POV

Doggy Booth

Everyone loves a photo booth, no better way to capture the fun of the moment. Now take that fun add a couple of cute pups… You’re in for quite a treat!

Interview by Teo. J Babini Photos by Guinnevere Shuster
Callie © Guinnevere Shuster

Callie © Guinnevere Shuster

Citizen Brooklyn: Tell us a bit about Humane Society of Utah?

The Humane Society of Utah (HSU) is the largest and most effective animal shelter in the state of Utah, saving the lives of more pets than any other. The HSU is an open-admissions shelter, meaning that our doors are always open for any animal that we can legally accept and there are no limits placed on any pet’s time at our facility. After fifty-five years of service, the HSU is proud to announce that we are currently a no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. In 2014 the HSU placed* just over 10,000 companion animals. *Returned to owners, placed with a rescue partner or adopted into loving homes.

CBK: How did you come up with the photo booth idea?

I came up with the idea; I was hoping that it would help change people’s options and perceptions of shelter dogs. Showing off the individual personalities of the dogs, instead of the sad behind bars images that have become associated with shelter animals.

Floyd © Guinnevere Shuster

Floyd © Guinnevere Shuster

CBK:As a marketing tool, has it increased adoptions?

While it definitely has helped gain attention for many of the dogs featured, we have many programs that contribute to our high adoptions rates. However, some of these dogs photographed in this style are posted to our FB or IG accounts and adopted the very next day. A few of the dogs have had multiple families lining up at our front doors before we open to meet them.

CBK: How do you get the dogs to pose in such funny/cute ways?

I make sure the pups have lots of fun! I have an arsenal of treats, toys and am not afraid of making a fool of myself. Being able to make funny noises is a must. If the dogs aren’t having fun or comfortable, it doesn’t work.

Janey © Guinnevere Shuster

Janey © Guinnevere Shuster

CBK: Any fun stories about specific dogs in the booth?

We received a bonded pair of Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix brothers that we wanted to get adopted together. I had never photographed two large dogs at the same time before… They were great! During the shoot while I was sitting on the ground they ambushed me with a cascade of kisses. They got adopted together in less than a week after we posted their photo booth picture on Facebook.

CBK: Will the project continue in the future, or was it just a short term idea?

As long as people continue to respond positively to these photographs on the HSU’s social media accounts, I’ll keep doing them.

Zeke © Guinnevere Shuster

Zeke © Guinnevere Shuster

 

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