Multiple Choice

Which of these photos best conveys the following message to you?

This kitten is being held by a community leader in a way which demonstrates humane care and compassion.  This kitten is loved and has a gentle disposition.  I could see myself making this kitten part of my family.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I titled this post “multiple choice” not only because there is a question with multiple choices for the answer but to remind readers that adopters have multiple choices when browsing online for a pet. Do the photos your shelter posts online make adopters fall in love and choose to adopt or do they have a different effect?

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14 Comments

  1. animalnewsinfo

     /  June 8, 2012

    Simple, “A” the first one.

    As someone that takes rescued and shelter pets photos from time to time I must say that kittens are hard to get a good photo of because their heads always seem to be swiveling around when you wish they would look forward. And since I don’t always have anyone helping me I have been know to hold kittens with one hand and the camera in the other and hope for a good shot out of a dozen.

    Good photos do make a HUGE difference in the amount of interest an animal will get when posted online. So they are very important.

    Too many animal shelters take horrible pet photos and what is worst is that some will not allow volunteers to photograph their animals or sometimes they do, but will not post these better photos on their online pet listing sites. :(

    Short video clips of shelter pets help get pets adopted too.

    Reply
  2. Jamie

     /  June 8, 2012

    As you and I discussed recently, the shelter at which I volunteer takes the majority of the pets’ pics while they are in their cages. They aren’t TERRIBLE pics (at least as compared to those taken by agencies like MAS), but they could be much better.

    I just recently found out that one of the employees at the shelter is actually a photographer. And a good one, at that. I hope to talk to her today and arrange regular day of the week that I can help her get the pets outside (or at least out of their cages) for some happier pics. Thanks for pointing out how such a small change in the shelter’s day-to-day operations (like picture-taking) can make a huge impact on getting the furry ones adopted.

    Reply
    • A photographer on staff? Wow, that’s lucky. I hope the shelter takes advantage of this person’s skills to help get more pets adopted.

      Reply
  3. I agree with the bove poster, kittens are difficult to photograph at times, however, one thing that often does not happen, is the “photograper” (using this word loosely) does not take or make the time to take mulitple shots! But with digital there is just no excuse for not taking as many as you need to get a nice photo !! Are all the photos i take nice? NO NO NO! But if I have to spend the time to take 50 photos to get that one or two nice ones, then I do it!! And anyone with a point and shoot digital camera can too.

    And with volunteers armed with digital cameras, begging to help, not having the time to do this is is no longer an excuse…. Some photos that I see on line are absolutely horrible, looking like they are harming the kitten or puppy – Shirley has posted these – there is no excuse for this!

    Shelter pets are already at a disadvantage, we must present them in the most positive, happy, light as possible…Our photographs should be such that people can imagine the pet cuddled in their arms or laying on their couch!!

    Reply
    • Jessica C

       /  June 8, 2012

      Couldnt agree more.

      Anyway good post! But sadly, in order to put effort into these pics, theyd have to..you know, care about the animals. But this post is good for those shelters that DO care about animal welfare but just didnt think about how important the photos were in retrospect.

      Reply
  4. db

     /  June 8, 2012

    No way Kitten 3 is over a year old!
    This is a no brainer! It surely does make a difference – especially to those kittens in 2 and 3 who don’t look very comfortable. (The poor wee one is only about 2 pounds – really a baby!
    C’mon, folks, this is not difficult!!!!

    Reply
    • It looks like kitten 3 was posted over a year ago. They never updated the photo or listing. Who knows where that cat is now?

      Reply
      • mikken

         /  June 8, 2012

        I think we can guess.

        Good photos, and keeping them current – vital to increasing adoption rates. But some places just can’t give a rat’s ass…

  5. Daniela

     /  June 8, 2012

    I want kitten number 2. More because I love grey tigers then the picture but he just looks so sad and I just want to pick him up and cuddle him. I can’t have him though – I have an overfull house as it is. Is he in a kill shelter? If so I would be willing to donate to have a no-kill pull him.

    I helped take pictures of some of the kittens at the rescue I volunteer with. It was my job to keep the kitten in range of the camera and try to get them to look towards the camera. It wasn’t easy – they all wanted to run around instead and were always facsinated by what was in the opposite direction of the camera! It took us 2 hours to get pictures of about 20 kittens – but with a digital camera you can just keep snapping and toss the ones that don’t turn out well.

    Reply
    • Yes Charlotte pound kills animals – lots of them. Unfortunately that kitten has been removed from their database so I don’t know the status. Hopefully adopted.

      Reply
  6. They’re all a bit uncomfortably reminiscent of prison mugshots though. I realise the blurb is probably generated by some kind of software from a database of basic info about the animal and they’re dealing with hundreds of animals, but surely it would be possible to “humanise” it a bit more?

    Ideally you’d have a system that took a file of possible names and allocated them to each numeric identifier. You could have the reference number further down and ask adopters to quote both as a safety feature. The text layout could be improved too.

    Reply
    • mikken

       /  June 8, 2012

      The shelter workers are able to put additional information in, they simply choose not to. Too much bother, I suppose…

      Reply
  7. animalnewsinfo

     /  June 8, 2012

    Here is a pet photograher that is aiming to made a huge effort to help shelter pets in June 11th — Just One Day » TylerDog ~ Pet Photography & Greeting Cards – http://tylerdog.com/just-one-day/

    Reply
  8. animalnewsinfo

     /  June 8, 2012

    that should read “make” and not “made” :) — wish I could type better!

    Reply

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