The Shelter Art Foundation has been instrumental in the success of several shelters by teaching shelter staff how to take quality pictures of their animals for posting on-line and providing equipment to these shelters for improving the photographs of their animals. This program results in better pictures of the animals which are then used on animal adoption websites and Facebook pages.
Even though the foundation is based on the west coast, they are currently traveling to different states to conduct workshops at various shelters teaching how to best photograph the shelter animals. Nicole Del Castillo is the photographer/mentor who is conducting the workshops, and she agreed to conduct a workshop at the Columbus County Animal Shelter while visiting the east coast.
In order to qualify for a workshop, a shelter must have a facility where their animals are made available for potential adopters. The Shelter Art Foundation has already provided equipment free of charge to CCAS for their use in photographing shelter animals. A seminar in March trained shelter employees on how to get the best use of this equipment, with lighting, background and camera equipment provided to the shelter at no charge through this grant.
Columbus County Shelter Director Joey Prince has a positive outlook on the value of this training saying
“Most people today view the animals on line before they come to the shelter. The first impressions people get of our animals are usually these pictures, so improving the quality of this pictures is a great help in finding these animals homes. We currently post our animals on over 20 animal related on line sites, so better pictures has been an important goal.”
Prince went on to state that the shelter currently has a volunteer who provides professional quality photos, but she is only available one day a week. Having the donated equipment on site will make her job easier, and allow improved pictures to be taken on days she can not help.
Nicole taught camera techniques and proper animal positioning for taking pictures of the shelter animals that produces the best quality pictures. The first impressions people get of shelter animals are usually their pictures on the web and in print, so improving the quality of the pictures improves the chances that these animals get adopted.
Training on the editing of the photographs taken was also completed using digital software. In addition, the Shelter Art Foundation serves as a resource from shelters it has trained should any questions or issues arise in the use of the provided equipment.
The Columbus County Animal shelter is located at 288 Legion Drive in Whiteville and is open daily from 11-4 Monday – Friday. Its phone number is 910-641-3945. More examples of dog photography can be found on Facebook: Dogs of Columbus County NC.
Shelters interested in learning more about this program click here