Once your foster dog is more comfortable in his new environment, it’s important you start getting the word out that he/she is available for adoption! Promoting your foster dog will ensure that he/she ends up in the best forever home.
Here’s some helpful photo advice for foster parents and shelter volunteers, from internationally acclaimed photographer Sophie Gamand. “I always tell the shelters: think of it as marketing! You are there to ‘sell a product’ (i.e. adopt a dog out) and you need to make sure your images stand out, especially in big cities like New York where there are over 100,000 dogs available for adoption. […] Embrace your materials and make the best of what you have available. You may not have the best photo gear or the ideal environment, but that shouldn’t stop you from making your dog shine.”
A picture is the first thing people will see when searching for a dog online. Yes, meeting a dog in-person at adoption events and street fairs makes a huge difference and can often lead people to fall in love. But when that’s not a possibility, or the pup needs a promotion boost, photography is an incredibly helpful tool. Use social media to post some pictures of your foster dog in order to get the word out! Sometimes taking pictures of wiggly, adorable dogs is a challenge; be patient, you can do it.
Here are a few tips from Foster Dogs, Inc.:
- Take many digital pictures – it can take dozens of pics to get one or two good ones!
- Pictures taken outside in natural light tend to be better than those taken with flash (no more “vampire eyes”!)
- Use treats or a squeaky toy to grab the dog’s attention. Sometimes, making a “brrrrr” noise or a “meow” does the trick, too.
- Exercise the dog before taking pictures – a calmer dog is easier to photograph
- Have fun, and be patient. Allow at least 15-30 minutes to get a couple good photos, since the dog might need time to relax in his position. Sometimes, a great shot happens quickly; but don’t be upset if it takes a few tries!
Check out this informative article on our site written by a many-time foster mom, all about foster dog photography for the non-photographer! And here’s an article we wrote, with some suggestions and references regarding pet photography.