Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shutterbug Fever

By Jenna Bullis
Master Guide Dog Mobility Instructor

After years of traveling with my trusty digital “point-n-shoot” camera I decided I was ready to upgrade to a “real” camera. You know, the kind with the big fancy interchangeable lenses that takes pictures you would find on the cover of National Geographic. Surely all that was standing between me and those cover shots was the equipment I was using, right? Once I had my shiny new camera in my hands I quickly realized what I really needed was more practice! Hmmm, what would be a good subject on which to practice?? “Well,” I thought to myself, “who doesn’t love a photo of a dog?” We’re not just talking about any old dog here, we’re talking about Guide Dogs who enhance the mobility of blind people all over the US and Canada - what could be more photogenic than that? Since I am fortunate enough to work as a Master Guide Dog Mobility Instructor at GDB I figured I had an endless supply of super cute dogs. So I hauled my gear into work and convinced my teammates and our dogs in training to become my subjects.

With some excellent coaching from resident GDB photography experts Morry Angell and Sierra Fish, I started shooting away. As I filled my memory cards with photos of dogs playing in community run and working with their trainers in San Rafael and San Francisco I began to wonder, “What am I going to do with all these photos now?" As luck would have it, the first of the California campus kennel renovations were concluding and there soon would be a use for some of these photos. The inside portion of the kennels and the center sections where staff keep all the food and supplies for the dogs was now open, airy, well-lit and spacious. However, something was still missing, something to make them feel less sterile and more “homey.” It was decided that the perfect finishing touch would be to display large framed photographs of dogs in training. Perfect! Creative Manager Morry Angell scheduled a photo shoot and between the two of us we had many wonderful photos from which to choose. The finished product was well received by staff and plans were made to create similar collages for the other kennels as construction is completed.

When it came time for the photo collage for the boarding kennel we decided a tribute to the “old guys and gals” was in order. Fortunately there were many older dogs who live with our employees and attend work each day who were happy to pose. These patient, grey-faced dogs were ready for the limelight once again and seemed to enjoy the “work” (or maybe it was the cookies) that morning.

If you are interested in seeing some of these special photos, or some photos of dogs in training working with their instructors please visit Guide Dogs new Flickr group photo pool . This group includes wonderful photos submitted from our raisers, alumni, career change adopters and volunteers as well. Please join the group and share your favorite photo!

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