Hello! I’m Sarah Kehl and I am a portrait photographer in Columbia, SC. I began photographing dogs at Pawmetto Lifeline last year after discovering Pawmetto Lifeline through a good friend of mine who sponsored a dog on PawmettoLifeline’s HEART Rescue Collaboration program.; I sponsored one too and then asked how I could use my photography to join the cause and continue to help. I was put in touch with Robin Goffena, and in August I began volunteering once a week at the Meyer Finlay Adoption Center, photographing the dogs available for adoption.
Many of the dogs don’t have a good picture for their profile on the adoption website, and sometimes they have no picture at all. Photographs are a potential adopter’s first impression; it’s very, very important to have a great picture, so I feel it’s my job to make the dogs “shine” and really look their best in their photographs. This is not always the easiest thing to do! Emily (a Pawmetto Lifeline volunteer) and I sometimes have to go to great lengths to put the dogs at ease, to get “perky ears”, to make them comfortable and happy, so that they feel safe being themselves, all while trying to keep them in good light for the camera, being aware of our surroundings, and keeping our own bodies out of the frame (Emily is a master at this!). Some of our sweet friends are shy or downright scared of the big, black camera monster, andsometimes they are bursting with so much energy and truly just don’t care about me or Emily or my camera that it’s hard to keep up with them! So the process often involves having zero pride and making complete fools of ourselves, which we don’t mind at all! Every dog has a unique personality, which makes the job challenging but so much FUN!
Dogs have the incredible ability to just make you SMILE, so my time at Pawmetto Lifeline is one the highlights of my week. I love every single sweetie who gets in front of my camera, even if they are difficult or rambunctious. I have a special-needs dog at home, my sweet basset hound, Alex, whom my husband and I rescued from a shelter, so I know how difficult life may have been for these guys and gals waiting to be adopted. The good news is they are in great hands at Pawmetto Lifeline and I hope I am making a difference in finding them their “forever home”. It’s been my honor to use my talents and time for such a worthy cause and endeavor; I am so grateful to be part of the Pawmetto Lifeline family!