Mary Jo loves animals and photography and recently had an idea to combine the two and spend her newly found free time taking portrait pictures of animals. She has been spending her free time experimenting with digital photography and Photoshop in an effort to help our homeless shelter pets find homes.
Here's what Mary Jo had to say about her experiences as a volunteer:
"I love volunteering at the shelter because I love animals. I know that sometimes some of the animals are scared because they aren't capable of understanding what is happening to them, but the shelter is a God send for them. Without the shelter they wouldn't have a warm dry bed, healthy food to eat or proper medical care. The shelter staff are so good to all of the animals. They call them all by name and they are very knowledgeable about each animal's personality and history. They treat each animal gently and patiently just like the animal were their own personal pet.
When I am at the shelter I want to take all of the animals home with me, but I already have 2 dogs so I can't have anymore in my house. I work hard to bring out each animal's personality in a photograph so people can see who the animal really is on the inside. All of the animals are special and have unique personalities and deserve a loving home. Sometimes, because they are scared in the shelter, when people visit the shelter the animal may not display what its true personality is. So if I can capture it's personality in a picture, maybe that animal has a better chance of being adopted instead of being passed over because it was hiding when a person was looking for an animal at the shelter. If a person sees a specific animal that they like online, they can come in and ask for that animal. My husband, Don, helps me with the animals so I can take their pictures. We both play with the dog or cat for a while once it is out of its run or cage so it can feel comfortable with us. Then he will keep playing with the dog or cat while I take pictures. Sometimes I think Don is having more fun than I am. We have such a good time with the animals. We both leave the shelter happy and covered with fur. We end up talking about our experiences with some of the animals later on and tell others about some of the animals."
If you would like information on how you can help shelter animals by assisting Mary Jo with the photography sessions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To schedule an appointment to have Mary Jo take portraits of your own pets, call her at