Photographer Helps Save Homeless Dogs Through Better Photography

Real estate agents make it a point to have homes look attractive in photographs, knowing that good photography can make a huge difference, but the people at animal rescue shelters often settle for second-rate photographs of the dogs they’re trying to find homes for. Professional pet photographer Teresa Berg of Dallas, Texas realized that countless dogs are likely euthanized each year simply due to bad photography, and decided to make a difference. Several years ago she started doing shoots for a pet shelter free of charge, and helped increase the adoption rates there by 100%

Here are some before and after shots, with the shelters’ old shots on the left and Berg’s photographs on the right:

Berg is also working to encourage other pet photographers to donate their services, and is helping to train animal shelter employees in how to make better photographs.

(via Jezebel via PopPhoto)

  • Clint Davis

    Love this story

  • Grant Taylor

    This is a great idea and a wonderful way to do something good.

  • jen

    Photoshelter did a great article on this topic last year:

  • Alexa Tymocko

    Wow! What a nice project! Makes me want to do the same here in Montreal! Nice initiative.

  • dan

    Here’s another great example of an animal shelter that gets this concept:

  • will hall

    I personally find it much more rewarding to donate time than money to charity. My wife volunteers at a phone help-line and over summer i volunteered my services to Pride London. Its great for all parties. The charity obviously gets a free-bee but if you’re doing photographic work for them there’s the potential for publicity, making contacts etc, particularly if you’re an amateur trying to monetise a hobby

  • Graysmith

    Every professional photographer should go ask at their local pet shelter if they need help with photographing the pets up for adoption and then either donate their own time to doing it or at the very least help those working there with tips on how to take better photographs.

  • Karen

    A friend sent me your link.  Funny thing is, I was just looking into my own local county shelters to volunteer my time/images.  This really is a great thing. 

  • Paul

    Would be better if the pit bulls weren’t adopted out, however.

  • Leno Brookins

    Pit Bulls are good dogs 

  • Bainesdana88

    I agree 100 percent! It’s not the pit bulls, it’s bad owners!

  • Lovesdogs

    I’ve been volunteering my photography skills for my local shelter for 2 years, and it makes a huge difference (especially for pitbulls, the most misunderstood and maligned breed of all). People fall in love with a picture they see online and then come to adopt and save his or her life. It doesn’t get better than that :)

  • uber

    Having adopted my dog by seeing her beautiful face online, I think this is an amazing thing.  Makes my heart warm.

  • Chelsea Saulpaugh

    I do this occasionally for my local shelters and its amazing the difference it makes in adoption rates. During a vacation this summer in Florida (interesting story that I will refrain from telling), I adopted a cat from a city shelter. The picture they had on the web had her foaming at the mouth from medicine she was just given. Can you believe that? How is someone going to want to adopt a cat that they think is rabid?

  • Damon Hair

    this is great.
    here is a link to the video on youtube. if you share from above, you get a susan lucci story.

  • Anonymous

    Great work by this lady but you want to hear a real scandal?
    There are volunteer photographers that work at New York Animal Care and Control that have been driven away by petty harassments and nonsense rules imposed by ACC management. The NY ACC Euthanizes over 10,00 dogs and cats every year, most of which could be saved and adopted usinf techniques like this lady uses.
    For example: The ACC doesnt now allow dogs to be photographed with the volunteer handler in the picture: If you were going to adopt a Pit Bull wouldnt you like to know that its good with people by seeing it photographed in a comfortable pose with a handler?

  • Linda McElroy Rusche

    Paul, what an ass. All dogs are the same. They can tell if a dog has been raised correctly. Have never ever had a bad Pit Bull. If a man murders, does that mean every man is a murderer?  Have seen bad dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes. All in the upbringing  and 95% can be rehabilitated to go to certain people. They all should at least get a chance. Do your homework before speaking. 

  • Paul

    Retrievers were bred to retrieve; shepherds to herd. Pit bulls were bred to fight and kill. All dogs are not the same. If they were, you wouldn’t make breed-specific choices. I have done my homework.

  • mcojrt

    OMG-please Paul…study the breed before you make such a statement..Pit Bulls were NOT bred to fight and kill, humans began doing that to them starting heavily in the 1980’s. If you research this breed and its background, you will find quite the opposite. They just happen to be a physically strong and very loyal to their owners, making them the perfect animal to program and train to doing these terrible things. But, if you research the facts, you will see what kind of dog they really are. 

  • Hopeyg

    Thats horse shyt Paul. Perhaps you should look up Labrador attacks, chow attacks, akita attacks, Chihuahua Attacks. My next door neighbor has a golden retreiver that for some reason thinks we are traspassing on our own property! Vanish the ignorant self serving dog owners and all breeds will be much better. and they can do away with all of society’s stereotypical degeberates like you as well and the world would be  much better place to live. 

  • Hopeyg

    While your busy re-studying up on the actual factual reason for breeding pit bulls, how about you look up how many german shepard (police dogs) have gone nuts and attacked people. I was attacked by a german shepard once myself as a child. Does this mean I have the right to attempt to ban every german shepard. no! it does not! in fact I believe the exact opposite. These dogs need to go to a severe rescue and the owners should do time. and never be alllowed to own another pet. Some people raise their kids to be doctors, lawyers, athletes, while others raise their children in high violence surroundings and homes. Serial Kilers have been well known to have unresolved issues with their parents. Some people raise their dogs to help the blind, heal the sick, retreive the wounded, others raise their dogs to fight. and Pit bulls are a beautiful breed in my opinion. I dont choose animals based on “their purpose” I want a pet not a free laborer. I have 2 English Mastiffs and I own 0 farm animals. I love them because they are huge and so tender hearted, COuld you imagine how scary it would have been had Micheal vik chose this breed as his victim?

  • creativepile

    We are planning on doing the same thing here in Arizona. We are Photographers  & animal lovers. It hurts us to hear that so many homeless animals get euthanized. We are going to try our best to help as many shelters as possible.

  • Rozebow

    thank you Teresa for being a hero……..

  • sophie

    sorry, i agree with paul for the reasons i posted. do some research. goldens let go. labs let go. PITS DO NOT LET GO UNTIL VICTIM IS MOTIONLESS. if you don’t know this, you don’t know the breed. google ‘darlene napora.’ raised her pups from birth and was mauled– pregnant– by her male pit. when the husband came home the dog was ready to attack him, lording over her dead body. he decided to have the dog’s remains BURIED WITH HER. and i am not kidding.

  • sophie

    exactly, paul. here come all the pit-pardoners, out of the woodwork.

  • sophie

    ok, hopeyg, but clearly, you LIVED through the attack- if my weim attacks, guess what- i will LIVE through it.

  • sophie

    why do you keep telling people to ‘study the breed?’ i have studied the breed- and have been in rescue many years. the pit is the only breed i will not foster in my home. you are a pit-pardoner. to you, they can do no wrong. and you called someone on this thread an ‘ass,’ which leads me to believe you are exactly the type of person that i always see with a pit.

  • Kimberly Standish

    Surprise, surprise. Someone who is citing one story, used AGAIN AND AGAIN. That’s nice, hun. I’ll stick to what I know through plenty of personal experiences as a professional, handling dogs day in and day out.

  • Kimberly Standish

    And not just Pit Bulls, but ALL breeds.

  • pit LOVER

    Sophie – I’ve been doing dog rescue, including pits, for 8 years. I do all the photography for my rescue group. For you to say you are a rescuer and you’re glad that you don’t work with pits is, frankly, pitiful. You have no business calling yourself a rescuer if you won’t help the most mis-understood and abused dogs out there. And BTW, I have a beautiful easy-going pit sleeping on the sofa behind me. No issues.