This past Saturday, I attended Paws in the Park in the Beach, Toronto. The area where the event was hosted may have had something to do with it, but I was delighted at the number of pet owners who very willingly let me photograph their dog(s). I explained that I was building an online pet portfolio with hopes of approaching my local adoption centers with an idea to feature pets up for adoption in a different way, and I was ecstatic and surprised at the positive response.
I tried to contact the Toronto Humane Society in June to ask what their policy was on taking photographs and participating in the event as a vendor, but unfortunately my inquiries received no response. I did call directly to inquire further and was told that as it was a public event, I could certainly take photos as I pleased, so that was enough of an ‘go ahead’ for me. I decided I would attend, camera and waivers in hand, and see what happened. My goal was to get 10 dogs’ portraits – I ended up photographing 25 dogs and have over 200 photos to process.
People were so friendly, chatty and willing to give me 10 minutes of their time in exchange for virtually nothing – it was AMAZING! All I offered was a business card and the option to receive the processed photos via email, plus be entered into a draw for a 1-hour private photo session. Not a single person turned me away (though one didn’t have the time) and most seemed excited that I had asked to feature their dog. And several of these pups already have their own Instagram accounts too! It was also so incredibly evident how much each owner cared about their dog(s), even the one or two who had just adopted their new pup that morning. And my ‘box of fun’ a was a hit with several owners willing to try a top hat, tiara, sunglasses or lei or their dog – it made for a lot of laughs and smiles (dogs included).
I spent over two hours walking, crouching, stooping and squatting in Woodbine Park to capture these beautiful/handsome canines. I approached dog owners in a friendly manner, targeting dog breeds I had yet to capture in a photo. Though my legs were hating me for the following three days, the effort was definitely worth it. Having uploaded all of the photos to my home drive minutes after coming in the door, I was immediately pleased with the shots and look forward to sharing them very soon!
I will be featuring one dog every day via Instagram for the next month, so keep an eye out for these cute pups! #dogaday
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.