Photographing Shelter Cats in San Francisco
November 15, 2019
I got my start in animal photography by working with animals at San Francisco Animal Care and Control. I do pro bono work for a lot of shelters and rescue groups in the area but it had been a while since I'd shot down at SFACC so I was excited to get down there again.
With the volume of animals coming through a city shelter like this it can be difficult to get decent images of them to put on the shelter website which is where most adopters get their first look at a potential pet to bring home. A lot of the animals also tend to be frightened and in shock so they aren't always looking their best. As a photographer that can be a real creative challenge but it's also a very good way to get used to being around all sorts of animals and learning to gauge how to best capture their personalities in a short time and on the fly. The facilities are also quite limited so you learn to make do with minimal space and lots of improvised lighting. It's one of my all-time favorite ways to spend a day and be around a lot of amazing dogs, cats and people in the animal welfare community.
So far this year my work at ACC has been with cats as there haven't been as many available dogs.