September 11, 2023

STEPPING UP TO SERVE: Local Photographer Takes Pictures Of Shelter Dogs To Help Them Get Adopted

Morgan Howard

Source: MARL

A boutique photographer in Jackson decided to use her talent to help shelters and dogs in need in a way you may not have ever thought about.

Anjelica Martinez owns a photography business. She specializes in taking photos of pets and their families. Martinez worked as a fashion photographer for over a decade in Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

She is from south Florida, which is where she first started volunteering as a pet photographer for the local animal shelter.

“I did it as a way to escape the stressful world of fashion as it helped me feel good to help these animals get adopted. I continued to volunteer in Silicon Valley and also designed their adoption flyers and provided photography for  their newsletter and blog.”

Martinez said her family decided to move to Mississippi when the pandemic hit for a more quiet and relaxing lifestyle. She began her photography business, called “Fur On My Shirt” in September of 2022.

“My business is considered a boutique photography business as the services I offer extend beyond just providing photos, I provide an experience. From beginning to end, I work with my clients to design a photo session that highlights their furry friend’s beautiful personalities, and captures authentic moments between them. I then translate those beautiful photos into tangible artwork that they can display in their home as a beautiful canvas or in a gorgeous wooden showcase box.”

Martinez learned about the Mississippi Animal Rescue League (MARL) and decided to volunteer for the shelter like she did back in Florida.

She focuses on taking pictures of the medium and larger dogs at the shelter since they are less likely to get adopted, compared to the smaller dogs.

“My mission is to help them get their animals adopted quickly. As a high intake shelter, they do not receive as much help as they should and I really want to help change that. I currently help them with photographing the animals that are most difficult to adopt out but plan on brightening up their walls wit h beautiful photography of their pets.”

Executive Director of Mississippi Animal Rescue League, Samantha Page, said that what Angelica does makes a huge difference.

“Angelica donates all her time and talents to take and edit photos of the available pets at MARL. Since she has started taking photos for us, we have seen an increase in the adoption rates of medium/large-size dogs. This group is her main focus because they are the group in the shelter that takes longer to get adopted. She is constantly trying to think of ways to give back to MARL and help the animals get adopted. She has helped bring awareness around the community about MARL and our mission.”

The shelter said they are so lucky and thankful to have Angelica on their team.

Samantha said that a few months ago, Angelica took on an inclusive photography project that was sponsored by a national organization (Hearts Speak and Maddie’s Fund). Samantha said they were really excited about the project and for MARL employees to be featured. Because of this project, MARL received a $1,000 grant! You can click here to read more about this project!

Eventually, Martinez dreams of starting a low-cost or free spay and neuter program in Central Mississippi to help end or greatly minimize the number of strays in the state.

When animals are spayed and neutered, this helps lower stray rates, and focus on helping surrendered animals get adopted instead of taking on animals from “oops litters” which happens so often for MARL and other shelters across the state.

You can check out Anjelica Martinez’s work here! You can also book her for your pet photography on her website and see more of her incredible work! Click here to book a consultation with her!

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