Im-paws-ibly Awesome People

While a small handful knew some details, the campaign went live this weekend, so I can officially unleash (as it were) the project.

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A few weeks ago, I was hired by Pedigree, these guys –>  https://www.pedigree.com/ 

For a bit, now, they have held a national competition where a number of rescue shelters receive free dog food for a year.  The event is divided up regionally and during this round, Metro-Detroit was one of the picks.

As for my part, I was tasked with documenting the goings-on at the rescue shelters in Flint, Pontiac, and Dearborn.

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Those you who know me know I am an animal lover and have a very hard time dealing with, knowing about, or being exposed to the many ways people mistreat animals.  That said, I understand the feeling a lot of people have when they visit a shelter.  It seems depressing and hard for the animals – and it is.  It is especially hard when a dog or a cat is used to having a home and is suddenly thrust into what probably seems to be a jail.

I could keep explaining the negative side, but you’re on Facebook, you see the news, and you watch the commercials.  So, I won’t drive my point home any further.  What I WILL do is tell you about the other side of the story.  I want you to know about the people that make these shelters work – the staff and volunteers.

The definition of volunteer tells you a bit about a person right from the start.  They aren’t being paid, they aren’t receiving time off work.  These folks are giving up their time to help with a situation a lot of people don’t want to even hear about.  More than that, they LOVE these animals.  When a dog has been at a shelter for five years, you might look at it and think it has nothing left and it will never be happy again.  Then that one person – THAT DOG’S volunteer – walks in and it’s like he’s a brand new dog. Tail wagging, ears up.  It’s his favorite person in the world and they’re there just to see him.

The “staff.”  I don’t like that word.  It implies that this is simply a job.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s their job, but it’s also their life.  At each of the shelters I photographed, I found out the staff members regularly foster dogs at their homes, teaching positive behavior and building emotional bonds, knowing that they will have to give up the friendship so that the dogs can have  happy lives.  Trust me when I say this is a LOT more than a job for these people.

While this project is all well and good, I’m using it as a platform for something much bigger.  Confirmation on a few planned events should come down the line early this week – so stay tuned for the updates.  Plus, a few videos are on their way soon.

In the meantime, check out some of the shots from the three shelters.

To vote for the region to win free dog food, swing by the Facebook page, here.

This campaign may change the lives of a number of dogs, but there are tens of thousands out there that could desperately use your help.  Shelters are constantly in need of things like food, cleaning supplies, newspaper, and bedding.  Those last two are things you probably have sitting in the corner of your basement waiting to get thrown away.

Please look up your local shelter and drop off a thing or two.  It may only take a second of your time or a bit of spare change, but it can make all the difference in the world to a pet that need s home.

If you would like to see the full gallery of images from the different shelters, click here.  All the pictures are for sale and half of all proceeds are donated to the shelter where the picture was taken.

Thanks guys

– Jon

 

The Retriever Cometh

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You may have been on the internet recently.  Heck, you may be on the internet RIGHT NOW.   So in all likelihood, an internet aficionado like yourself may have noticed 1 or a few hundred thousand trends rocketing their way around cyberspace.

Ignoring “Grumpy Cat” (whose name is Tartar Sauce), Gangam Style, and Reality TV, you’ve likely noticed there is a – close to overdone – trend rocking Youtube.  I am, of course, reffering to Electronic/Dubstep-soundtracked montages of things like action sports, skate boarding, or people hurting themselves.

Well, try as you might, you’ll never leave ME out of the loop!

Unfortunately I am not mind-bogglingly athletic.  I am neither surprisingly, moderately, or remotely athletic.  This isn’t to say I weigh in at a svelte 750, but more that if I attempted an inverted kick-flip followed by a dark-house nose-grind, I’d likely find myself in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the half-pipe, soaking in the snickering humiliation of 2 dozen overly-developed tweenagers.

But back to the point…

I don’t have an affluence of athletic ability.  I DO, however, have a golden retriever.

His name is Murphy and he is possibly the coolest person you’ll ever meet.

SHUT UP!

He is TOO a person…

Enjoy.

– Jon

Jon’s Teaching Classes!!

Or more specifically he will be after the new year.

I’ll be conducting courses in 2-3 sessions depending on content.  To start things off I’ll be focusing on all you guys that may be getting cameras for the holidays and want to know how to use them to the fullest extent.  As the season warms back up, look forward to a selection of nature, architecture, and event field trips!

The metro-area will be home base for a little while so if you’re part of an art council, community education group, or simply have some interest in learning how to bend light, please let me know and we’ll get something custom-tailored to what you’re looking for!

Check back in a few days for a list of general available classes to see if anything peaks your interest.

Thanks guys!

– Jon

Just a Little Fun

Here’s a brief interlude to your day.

In my last post, I showed you a few of my shots from Chicago.  Well, while I was there, I sank my teeth into a project I’m working on.  See, a photographer by the name of Chris Clor has been a substantial inspiration for the past number of year, his creative ideas for imagery aside, a driving factor in his work revolves around stitching together pieces of a picture to create something that simply couldn’t exist in real life.  Now, I don’t have an intention of trying to replicate his work (I have my own style).  One process he uses, however, is simply a good idea regardless of who you are.  Whether he is working on a specific image or just out shooting, Chris continually ads to his collection of pictures that could be, at some later date, used in a larger project.

As it was described to me back in the day by one of my first photo teachers, I tend to have a “cinematic style.”  That being said, I began looking for settings that had a kind of movie-like-still look to them.  Almost as if you could see the main character holding a conversation or looking for clues to a mystery in such a dark ally.

So, while I was in Chicago, I scoped out some fairly movie-esque scenes that could fit a subject shot at a later date.

– Jon

Here’s the first shot from the Chicago backgrounds:

And here are the pieces:

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