Models, mutts join forces for photo shoot to promote pet adoption

WASHINGTON CITY — In a field just off Washington Fields Road, local models, photographers and shelter dogs came together Thursday for a photo shoot promoting pet adoption.

Models, photographers and shelter dogs come together for a photo shoot to promote pet adoption awareness and also help the dogs get adopted after people see their faces on social media with the models, Washington City, Utah, May 29, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Around 40 people gathered to be part of the photo shoot featuring adoptable dogs from the local P.A.W.S. and RSQ Dogs+ animal rescue groups thanks to the efforts of Addison Graham who organized the event.

“I’ve always really loved animals, so I had this idea to do something with the animals that don’t have a families and promote them and get their faces out there,” Graham said while photographers crowded around models partnered with the various dogs and shot away.

Smile and laughter were had among the models, photographers and dog handlers as some of the dogs put on goofy grins or made efforts to photograph them a little bit more challenging through their seemingly random and distracted behaviors.

As for the dogs, many looked happy to be a focus of attention.

“We were so happy to be invited to this,” PAWS volunteer Sarah Christensen said while holding one of the dogs. “Being able to be a part of this is amazing and it’s such a good great way to get people to see the dogs.”

Addison Graham took to social media to bring models, photographers and shelter dogs together for a photo shoot to promote pet adoption awareness, Washington City, Utah, May 29, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Prior to Thursday’s photoshoot with the dogs, the group had done the same thing with adoptable cats at The Creative Space studio in St. George Wednesday.

“The idea is to get people to see all of these pictures and of how happy these dogs are and what great family pets they’ll make,” Graham said.

Graham took to social media to recruit others for the photoshoot, which has resulted in donated time and material from models, photographers and a number of local businesses like Beautymark Hair and Skin, Forevermore Events, Poppy’s Photo Booth, PetSmart and others.

Model Misty Bills learned about the event over Facebook while fellow model Tori Goodsell found it on Instagram.

“This just spoke to me because all animals deserve a good home,” Bills said. “It’s been a rewarding and heartwarming experience” to work with the dogs, she said.

Goodsell agreed, adding she saw the photoshoot as an opportunity to help the dogs get into a forever home.

“I know that not all dogs have the homes they deserve,” she said.

Among those taking photos was hobbyist photographer Ben McGuire who said he was happy to support the cause while also getting a chance to shoot creative portraits.

Models, photographers and shelter dogs came together for a photo shoot to promote pet adoption awareness, Washington City, Utah, May 29, 2019 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I love shooting creative portraits, so this has been one of those shoots that’s been a challenge while trying to factor in everything at once like the models with the dogs, the cats that everyone involved,” he said.

After the photoshoot, Graham said there are plans to “spam social media” with the photos so those involved can promote the dogs and cats for adoption.

“Not many people don’t like cute girls and flower crowns and cute dogs – it’s too much cuteness to ignore,” Graham said.

There are also plans to sell calendars produced from the photos with the proceeds go to the various animal rescue groups involved in the shoot.

Graham said she hopes to repeat the photoshoots a couple times a years with different rescue groups and animal shelters.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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