animal shelter, here in Orange County, the Seal Beach Animal Care Center (SBACC). They're one of the few no-kill shelters in Orange County, with an army of volunteers who pour they hearts out to help these beautiful dogs find loving homes.
I believe in the power of portraits, and an adoptable dog's portrait is the first impression people see when they're considering adopting a dog.
So last week I went in and photographed 20 adoptable dogs, each with their own story, unique personalities, and adorable faces.
The SBACC are incredible caretakers and lovers of their animals, and you feel it when they talk about each of their dogs. I included the SBACC's own description of some of the dogs in this blog post, and let them share their dogs' stories.
If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in adopting in any these dogs, please visit Seal Beach Animal Care Center's website at http://www.sbacc.org. Also note: some of these dogs may have already been adopted, like some of the puppies.
This girl was so playful! She was social, joyful, and loved being in front of the camera.
Molly's another beautiful dog, though a bit camera-shy with me at first. I gave her time to be comfortable with the camera, and we got some pretty good portraits of her.
Gandalf's a magical dog, and you can tell in his portraits that he's playful, vocal, and eager to please.
Chance was the first dog I walked as part of my volunteer training, so he's special to me in that way. He's great at walking, and didn't pull or walk ahead of me when I asked him to. Oh, and he's pretty photogenic.
Big, goofy, smile! Monty was super energetic and ran all over the yard for me.
Aretha, Clapton, Jagger, and Janis
Okay, imagine you're in a small space trapped by four little furry puppies gnawing at your shoelaces, pockets, wrists, and camera. They were climbing all over me, all over each other, and tumbling around with tiny tails wagging all around. That's how it was with these puppies!
Please note: some of these peoples have already found homes. But you can check the SBACC's website to see who's still available.
Rosie's adorable! When I heard Rosie's part Doxie/Spaniel, it made sense to me. In my experience, I noticed Dachschunds in particular have deep eyes that really gaze into you. So far, there's few dogs I notice that do that, but our very own Maya (Westie-Schnauzer mix) also deeply gazes.
One of Lucy's portraits is making into my portfolio, and it's the one in mid-air with all four paws off the ground, running with her red toy. When I first photographed Lucy, she was not responding to my food bribes, but once I pulled out the toys, it was smooth sailing and she turned into a really fun subject to photograph.
Lucy ("Lucy 2")
Ever since adopting Maya, terriers have a special place in my heart. And Lucy (2) is no exception.
I distinctly remember photographing Xena because as soon as I pulled out the kibbles, she gave me her full attention.
Same with Fiona, who was in the yard with Xena running around...until she heard me bring out the kibbles.
Alas, the Saint Bernards!!
This sage is Tahoe, and the ground shakes when he takes a step. He was so large that I just could not get a good portrait of his full body in the frame.
Don't worry, Tahoe doesn't have a broken foot or anything. He just wears that boot because he's been itching it too much.
Honey, on the other and, was much smaller compared to Tahoe (though still very large for a dog). Just like her name, she's a real sweetie.
Debbie's the third of our Saint Bernard family and she was the most cooperative dog in front of the camera. I especially love the middle portrait of her in-between yawning.
Penelope is a pit bull beloved by everyone at the SBACC.
I LOVE photographing pit bulls with their big, goofy, huge smiles.
When I met Leilani, I heard she just recently arrived to the shelter a couple of days ago. She looked scared, unsure, out-of-place. I took her for a walk and spent some time with her before I started to photograph her. I noticed she knew basic commands like sit, lay down, and shake. She's very sweet, obedient, and turned out easy to photograph.
And there they are! 20 dogs! I had SO MUCH FUN making dignified, beautiful portraits of these dogs. I want to say a St. Bernard-sized THANK YOU to the SBACC for letting me stop by!
Once again, they're from the Seal Beach Animal Care Center in Southern California. If any of these furry faces stood out to you, or you know someone looking, head on over to their website for an application.
Stay tuned for more adoption portraits.