Video: Humane Society of Utah Photo Booth Connects Shelter Dogs With Forever Homes
Guinnevere Shuster became an internet sensation when she decided to help boost adoptions at the Humane Society of Utah, where she works as Social Media Coordinator and Photographer, by photographing adoptable dogs in photo booths. Adoption rates at the humane society skyrocketed.
“The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) had a record-breaking year, adopting out 11,318 animals in 2015 and achieved a no-kill status as the largest open admissions shelter in the state,” Shuster told iHeartDogs. “While many programs contributed towards achieving that goal there is no doubt the photo booth pictures and the attention they have received have helped. Oftentimes we will post a photo booth picture to Facebook and the dog will be adopted within hours of the posting. A handful of times the photos were posted in the evening and multiple families showed up before the HSU open, all waiting to meet the dogs.”
Now, you can purchase a coffee table book full of Shuster’s amazingly adorable “dogs in photo booths” series for you to enjoy. The photos of over 100 dogs perfectly capture their spirited, goofy, and lovable personalities, and are accompanied by a short bio of each dog, explaining how they ended up in the shelter and the date they were adopted. A follow-up concludes the book, with photos of some of these pooches with their lucky new families.
Even better, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Utah and Best Friends Animal Society.
Shuster says that workers and volunteers at rescues and shelters should not feel limited if they do not have a “professional photographer” or fancy camera to work with.
“Smartphones have amazing cameras these days and all the same rules apply,” she says. “Find a couple of good apps and spend a few hours learning how to use them. I’m a fan of Snapseed myself. Find good light, like a skylight or big window and place the pup in front of it, facing the window. Try and get between the window and the animal but remember don’t block the light yourself.”
She says to also look for free resources that are available to help shelter workers take better photographs. For example, she is presenting “Winning Hearts with Power Shots: Adoption Promo Through Great Photography” this July at the Best Friend’s Animal Society’s National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. There are many organizations that provide grants or free workshops for animal shelter photography, so be sure to look into those as well.
Shuster has another series in mind that will focus on one of the most common types of dogs found in animal shelters across the United States. Since this endeavor requires travel, she is saving up for it at the moment.