Take Your Best Shot! The Power of Shelter Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words.  The power an image can have on the human mind is incredible. A good photo does so much more than just document, it can transport us.  A good photo can evoke emotion instantly; it can well our eyes with tears before we've even processed the totality of what we're seeing.   A good photo will cause the viewer to pause, to contemplate, to look deeper.  A good photo can convey deep connections, images are unconsciously persuasive.  A good photo can remain frozen in our mind for a lifetime. A good photo can save a life.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Humans have 3-7 seconds to make a great first impression in person. For better or for worse, it's nearly impossible to change that first judgement once imprinted.  First dates and job interviews wouldn't be nearly as nerve- racking if the weight of making a good first impression weren't so heavy.  We decide the fate of a relationship within seconds of our first encounter.

Homeless pets have even less than 7 seconds to grasp the heart of an adopter who is scrolling through adoptable pet listings, but significantly more at stake.  For a voiceless animal in need of a new forever home, a good picture is the difference between being passed over again and again, ultimately running out of time, or having someone stop in their tracks, look into their eyes, and imagine what that animal might look like curled up on their couch. 

Three million animals are euthanized in shelters across America every year.  Seventeen million households will acquire a pet within the next year.  Seventeen million people are out there actively searching for a pet slated for euthanasia.  Without a photo, these animals remain unseen.  A powerful connection could save their life and find them the home they’ve waited so patiently for.

Take Your Best Shot and Save an Animal's Life. Every animal deserves to be seen. Every animal deserves a chance.  Every animal deserves a great photo.

A photographer in Dallas, Teresa Berg, decided to put her photography talents to good use at a local Dachshund rescue.  After replacing the blurry, often out of focus and unflattering photos with quality pictures that highlited each animals unique look, Teresa was able to increase the rescue's adoptions by 100%. Talk about the power of one! One single person doubled an entire rescue's adoptions. Imagine what a community could achieve if we put our lenses to it. 

Recently, the SF SPCA did just that.  A team of dedicated volutneers made the trip to Stockon Animal Services to give their photos a makeover.  Stockton Animal Services is a shelter like so many: far too inundated with little or no time to dedicate to taking a quality picture.  In just one day our team was able to take over 100 new pictures-- every single available animal received their 15 minutes of fame.  The results? Most of them were adopted that very same week, if not the following day. 

Ready, Set, Take Action!


Can you help homeless animals make an excellent first impression?  Attend our next Volunteer Information Session and learn about shelter photography at the SF SPCA and Stockton Animal Services or donate to the Take Your Best Shot! program today.