Photography Class Puts Focus on Pet Adoptions
By Office of Communication
Posted on October 11, 2012, October 11, 2012

Animal Services Representatives from Surrounding Cities Attend a Photography Training Class Aimed at Promoting Adoptable Pets

A good photo shot for a website post has become one of the most important marketing tools used to help an adoptable pet find a new, forever home.

Arlington Animal Services (AAS) Manager Chris Huff invited animal shelter staff from neighboring cities to attend a special photography class, with a common goal in mind - helping increase the number of successful pet adoptions.

Huff's desire was to provide information and training for area shelters that is not normally available. The turnout indicated a strong interest, with 15 cities represented at the event held on September 19, at AAS. Huff, in partnership with photographer Tim Heitman, led the informative class, providing tips in photography techniques regarding camera settings, backdrops, and how to present furry models in their best possible light. The class also drew attention from area code compliance officers interested in enhancing photography skills for use in daily field operations.

Good marketing of adoptable pets is increasingly important with pet overpopulation a growing concern. During fiscal year 2012, AAS took in almost 11,500 homeless animals, an overall 15% increase over the previous year. To help reduce the number of stray animals in the community and improve pet health, Huff initiated several spay, neuter, and vaccination clinics during the past year, in addition to conducting multiple responsible pet ownership training classes.

Many of the participants in the photography class commented that the hands-on training inspired desires to grow similar programs to help better promote adoptable pets in their shelters.

AAS has an amazing team with featured pet bio writers and dedicated, camera savvy volunteers assisting with the Pets of the Week, and Golden PAWS Pets of the Month photo shoots, helping adoptable pets in need gain exposure and moments of fame on the city's websites.

Additionally, Arlington has a Pretty Pooch Team that dedicates time to helping groom incoming AAS pets so they can present their best image for the camera.

Special thanks to photographer Tim Heitman, to all that participated in the class, and to the wonderful AAS volunteers with a shared passion for helping homeless animals

Huff has plans to create a more permanent onsite photo studio at AAS, to provide an enhanced setting conducive for capturing winning photos of adoptable animals in search of good homes. These plans have shelter pets smiling in anticipation.

View photos

For more information, contact Arlington Animal Services at 817-459-5898.

By Carol Weemes

Photography Class

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