Posted: March 7, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
by Morgan Daniels.
Online profiles are an inescapable reality of today’s digital world; and what good is a profile without the perfect picture to represent who you are to the world? Whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, a company website, Match.com or Petfinder.com, you spend hours trying to achieve the perfect profile or bio picture to put out there for the world to see.
Wait, Petfinder.com? Why would animals need profile pictures?
When animals are brought to shelters, they are immediately photographed for their paperwork and adoption websites. The animals are tired, dirty and not in the best of moods when these pictures are taken, leading to very unflattering portraits that do not accurately represent them or their personalities. In a world where presentation is everything, these animals are not on the best path to adoption. The One Picture Saves A Life campaign is on a mission to change that.
According to the One Picture Saves A Life website, “three to four million” animals are euthanized in shelters across the United States every year. The campaign’s mission is to provide shelter staff around the country with the resources to groom and photograph shelter pets. This helps give them the second chance they deserve through flattering profile pictures on pet adoption sites. The campaign staff conducts national informational tours, provides pet photography video tutorials and encourages professional photographers to donate their time to local shelters.
Sites like Petfinder.com, an official partner of the One Picture Saves A life campaign, make this campaign relevant and effective. Petfinder.com, the largest pet adoption website, features more than 300,000 adoptable pets from 13,474 adoption groups across the country.
The site acts almost like a dating service between potential pet owners and animals up for adoption. When people join a dating site, they go above and beyond to get that perfect picture to portray them. Why should these animals do anything less? They need the help of creative volunteer photographers such as world-famous pet photographer Seth Casteel, a founder of One Photo Saves A Life.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to be a world-famous pet photographer to help the cause and make a difference in a shelter animal’s life. Anyone can become a great pet photographer with the how-to videos available at http://www.onepicturesaves.com/learning-videos.
Until you have time to watch those videos, keep these animal photography tips from One Photo Saves A Life in mind if you want to donate your time to a shelter.
1) When photographing dark animals, use ample amounts of light and a white background.
2) Always use color photography so potential adopters don’t miss any details.
3) Use nature as a background as opposed to crates; the animals will be happier and it will show through the pictures.
Finally, here are some pet photography tips from the author to help the animals in your life put their best paw forward online.
1) Get on eye level with the animal; no one looks attractive from up above.
2) Play with the animal first. When dogs start to pant, it will look like a smile, and when cat’s eyes widen, they look kinder.
3) Have a partner to help make the animal look at the camera by holding a toy above the photographer’s head.