I think it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who knows me, or has just stumbled across my website, Facebook page, Instagram account or camera roll on my phone, that I love dogs. You know when people ask you what you would do with your time if money didn’t matter, I’d photograph dogs, so I guess I’m living the dream.
The day I made the decision to become a photographer was in 2004 when I was 23 with a small baby and a marriage that was falling apart. I knew I had a purpose to fulfil and that taking pictures that would somehow make a difference in the world was it.
It took me some time to get to the point of actually taking photos that had an impact and it wasn’t until I adopted Jeremy my Daxie from Sandton SPCA in 2011 and started the annual calendar project that I really felt like I was doing something for the greater good.
Dogs are, and will always be, my thing which is why I dedicate so much time to championing their corner. I think I relate so deeply to shelter Mutts because I’ve felt like an underdog many times in my life and it’s a tough place to be. Shelters worldwide are full of hundreds of thousands of dogs that deserve to be part of a family and some of them will sadly never get the chance.
Shooting portraits of shelter dogs that are looking for homes increases their chance of being adopted exponentially. Taking them out of a sad, shelter environment and capturing their character and personality means that potential adoptees can see them as an individual and are far more likely to want to meet them. Social media users all love a beautiful photograph which means more shares and more chance of a dog being spotted and getting a home which is why I’m passionate about donating my time to help where I can.
It’s incredibly heartwarming for me when I hear that a dog I’ve photographed has been adopted and I know that I’m getting up each day and making the world a slightly better place for the dog that’s found a new home and the family that get to enjoy him or her.
The Mutts books project is all about celebrating rescue dogs and showcasing their variety, personality and happy ending stories and to demonstrate that rescue dogs aren’t all crazy with a mass of strange behavioural problems. As the crowdfunding project draws to a close, I’ve pledged to photograph 67 shelter dogs if the project reaches the final target of R155,000. That’s 67 dogs who will get a chance to enjoy a family home rather than an enclosure at a shelter, 67 dogs who will get to snuggle on a couch with their new humans and 67 ways I can make the world a better place.
You can be a part of this change by pledging your support for Mutts here – www.thundafund.com/project/mutts
I’m donating all the sales proceeds from the book to Sandton SPCA and CLAW to help them with their ongoing work so your contribution will make a huge difference. Thank you.