Ava Kamm is doing something interesting and unique with her social media pages, instead of posting pictures of what she had for dinner or political memes, she’s saving lives. Shelter dogs lives to be a little more succinct. About one and a half years ago, Ava started posting photos of shelter dogs waiting to be adopted on her website and social media and since then her photos have helped at least 350 dogs get adopted from shelters. That’s really impressive and inspiring work. It makes me feel a little silly for spending so much time asking people if I can eat lunch in their offices, but hey, we all have our own calling I guess! Let’s meet Ava and find out more about her shelter dog photography and social media pages and website.
Ava And Shadow At Home
Here’s Ava and her dog, Shadow at their home in West Peoria. Shadow is a shelter dog that Ava adopted when she was in graduate school at SIU. She graduated with a Masters in Zoology with a focus on animal behavior. After she graduated she had a dog training business called, “Patient Paws,” but gave that up when she says, it was more about training people rather than animals. In December of 2015 she started her Dog Anthology project which combines her knowledge and love of dogs with another one of her talents, photography. Ava takes portraits of shelter dogs that show the true personality and warmth of the animal and it allows people to see the real character behind the photo and takes away some of the stigma that some people associate with shelter dogs. The tag line for the photos that she posts on facebook and other social media is: “Share an Image, Save a Life” and Ava says she wants people to understand that even if they can’t adopt a dog, they can share the image of that dog with their friends and maybe someone else will adopt and give the dog a happy home.
Okay, now that we’ve found out some background on Ava, let’s see her in action, so away we go to...
The Dog Anthology Photo Shoot @ PetSmart
Last weekend PetSmart had dog adoptions from various shelters at its store located in the Glen Hollow shopping center on Big Hollow Road.
There’s the sign for the pet adoption and we’ll walk in the doors and see what’s happening. There’s a good crowd in here and look at the size of that cat over there waving to us! I wouldn’t want to know what it would cost to keep him fed! Check out the little fellow in the cage, what a cute little dog and nice of him to pose for the MBIP Camera! And speaking of posing, I’ve turned the tables on Ava and there she is about ready to go to work!
There’s a number of shelter’s involved with today’s adoption, which is focusing on senior dogs. There’s TAPS, SAMS, PFS and T.R.A.I.N. Ava does the majority of her work with PAWS and T.R.A.I.N. but she also does work with these other shelters and other animal shelters and associations for Dog Anthology.
Ava’s going to be working with T.R.A.I.N. this morning, so I’m going to tag along and take photos of her taking her photos. And yes, her photos will be a lot better than mine, but please don’t judge! Here’s Ava with Sheila who’s one of T.R.A.I.N.S. representatives here today and they’ve picked a dog named Chevy for Ava to take some photos of. Ava prefers to take the shots outside if she can, so that’s where we’re headed off to. I’m just following along and doing what I’m told, but sadly, I get no treats for this! It’s a little bit of a gyp, but what are you going to do?
Here’s Ava springing into action and taking some photos of Chevy as Sheila handles him on the leash. Ava is really great with animals and as you can see from the last two shots here, she can get some enthusiastic results! I asked her if she ever gets attached to the dogs she’s taking photos of and she told me she does, but her husband and two children have said that for now they’re a one dog household, so Ava takes the photos and hopes that others will adopt the canines.
Next up is a little dog that’s named, Precious. She certainly lives up to her name and Colleen is going to be helping out with the photos for Precious. Colleen said Precious is about fifteen years old and her tongue naturally hangs out like that. What a cute little dog and my tongue does that on occasion too!
Colleen thought that Precious would be more comfortable being held, so she wrapped her up in a blanket and held her as Ava takes her photos of the dog. I can’t wait to see the photos of these two pooches and we’ll have them at the end of the post, so keep on scrolling!
In The Studio
This is Ava’s studio upstairs in her house and how cool is this place? That’s her and Shadow hanging out in the center of the studio before Ava gets to work editing this round of photos.
The studio is loaded with framed photos of Ava’s photography work with Shelter Dogs for her Dog Anthology project. As you can see they’re very impressive and she also sells cards. She’s looking to get those into some retail stores, so be on the lookout for those! The last shot is a PJ Star article featuring Ava written by Leslie Renken. (Inside obligatory PJ Star joke coming up in 3..2..1...) Hmm...I wonder if Leslie just walked in off the street and wrote that for the PJ Star?
Here’s Ava working on her computer where she puts the finishing touches on her photos via the computer.
Finished Dog Anthology Photos of Chevy and Precious
Here’s the final photos for Dog Anthology of Chevy and Precious! You can really feel and see each dog’s character and personality in these photos. Beautiful work by Ava!
Ava then posts the photos to her website, facebook, Twitter and Instagram, getting the word and photos out to someone who wants to give these dogs a home. At the top of the post is the dog’s name, breed, age and a nice one word descriptive line about the dog. There’s email for the shelter where the dog is and the Dog Anthology tagline: “Share an Image, Save a Life.” Nice!
Facebook page and other social media
Ava says she gets the most attention and adoptions from her facebook page and you can click on it to be taken there and “like” the page. The more likes the page gets, the more chances these beautiful shelter dogs will get a home, so take a second and click on the like page. Do it for Chey and Precious and all these other fabulous dogs on her page. There’s hundreds of photos, and you can click on the picture above or the links that are listed below. Thanks to Ava for letting me tag along, it was really inspiration to watch her work and to meet her. We should all thank her for this service she’s doing in Peoria and applaud her work by liking her page and looking at her photos! We’ll see you all tomorrow!