Buffalo Bills Quarterback EJ Manuel is a dog lover. Him and his pit bull Titan have been together since EJ’s college days – and they’ve even been featured on the NFL Network together. EJ understands the importance of giving dogs a healthy and loving environment and is dedicated to helping change the negative and often unfounded stigma surrounding pit bulls and similar breeds.
As many of you know, I’m a dog lover too, and I donate a lot of my time to working with local rescue organizations that help dogs in bad situations find loving new homes. Lately I’ve been teaming up with Diamonds in the Ruff – A Buffalo, NY based rescue and adoption organization that helps rescue animals, finds them foster homes, and ultimately works towards placing them with caring families.
Adoption portraits are great and can really help individual animals, but there’s a much bigger audience out there who needs to be made aware of the amazing work that the volunteers at these rescues do for these animals, so Diamonds and I wanted to take it to the next level with our collaboration. We’ve been working on a very special series of videos and portraits that pair well-known animal lovers from WNY with adoptable dogs from DITR – EJ and Vera are our latest subjects, and they make an amazing team.
EJ and I aren’t the only ones who are enthusiastic about Diamonds and helping WNY’s dogs – we’ve also partnered with Max Brown and Scott Allen of Partners + Napier, a Rochester, NY based advertising agency, and Mark Montalvo of Skin Digital Retouching. Max actually adopted his own dog Bella from Diamonds, and Mark has generously donated a lot of the retouching work for the adoption images I’ve created the past few years for the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter.
Vera has been with Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue for a while now. Now it’s time for this wonderful, happy girl to find her forever home. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Help us spread the word about Diamonds, whether you’re a dog lover, #Billsmafia, or just a fan of my photography – You can visit DITR’s Facebook page to find out more about the organization and adopting Vera here.
I’ve worked with a lot of dogs from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter in the past few years, and I’ve bonded with a lot of them and followed their post adoption stories, but this is the first time that the volunteers have given me the awesome and special responsibility of actually naming one of these adorable pups — so I’d like to introduce you all to my friend Minnie — this one’s special to me.
She may look like a little puppy, but believe it or not Minnie is a little older, She’s one of those dogs that’s always going to have that “forever puppy” look. She was surrendered to the shelter by her previous owner, and while she plays very well with her friends at the shelter it is still recommended that this pit mix be adopted into a home with no other small dogs, as she can be a bit energetic and rambunctious when playing. Otherwise she is a sweet, happy, and curious girl who bonds quickly with people. She hasn’t been at the shelter long, but I’m sure that with your help we will be able to find her a new home in no time.
Help spread the world about this sweet adoptable girl by sharing this post or her Petfinder page — where you can find all the relevant info about meeting or even adopting her.
My portrait of my little friend Birch is on the cover of Shutterbug Magazine this month!
(This is the part where you envision me doing a dramatic and triumphant slow motion fist pump right now)
Maria Piscopo interviewed Isaac Howard, Tim Courtney, Cathy Greenblat, and myself about our work with various charities, non-profits, and volunteer organizations. It covers the ins and outs of what can go right and wrong when donating your time and work and features some of my favorite rescue dog images from the past year.
When I first started photographing dogs it was just something I was going to try for fun so I could make some portraits of my dogs for my fiancee, but it’s turned into a huge part of my business and my life over the last year as I’ve been working with both rescue animals and on advertising campaigns in the veterinary industry. I hope more photographers will start to donate their time to local shelters, as good portraits really help people connect with these animals’ personalities and greatly aid adoption efforts.
You can support and learn more about the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter here.
You can also support great organizations like notabully.org to help change minds about pit bulls and work to end breed specific discrimination.
Meet Darla, a three-year-old Mastiff in Buffalo, NY that is looking for an awesome family to adopt her this holiday season. Currently she is in a foster program run by the HEART Animal Rescue and Adoption Team. Darla looks so much like one of my own dogs (Akasha – who was a rescue as well, and I’m pretty sure that Darla is a Boerboel just like her) that I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to help her out once I heard her story.
Darla has been adopted and returned twice through no fault of her own (changing circumstances did not allow the families to keep her in the long-term). Right now Darla is staying with a really great foster family, but because of her issues with cats and other animals she has to stay in the heated garage most of the time. The volunteers at HEART and her foster family have been working their butts off to find a great new owner and a warm fireplace for this tiny (for a mastiff) lady to curl up by for the holidays. Thankfully, once the new portraits I created of her hit Facebook and Twitter, her story was shared hundreds of times in just a few days. She still hasn’t been placed with a new home yet, but I’m hoping that if you are in the Buffalo, NY area and are looking for an amazing pet, or know a deserving family who is you will help spread the word about Darla’s situation and make her holidays marvelous.
She’s very sweet and affectionate, but she doesn’t always get along with cats (who can blame her – I don’t get along with them either) or other dogs very well. However, she is amazing with less furry, more human children, and would make an amazing addition to a family looking for that perfect first pet. People are really dedicated to helping Darla and because of that a friend of the foster family has agreed to pay the $150.00 adoption fee, in addition to that kick-ass donation I’m offering up to $100.00 for the new family to sign up for training classes in the Buffalo area with Darla after she is adopted as a great way to bond with her and get to know each other better. She’s up to date on shots, is heart worm negative, spayed, housebroken, crate trained, already microchipped, and devastatingly cute.
You can find more info on her at her Petfinder page.
For movie fans, the name Linda Blair likely evokes memories of the actress who played Regan MacNeil in the Exorcist, crawling backwards down a flight of stairs or retching pea soup all over a couple of priests, but nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to this sweetheart. This very petite pit was named Linda Blair by the volunteers at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter in honor of the horror legend’s work with dogs of all kinds through her Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation and especially her efforts to rescue and change the stigma surrounding certain breeds. Continue reading “SHELTER PORTRAITS: LINDA BLAIR”
Photographing people is kind of my thing, I’ve made a fun career out of creating portraits that capture people’s personality, style, and unique stories – but lately I’ve been wholly fascinated with a different kind of subject. Continue reading “NEW PORTFOLIO: ANIMALS”
Images are a powerful factor in how we form our impressions and opinions on things, especially in regards to people. And this is doubly true in the image conscious worlds of music, fashion, style, and art, where often times an individual is not just the defining force behind their own brand, but the brand itself. Changing your image can be a tricky thing and often polarize others opinions about you, even if that change is a natural growth that happens organically. Enter Mark, a friend of mine for years, Mark is a musician and well known concert promoter in the northeast, especially in the Western NY area. Already a polarizing figure, his years playing in hard rock bands, and bringing some of the best niche acts in the punk, hardcore, and rockabilly scenes to the area gave him a reputation that was inexorably linked to the rock genre and lifestyle, It seemed that Mark, occasionally known as Mad Dog, was a long haired fixture of the rock scene in Buffalo.
But when Mark contacted me about creating images for his new musical project, a departure from previous acts and ventures that boldly moves away from his rock roots, we decided to start crafting images that, much like his music, moved in different directions than he had been working towards in the past. It was important to create images that were simply about him, and to move away from alot of the artifice and overproduction that is often utilized in music photography today. These shots are meant to reintroduce him to his audience as a more cerebral and lyrically versatile musician that they can connect with, rather than the very physical and wild persona he had performed under for years.