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Blog post and photos courtesy of the HeARTs Speak team

Perfect Exposure Project

For the past three years, Savage Universal has been a sponsor of HeARTs Speak providing top quality photography gear for our innovative Perfect Exposure Project. This project brings in-depth training workshops and resources to animal shelter organizations nationwide in order to grow their marketing and photography programs. In that time, the program has worked with more than 571 shelter staff and volunteers who represent 99 different organizations in 25 cities/locations! Even more importantly, those participants of the past Perfect Exposure Project workshops will be able to help more than 200,000 animals across the United States every year using the skills they gleaned!

Participants in the two-day shelter-focused workshops utilize Savage’s 700W LED Studio Light Kit as well as the Gray Vinyl Backdrop Kit, both of which have proven to be perfect in every kind of shelter environment.

Not only do participants learn to setup a photography studio in available spaces, both big and small, throughout their shelters, they also learn how to use the LED light kits in unexpected ways. In an animal shelter, as in most locations, light is the most critical component for good photos and is often in short supply, especially in older buildings that may not have been recently renovated.

For one population in particular, the addition of studio lighting can help to prevent illness and increase adoption potential during the photo process: Because shelter cats can be more susceptible to stress and disease when moved, staff and volunteers learn how to take dreamy, well-lit photos of them inside their housing units. For these exercises, some students take a single light into cat condo areas while another group learns how one studio light can help to make photos in free-roam rooms more appealing.

This year, HeARTs Speak is traveling to 7 additional locations, and recently complete workshops in Evansville, IN; Cincinnati, OH; and Cleveland, OH where we met with 122 staff, volunteers, and advocates who will now have the power to change the lives of 14,820+ animals per year with better images!

About Hearts Speak

HeARTs Speak is a nonprofit organization working with shelters and rescues to change the way the world sees homeless pets and help to fill that gap in marketing + communications resources for animal welfare organizations. Our programs work to not only to help find homes for pets faster, but to connect shelters with their communities in more meaningful ways — building support, recruiting volunteers, and ultimately transforming public perceptions of pet adoption, shelters, and homeless animals.

A 2014 survey of 783 shelter and rescue groups that HeARTs Speak performed found that 82.2% of those surveyed said that quality photographs are the most important part of marketing, and integral to effective lifesaving and visibility for their organization. Additionally, 61.9% felt their photographs needed to improve and 74.3% wanted support for writing better bios/pet descriptions. Through our Perfect Exposure Project, we aim to provide the training, tools, and inspiration to make those lifesaving improvements possible.

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