The Pennsylvania SPCA: One Picture Saves a Life
The grant allowed one staff member and one volunteer to attend the One Pictures Saves a Life photo workshop. The grant also included a new DSLR camera to be used for taking photos of shelter pets.
The camera and training obtained through this grant have helped our organization by giving us the tools and knowledge needed to take higher quality photos of shelter pets available for adoption. These photos are used to market adoptable pets online via our website and social media platforms. The pets in our care benefit greatly from higher quality photos because potential adopters see a lively, beautiful pet and are quick to imagine the pet in their home. Clean, bright photos make people feel positive, which means they feel good about adopting and are more likely to come into the shelter and adopt. In theory, even pets that don't have their photos taken are indirectly benefiting due to the increased shelter foot traffic.
This grant has helped us in fundraising and advocacy messaging as well. Images can be very powerful and thanks to the new camera we got through this grant, we've been able to send out some emotional, compelling photos and the results have been very positive, whether we've asked people to donate or contact local lawmakers. Even if it's just a photo attached to a facebook post that gets a lot of shares, that means thousands of people were exposed to our agency because of one photo.
Hundreds already and hundreds more to come.
In the One Picture Saves a Life workshop, we learned that utilizing volunteers is an efficient and fun way to take a large number of photos in a relatively short time period. We often have groups of corporate volunteers come in, so we recently had them help us handle dogs for a photo shoot. The photos turned out great, but one dog, Prince, didn't even need his photo posted online because a corporate volunteer fell in love and ended up adopting him herself! I thought I would include this story because it shows how photography is really just another way to connect people with the shelter and the animals, and in this case the connection came in the actual process of taking the photo instead of afterwards.
We've had many animals adopted due to adopters seeing photos online and being moved to come into the shelter, specifically the dogs Aretha Franklin and Madison.
Finally, a recent photo-centric fundraising campaign for new dog beds was very successful thanks to two adorable dog photos taken with the new camera. That means that literally all of the dogs in the shelter were helped by the photos of Gideon and Louie, two shelter dogs.