Olly Clarke, the owner of Paws and Claws Photography, has seen an increase in demand for puppy litter photoshoots and has also been contacted by rescue centres to photograph animals up for adoption. He believes it is down to a rise in the number of people buying ‘lockdown pets’ during the pandemic.
Where he usually has around three-to-four yearly bookings of litter shoots, during the last 12 months he has had around 13, and has had bookings as far as Birmingham.
He said: ‘Lots of people decided to breed puppies during lockdown and by the looks of it, that trend has continued, meaning there is still a demand for puppies.
‘However, on the flip side, we’re seeing people who bought puppies during lockdown returning to work and realising that their schedules don’t allow for them to care for a puppy or a young dog.
‘Although it’s sad that we’re seeing more pets being rehomed, a lot of them would struggle to cope with their owners being out of the house most of the time having returned to work and a lot of them suffer from separation anxiety, so if rehoming them means they will go to a better family for them then it’s a positive.’
Olly ‘loves to help animals’, so he decided to offer his service for free to those living in shelters and foster homes in an effort to help them along in the adoption process.
He gives breeders and rescue centres permission to use his photos to advertise their animals online and also shares the images himself on the Paws and Claws Photography Facebook page which has a following of more than 11,000.
He said: ‘The good part of this is that good photos tend to lead to the puppies going to better homes, as the serious buyers, who are more likely to look after the dogs properly and treat them like family, tend to look for good, high-quality photos.
‘It works for the breeders as they know their puppy is going to a good home, but also benefits the dogs as they’re going to loving homes, which will lead to fewer being rehomed.
‘The same goes for the rehoming and fostering too, where it is even more important that the dogs go to good homes.’
Olly added: ‘It’s the quality of the photos that sells.’
He has worked with rescues Clymping Dog Sanctuary and RSPCA Stubbington Ark, where he has taken photos of a variety of animals, including dogs, rabbits and even cockerels. He then posts these images online and encourages his audience to share the posts to help them find homes.
He said: ‘The photography is just a small bit, and then I share the photos around on social media.’
Kirstie Blakeley, manager at RSPCA’s Stubbington Ark, said: ‘The photos Olly takes do help the different colours of the animals' coats look great, it is also fantastic for the animals to work with a photographer as this is something a little different from their day to day life here at the shelter.
‘Olly is great with the dogs though and isn't too bothered even when they jump all over him!
‘The equipment Olly uses is also so much better than the staff using their phones.’
After sharing his work on Facebook, he noticed that he was receiving a lot of interest about the dogs from rescue centres. Some of his posts have gone viral, with many receiving hundreds of likes and shares in an effort to find the dogs new homes.
He said: ‘It was absolutely ridiculous. I had to go off social media for a few days.’
Olly believes the animals that are 'most loved' are the ones that have been adopted from rescue centres. He said: ‘The owners feel so much pride from rescuing their animals from horrendous situations.’
“It’s amazing helping people have beautiful photos of their pets.’
For more information about booking a pet photoshoot, call Paws and Claws Photography at 07824 426614 or visit www.pawsandclawsphotography.co.uk.