Melissa's photograph "Keller" is on page 26 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.
Melissa is busy travelling the US right now, photographing dogs across the country for "The Photo Book Projects". I've taken some info from her blog to tell you about Melissa, and her project:
Here's to the day when all pets have a loving and safe place to call home.
What started as the thought of "wouldn't it be nice to take some lovely pictures of rescue dogs and deaf dogs with their families" has evolved into something much greater. The more I met people involved in animal rescue, the more I realized there was a bigger story to be told. When some people found out about my idea of traveling over the next six months around the U.S. with my camera and my two dogs in my Mini Cooper Honda Element (the Cooper was just a little too small) and gathering information for two photo books about animal rescue, their response was, "...how depressing." (Not sure if they were talking about the road trip itself or the subject of animal rescue. My guess, both.) However, I don't hold that view. The stories I have heard are inspiring and while the numbers of animals euthanized each year are still great, those numbers are decreasing. There is hope. I'm setting out to raise awareness about the continuing pet overpopulation problem and learn about ways we can all be a part of the solution. I am be meeting and photographing families with their rescue dogs and deaf dogs, visiting animal shelters and sanctuaries and interviewing those involved in rescue work. I'll be sharing photographs, stories and everything I learn in the process with you here, in addition to stories from the road, including, but not limited to, "Is it possible to find a veggie burger in Texas?"
The final result will be THE PHOTO BOOK PROJECTS. Help me raise $300,000 for animal rescue groups around the country.
WHAT ARE THE PHOTO BOOK PROJECTS?
I am undertaking two photography projects.
1- a photo book of rescue dogs
2- a photo book of deaf dogs
Both books will be packed full of images of dogs and their families. The idea is to raise funds and to help raise awareness.
While these books will be full of glossy photographs, they will be so much more than coffee-table books. They will also be loaded with information and facts to help educate the public about the problems facing shelters and rescues, dispel myths about deaf dogs, the pet overpopulation problem, etc. I also see the deaf-dog photo book being an inspirational book for people overcoming obstacles in their lives, and a resource for newbies to the deaf-dog world.
WHO AM I?
I'm a business owner and professional photographer. I'm based in Philadelphia, where I live with my very spoiled 6-year-old deaf lab/border collie mix (Sadie) and 2 orange cats (Fuji & Bjork). Sadie was not only my introduction to the deaf-dog world, but also my introduction to dogs. As the vet said to me when I went in for Sadie's new puppy check-up: "A deaf, border collie puppy as your first dog...well you just JUMPED right in, didn't you!" And, I have to say I did. She was quite a handful! More on Sadie (and life with a deaf dog) later! In the meantime, if you are wondering, "WHY do people need to be educated about deaf dogs?" The quick answer is that thousands of dogs are put to sleep every year just because they are deaf. Please visit the Deaf Dog Education Action Fund for more information.
And another fun photo of Keller: