“If you get a really good photo of a dog, people are like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome,’ and then it gets shared and shared and shared and shared,” says Shaff. “So the chances of them finding a home faster increases.”
Shaff’s photos have vibrant, colorful backgrounds. Eckman’s backgrounds are simpler, often white.
“Each of (the photographers) capture a different facet of the animal,” says Kristine Schellhaas, communications manager at the Idaho Humane Society. “That’s going to appeal to different adopters. One adopter may not be attracted to a photo, say, that we took, but then they see this beautiful bright background and the dog’s got this expression in their face — and they fall in love.”
There’s a huge sense of satisfaction in that for both photographers.
“I’m so proud of (this work). I really want to help the community,” says Eckman. “Photography services are just my form of volunteering myself to my community.”
The gratitude goes many ways. “Any kind of connection we can offer between the potential adopter and our shelter — it’s a win,” says Schellhaas. “We are really grateful to (Shaff and Eckman) for opening up their hearts to our shelter and our shelter animals.”