The other day, a notice on the RVSPCA Facebook popped up requesting someone who could do some photography. I sent an email explaining that I could do it, I have my own camera and pointed out that it has this neat little option called “Action Shot” which takes 25 shots a second. I didn’t hear anything for a couple of days, but I wasn’t surprised. The employees for the RVSPCA work very hard and sometimes cannot reply fast unless it deals with fostering and/or adopting an animal (because, of course, it is Top Priority).

I recieved a reply and called to set up the best time to come down and try out my skills and see if it’s something I could do and would enjoy doing. Yesterday was my day to “try my hand” at photographing some animals and I explained I expect to take at least a few hundred photos to get the perfect shot.

They explained that I have to expect to do all kinds of things to get that “perfect shot.” And, that if I have any questions or want pointers, I should ask Kim. Kim has been the main photographer for them and gets beautiful shots. Kim has also helped in getting them a nice supply of things to help make the animals more interesting. It was also explained to me that she’s on a “Cats in Hats” kick and that’s why there are so many hats in one of the tubs. Apparently, because they’ve put a conscious effort to get at minimum 3 shots to show off the animal, it’s helped bring interest in them.

I was given 6 pets for my “First Time” and was given a helper (Bryan, who is a nice guy and loves fostering. He fostered this adorable little boy named A-Rod). Off we went!

Bryan pointed out that we should work with the cats first and off to the kitty-room we went.  We took some shots of Elantra first, she was a long-hair “Torbie” (Tortise/Tabby mix) and all about scritches. Next, we got some shots of Hope, a little kitten who was a little shy but interested in playing with a small ball. Shortly thereafter, Bryan asked if I thought I had gotten enough shots. I looked down and found I had taken approximately 400 photos of the cats. He was shocked and I explained that it’s because of the “Action Shot” and it gets some interesting shots.

Then we went over to the dogs. We took out Cowgirl first. She’s a beautiful black and white pittie girl who gets wiggly-excited and is more people-oriented than toy oriented. I had gotten some good shots, but found later that they were unable to be used thanks to the streaks of green and purple caused by reflections of the sun onto the camera lens. It tends to happen sometimes and it’s just something that I’ve gotten used to with the camera.

I also ended up getting dog snot on the lens and had to take a small break to clean it off. Shortly thereafter, we had gotten Pattie out for photos. She’s a 10-month old wiggle-butt pittie girl and very adorable. Mostly black with little white toes. I was able to get some really nice shots of her. I also learned that she likes to give hugs but when she gets too excited with hugs, she starts doing puppy-nibbles to the ear. When it started, we had stopped her and she calmed down. After a good amount of shots, we put her back up and went to the Puppy Room to pick up Eli and Ellie.

When we got to their kennel, there was a note on the kennel door that stated that Ellie had been adopted! Yay! That is awesome! She was a beautiful little girl who had cream-coloured fur with some black bits and with this neat hound/husky face markings. (they do not have husky in them, they are boxer-hound mixes). We took Eli and headed to the Behavioural Suite to get some nice shots.

Eli was adorable, snuffling around curiously, and coming back to me for reassuring scritches. Bryan worked with him a little bit and was able to get teach him to sit. I was able to get a couple shots of this and it was really cute.
**Parenthetical remarks are a notation about the “omghuge” earthquake that happened yesterday afternoon, please feel free to skip and ignore**

(During this time, I had taken a small break to stand up to try to wait for another set of shots when the doors made his horrible noise from shaking and my knees started shaking. I figured it was the wind and didn’t think anything about the knees since it tends to happen if I’m on a second floor and walking. Bryan asked what it was, I shrugged and mentioned the wind. He said it couldn’t be and went out to check it out. A few minutes later we found it was a small earthquake. Earthquakes in Virginia are “fairly frequent” at about a 1.-something or so, nothing so much to be noticed by humans, and the ones ranging a 2.-whatever or higher are fairly rare. This was big news for the people who were around. Half of the volunteers/employees felt it while the other half didn’t and most of the second half thought others were messing with them. We found out later it was a 5.9 and centralized in Louisa County, Virginia. This is a large amount for Virginia, whose people are used to hurricanes, drought/flood (usually in the same summer), and even tornadoes are pretty unheard of. Earthquakes are something of mythical lore here (yay Southwest Virginia) where it’s on that “oh that never happens here!” scale like getting snow that’s more than 2 inches deep (and that is once every 5 or 10 years). So, of course, “Earthquake in Virginia! omgz!” is huge news. Not a big deal to me, really. Sometimes we get thunderclaps that do the same thing and I knew that Izzy would’ve peed her crate when it happened and I was right.)

**end of my take on the “omgzearthquakeholyshit!”**

After Eli was put up, I went to go find one of the employees to get them to copy the photos off my memory card. At the time, my only notion of how many I had taken was “a lot.” I found out later that I took 1400 photos. Woo.

I now have a little photography gig set up for once a week. They were excited to have someone else (besides Kim) who had an idea of what was going on and knew what to expect. They were also quite excited that one of the people who does fostering for them was more than willing to take photos.

I have gone through some of the photos that would be good. I’ve gotten about 50 good photos to go through, crop, and possible fuzz the background. I’d been informed that my photos would go onto 15 different websites to help these animals find homes. I had asked if it was ok if I put photos up to share as well and was okayed (woot!), and Jamie’s asked to send me some so he can email them to people. Woo.

Since I’ve gotten a decent amount of photos, I have found that, as I want to post up photos on this blog, I will have to do one post per pet. Then again, this might be the best thing. Keep interest in an animal, show off some nice photos, and put in my two cents for what I’d learned in my short time with them.


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