Today we turn the spotlight on the pet profiles of The Pixie Project, a non-profit adoption center and rescue located in Portland, OR. These profiles get high marks with their sweet, funny and informative descriptions and warm and inviting photographs.
How did you come to work with a photographer, and what type of direction do you provide?
After years of iPhone photos, we are extremely lucky to now have an incredible photographer on our staff! Zach Forsyth is our Animal Care Supervisor and photographer. This gives him the unique opportunity to get to know each animal’s personality extremely well and he is able to capture that on camera.
Since he is a manager on staff he requires very little direction. His formula for great pictures is to take them outside when there is decent lighting (which is typically in the morning for us) and to get the animal looking straight on. It’s also wonderful to have him as part of the team as he is super reliable about getting pictures done quickly and is always available for re-shoots!
Everyone LOVES the animal pictures we have! They have been extremely helpful in getting our animals seen, many of our adopters have said they knew instantly the dog or cat they wanted to adopt because of the soulful picture. We definitely get requests to send the photos to adopters so they can display them. We have pictures of available animals on a slideshow in our lobby and people often stop to watch them roll through. Zach gets many kudos for his beautiful work!
The biggest lesson is simple – pictures matter! There are so many animals looking for homes that it’s easy for potential adopters to skip over those whose pictures aren’t well taken. If they are blurry or have reflective eyes people will pass right by them. A clear shot that shows some expression will make all the difference.
Especially with the internet being the primary source for posting adoptable animals the picture is the most important part. You can have the nicest dog in the world with the cutest write-up, but if the picture is not engaging no one will ever read it. For any shelter still using camera phones whose dogs and cats aren’t moving quickly, a finding a volunteer with a good camera is worth the time investment to find!