I take on only a few photography commissions each year. The selection of these commissions is based on my workload at volunteer shelters and how meaningful my photographs will be to the client.
My goal in photographing each dog is to capture the beauty of their souls and produce final prints that my clients can be proud to display in their homes.
END OF LIFE PROJECT
A dog's life is far too short, and the people that love them are too quickly left with only memories and a dog-sized void in their heart.
Part of my personal journey as a dog-person and a photographer has been to freely offer to capture the bonds that exist between an aging or ailing dog and their families. Not only do End of Life photo sessions provide a permanent memory of a dog whose next life is near, but they also give the family a chance to talk about the dog's past with someone who cares and understands.
My photography often leads me to create collections of photographs, each with a common theme and a unique photographic style, either for a book or a showing. Unsurprisingly, I am often distracted by the next beautiful dog or an End of Life session, or the chance to take in a shelter dog as mine until he is adopted.
While I treasure the the time spent with shelter dogs during their individual photo shoots, it is the personal projects that allow me to grow as a photographer and a person. Conversations with owners of an End of Life dogs teach me about the beauty of mutual love and dependence between a person and their dog. My lifelong stereotypes of the poor and homeless disappear as when I have the chance to meet them and see them as people, just like me.
We are a society of imagery and instant impressions. Many of the potential adopters who come to shelters arrive with the hope that the Facebook version of the 'Little Doggie in the Window' is the one for them.
As a professional photographer, dog lover, and shelter volunteer I can bring out the beauty and soul of the dogs I photograph. I can play an important role in helping our shelter dogs find their new homes. My dog photographs have attracted countless people to our shelters and resulted in hundreds of adoptions by people who fell in love even before they met the dog of their dreams in person.
I am a dog person, a volunteer dog walker, and a man who spends his days caring for shelter dogs.
The beauty of the creatures that surround me inspires me to photograph and write about the lives of the castaway dogs that find their way to our shelters, and the families that ultimately take them in as new family members.
Over the years I have photographed thousands of dogs for the shelters I work with. I have fallen in love more times than I can count and silently told each dog that they will find a home. My photographs draw people into our shelters, where they find the dog that was destined to be theirs.
I am blessed to be with my wife, Sally, who encourages me be the person I was meant to be.