This is probably going to be my only blog post where my words far outweigh my pictures, but it’s about pictures…so hopefully that balances things out.
This past summer I feel like my season in life changed quicker than one has ever changed before. Without getting sidetracked talking about working in the temporary animal shelter after the Moore tornado or how much fostering dogs has impacted my life (which I may get around to making a post about in the future), I’ll just say that my love for animals has gone from simply wanting to pet everyone’s dogs to wanting to help homeless dogs in any way possible.
If I were competing in a talent show I would be a total dud, (or just comedic relief) because I’m not a singer, dancer, or musician or anything entertaining. However I am incredibly grateful for the talents I do have and that they are able to make a change for the better. I’ve recently learned a lot about the impact volunteering makes. Whether it’s with animals, senior citizens, or underprivileged children- there is something everyone is slightly interested in and definitely a way you can be a part of making. I feel like I used to be slightly interested in helping animals, but didn’t really make an effort to be involved which made me feel like there was no need for me. But as soon as I dipped my feet in the waters of volunteering for animal rescue I dove right in and have been doing as much as I can since. If you’re even slightly inspired/curious- I strongly encourage you to find a way to get involved with whatever pulls at your heart strings.
In July I started taking pictures every week at the Moore Animal Shelter. I would spend a couple of hours getting good pictures of their adoptable dogs so they could post them online and showcase the cuties they had at the shelter. A few of my American Humane Association friends occasionally posted on my facebook wall with links to pages photographers had made that had awesome pictures of shelter pets saying they thought of me when they saw these pages. My personal favorite and major source of inspiration is Landfill Dogs, simply stunning pictures. Anytime someone would share a link like this I always thought “this is cool, but definitely not what I’m doing. All I’m doing is taking a few basic pictures of dogs.” Then all at once this idea came to me of how I could hopefully make a bigger impact with the pictures I take and I immediately began dreaming up Red Dirt Dogs.
A couple of months ago I was chatting with one of my clients and fellow animal lover/rescuer about how I fostered and helped animals in need, completely forgetting to mention I take pictures at the shelter. He then told me the most valuable thing I could do for an animal is take a good picture of it which had never really been something I thought of before. There are so many different areas of animal rescue and I want to do them all, but many of the needs they have are easily met with basic love and skill. Even though I want to do literally everything I can to help dogs, I’ve learned that getting quality pictures of dogs out for the public to see is the best use of the time I have to give.
So have started a new project that will hopefully be successful in helping get the faces of homeless dogs out for others to see and share. I am currently taking pictures at the OKC and Moore animal shelters, and my ultimate goal is to begin visiting all the shelters in the OKC metro on a weekly/bi-monthly basis to get pictures of their adoptable dogs. I have set up a facebook page up that will be updated several times a week with new dogs in the area that are available for adoption. I’m also working on a website that I absolutely love that will hopefully be another good resource for those who don’t use facebook. My hope is that having a good headshot showcasing these beautiful pups will encourage other people to share the photos of the dogs who catch their attention, and help them find their way straight into their forever homes.
I’m so excited about this and thank everyone for their encouragement and support so far :) Below is Jade who is my current shelter love, you can read more about her on the Red Dirt Dogs facebook page.