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When she's not photographing weddings or documenting her travels in Southeast Asia, photographer Anne Chadwick Williams spends every Thursday capturing the unique qualities of rescue dogs at a city-run Sacramento, Calif., shelter to help the organization boost adoptions.
The sharpshooter says that she always comes away with a good laugh, evidenced by her new series of cheeky canine “blooper” shots. (See more of these funny photos in our gallery below.)
Vetstreet asked the veteran newspaper photographer to talk about her charitable work, her sometimes comedic canine subjects and the inspiring stories behind her own rescue dogs.
A. Anne Chadwick Williams: "It can not only greatly increase the adoption rate, but it can also shorten the time that an animal spends at a shelter. Many shelters don’t focus on having good pictures on their website, but it's really vital to help get animals adopted. Americans love their dogs, but if what they see on a website are small photos of dogs who look scared or mean, or a blurry image, they aren’t left with an impression that makes them want to adopt, let alone even go to that shelter.
In good photographs, not only do you see the animal well, but also some of their uniqueness shows through. Good photography says that a shelter cares. It can also bring more attention through increased web and foot traffic, more volunteers, donations and even media attention."
A. "I love photographing shelter
dogs because I know that my photos will not only help get them a home, but it may even save their lives. Knowing a dog has gone to a new family, in part because of a picture that drew someone in to the shelter, is heartwarming.
Recently, a man drove from the Bay Area to Sacramento to adopt a
Pit Bull he'd seen on the website. Hearing that was wonderful because he could have chosen from dozens of dogs in shelters near his home, but he was taken by this one because of my photo."
A. "I was a newspaper photographer for 22 years, and I still do some editorial work. I like variety, so I also shoot weddings, pets and events. And I try to keep a documentary project going at all times."
A. "I love photographing dogs because they are so full of life and expression. They live in the moment. They are amusing, curious and loving. I always come away feeling good."
A. "I have two dogs, Ella and Ollie, who I found 10 years apart on the streets of Sacramento. Ella jumped into my car after I saw her wandering down a road. She is a very calm
Husky mix who loves to swim and hike.
I found Ollie two Thanksgivings ago while walking Ella. He'd been dumped in freezing weather, under a tree, with a box of
dog biscuits. He was emaciated and had bald spots. He has quite a story, which is chronicled
on my blog. After spending nine days at the emergency vet, having a chunk of corncob removed from his stomach, he came home. Since then, he has doubled his weight and is a very funny, smart dog — the sort of dog who makes you laugh out loud every day. He sometimes blogs in a somewhat irreverent tone."
Photographer Anne Chadwick Williams spends one day a week taking
pictures of dogs at a Sacramento, Calif., city shelter — but her
four-legged subjects don't always cooperate. In this slideshow, she
shares several of her best blooper shots, with some pretty apropos
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