Thursday, September 8, 2011



Volunteer photographers needed to help save local pets’ lives

Second Chance Photos has put out a call to volunteers to help save the lives of pets through the use of photography. The non-profit organization calls people of all skill levels to take personalized pictures of shelter pets to help find them forever homes.

When a dog or cat arrives at an animal shelter, it often is scared, dirty and disoriented. As part of the intake process, the animal has their photo taken, and this untimely photo is the face that people see when looking to potentially adopt a pet. An inaccurate headshot can hurt its chances of adoption, but an uplifting, hopeful portrait can save its life.

Founder Seth Casteel, a lifestyle pet photographer ( and volunteer at shelters across the country, is inspired by the pets he helps. “Shelter pets are often in a grim situation, abandoned and alone, not knowing how much time they have left. But despite these circumstances, their outlook on life is so positive. This is why we as human beings are drawn to help.”

Casteel, whose efforts have helped hundreds of pets find a second chance through photography, hopes to guide others to partake in this effort. "There are thousands of passionate animal lovers with a creative eye. I'm hoping to connect with them and offer photography tips which can be used to directly impact adoption rates.” You need not be a professional photographer to get involved. Casteel says anyone with a passion for animals, a dedication to help, and a desire to learn the basics of photography can create life-saving portraits.

"The marketing element of pet adoption is extremely important. Without awareness and interest in the shelters and shelter pets, adoption rates will struggle. Better pictures are not only helping specific pets, but are generating increased traffic to shelters which result in even further adoptions."

With limited budgets, animal shelters don’t have much room for marketing. They spend their money on the absolute essentials—food, shelter and medical bills, and generally cannot afford expensive camera gear and photo editing software. Second Chance Photos aims to help with this, too. Their website suggests various ideas for shelters and rescues to obtain a new camera through fundraisers and donations. “The resources are out there, you just have to ask,” says Casteel. “I’ve seen camera shops and photography enthusiasts donate digital SLR cameras. The community wants to help—they just have to know how.”

Second Chance Photos believe every homeless pet should be represented with a positive, professional photograph, offering a glimpse into their unique personality in hopes to make a connection with potential adopters. Their mission is to provide shelter staff and volunteers with the resources to successfully photograph shelter pets, aiding in giving them the second chance they deserve.

Second Chance Photos is a nation-wide non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of shelter pets through photography. Volunteers of all ages and skill level are encouraged to participate. Find out more about Second Chance Photos at


Lisa said...

Seth takes incredible pictures of the shelter animals in Chicago! He is fantastic!

MKPhotography said...

I don't know if it's my computer or not but the second chance website isn't coming up for me. I get their front page but index2 won't load.

Tara m. said...
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