Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 04-19-2022 11:36 AM
    Who has tips on how to take the best profile pictures for animals? Does anyone know of specific trainings/classes/webinars on this topic? Do you have specific cameras, lighting tools, backdrops, or strategies to get a great picture upon intake (or shortly after)? Our animals' intake pictures always end up making them look fearful, anti-social, or overly shy, when most of the time that is not representative of their personality! I think an established procedure for taking intake pictures could help improve quality control of our pictures and boost adoptability from their very first day with us! Any resources, tips, SOPs, templates, or product/tool suggestions appreciated! :)
    #AdmissionsandIntake(includingIntake-to-placement)
    #AdoptionsandAdoptionPrograms
    #CaseManagement*
    #EducationandTraining
    #FosterPrograms
    #MarketingandSocialMedia

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    Roxanne Conowitch
    Best Friends Animal Society
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  • 2.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 04-19-2022 12:34 PM
    Hi Roxanne,

    Here are a few tips from a professional photographer:
    1. Most important aspect of good pet photo is having their ears forward. When you are ready to take the photo, crinkle a bag, squeak a toy or make a funny noise with your mouth and shoot the moment they orient their ears forward. If the pet is too stressed to put their ears forward, it would probably be best to wait. A bad picture right away is worse than a good picture in a day or two. Grumpy cats are a little harder to elicit a friendly face. You could try waiting until feeding time and see if that perks them up or perhaps bust out some catnip.
    2. Have camera lens at the pet's eye level so get down on the floor or put them up on something (but keep in mind, this may make them more nervous). You can experiment with camera looking down at the pet but being at the pet's level is a good place to start
    3. Take a full body and head shot
    4. Eyes must be in focus and, ideally, should have what is called a 'catch light' which means you can see the reflection of a light in the eyes.
    5. Ideally, lighting should be soft and even like in the shade on the north side of a building. You don't want the background to be brighter than the light falling on pet (pet in shade and wall behind in sun). If it is an option, the best outdoor lighting is just before and after sunrise and sunset. 
    6. If you are shooting indoors, try not to mix colors of light. Incandescent, fluorescent, LED and daylight all have a different color. If the light is coming from overhead, move the pet so the light is in front of its face, not behind. Once you have found a good indoor location, buy a cheap tripod with a cell phone mount and leave it near by b/c this will help photos go quicker.
    7. If you can move the pet further away from the background, this may help create some blur in the background which helps the pet stand out. Some camera phones have a 'portrait' mode which enhances the blur in the background.
    8. Avoid wide angles for your main photo. This often distorts the size of the pet but can create some fun, secondary photos.
    9. If you are looking for more than just a single photo, showing a positive interaction with a person such as being pet, hugged snuggled, played with, can give adopters a glimpse of their personality.
    I hope that helps! Feel free to ask questions.


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    Diane Zahorodny
    World Ready Pets
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  • 3.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Maddie's Fund Staff
    Posted 04-19-2022 02:28 PM
    Roxanne, 

    Here are some more resources for you:



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    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund
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  • 4.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 04-19-2022 02:49 PM
    Hi There,

    I highly recommend checking out this organization for tips, tools, and resources for pet photography, https://heartsspeak.org/our-mission/.

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    Erin Ellis
    Community Engagement Director
    Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

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    Foster Program & Volunteer Management Specialist
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  • 5.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 04-20-2022 05:40 AM
    Great question.  Thank you for asking! I too am learning from the answers.  🙂

    -Jaime

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    Jaime GreatShield
    Founder/Director
    Sunka Bimaaji
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  • 6.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Maddie's Fund Staff
    Posted 04-20-2022 10:46 AM
    Erin's referral to HeARTs Speak is a great one. In addition, Caitlin Quinn of HeARTs Speak partnered with Maddie's own Kelly Duer to create the FREE Maddie's University course Marketing a Foster Pet, which has a section on photography (and one on video too, which is equally important!) It was designed to get foster pets featured, but really the concepts apply to all animals, wherever they are.

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    Erika Shaffer
    Course Developer at Maddie's Fund
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  • 7.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 04-21-2022 10:20 AM
    Hi Roxanne,

    If you're in a high-intake environment, Adoptimize automates high-quality intake photos in seconds that increase adoption rates an average of 44% for cats and 81% for dogs. Better photos also double return to home rates for dogs.

    You can try it out for free here.

    Jessica.schleder@adoptimize.co

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    Jessica Schleder
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  • 8.  RE: How do you improve animals' profile pictures?

    Posted 21 days ago

    Hi Roxanne!

    I'm a bit late to the party but I wanted to offer to send you one of our Shelter Photography Field Guides if you're interested. You can email me at caitlin@heartsspeak.org and I'd be happy to set up a little care package of resources. We also offer shelter photography onsite training through our Perfect Exposure Project and I'll link to some other videos and resources as well -- happy to discuss any of those options or ideas!

    Easy Tips for Great Shelter Pet Photos | Hearts Speak

    Hearts Speak remove preview
    Easy Tips for Great Shelter Pet Photos | Hearts Speak
    Photos are a vital part of not only finding homes faster for homeless pets but transforming the way communities perceive shelters and pet adoption. A great photo helps a pet make an emotional connection in an instant- and that can be the key to motivating someone to visit the shelter...
    View this on Hearts Speak >

     

    Shelter Photography Basics, Part 3 Getting Great Photos Anywhere | Hearts Speak

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    Shelter Photography Basics, Part 3 Getting Great Photos Anywhere | Hearts Speak
    As we become more familiar with an environment - from play yards, to offices, to cat rooms and dog kennels - it's natural to overlook their potential as stellar backdrops for adoption portraits. But beauty lies waiting in unexpected places, and this third installment of our Shelter Photography Basics series covers...
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    10 Tips for Great Foster Pet Photos | Hearts Speak

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    10 Tips for Great Foster Pet Photos | Hearts Speak
    Getting photos of foster pets can feel hard - sometimes lighting in our home isn't the best or our foster has the case of the wiggles. And sometimes a pet can be camera shy. But thankfully a few small adjustments and the use of a handy cell phone can make a...
    View this on Hearts Speak >

     

    How Photos Are Important to Pet Adoption: A Study | Hearts Speak

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    How Photos Are Important to Pet Adoption: A Study | Hearts Speak
    For every 10 dogs that enter an animal shelter in the United States, approximately five are adopted, two are returned to their owner, and two never leave because they are euthanized or die at the shelter. To increase dog adoption, animal shelters often photograph dogs and share the photos online....
    View this on Hearts Speak >

     

    6 Tips to Make your Pet Photos Look More Professional

    Hearts Speak remove preview
    6 Tips to Make your Pet Photos Look More Professional
    Adorable animals can be fun to photograph, yet it can also be tricky because of lighting, the environment, and an animal's behavior. With these 6 tips to make your animal photos look more professional, you can successfully capture the personalities of your subjects and tell a story through quality images.
    View this on Hearts Speak >

     

    No Helper? No Problem! Solo Tips for Great Shelter Pet Photos | Hearts Speak

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    No Helper? No Problem! Solo Tips for Great Shelter Pet Photos | Hearts Speak
    Camera: check! Extra battery: check! Cloth to wipe dog drool off lens: check! Treats, squeaky toys, catnip: check! Helper: umm...nope. Welcome to the day-to-day reality for many of us: we want the best photo possible for our animals but we may only have ourselves to 1) movethe animals to and...
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    Photographing Adoptable Dogs

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    Photographing Adoptable Dogs
    This is "Photographing Adoptable Dogs" by Petfinder Pro on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
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    Photographing Adoptable Cats

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    Photographing Adoptable Cats
    This is "Photographing Adoptable Cats" by Petfinder Pro on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
    View this on Vimeo >

     

    Framing The Shot :: HeARTs Speak EDU tutorial

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    Framing The Shot :: HeARTs Speak EDU tutorial
    Learn how to get beautiful adoption portraits in any environment by focusing on what to leave out of the frame as much as what to put in!
    View this on Vimeo >

     



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    Caitlin Quinn
    HeARTs Speak
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