There are few tools at Marin Humane’s disposal more powerful than beautiful photos of the animals.

While nothing beats an in-person visit with a potential new furry family member, a gorgeous, endearing portrait is often what gets adopters through the door. But with so many animals passing through our doors each week, the Marketing & Communications (MarCom) team found it was hard to keep up with the shelter’s photography needs while also handling their many other tasks.

Luckily, a few special volunteers stepped up to make sure things keep running smoothly in MarCom and that every animal gets their close-up! 

Marilyn Freund – Marilyn first joined MarCom to help out while a staff member was on medical leave but proved to be such a valuable part of the team that they convinced her to stick around. Marilyn was already volunteering as a cat evaluator and an adoption volunteer at Kitty Corner but she agreed to help!

While she started out helping with the adoption animal slideshow and maintaining one of the Marin Humane blogs, we quickly realized she was also a top-notch photographer and photo editor. Thanks to her photo skills and her ease with our feline residents, she soon became one of only two cat photographers. Sometimes she even does double duty and photographs kitties while she’s doing their behavior evaluations! Marilyn has also been known to jump in and photograph a rabbit or dog or two when MarCom is especially short-handed.

In addition to all the photography, Marilyn spends many hours each week in the MarCom office helping us with the slideshow, our website, and even archiving old photos. We’re so grateful for her dedication to the shelter and our animals!

Elizabeth Needham & Michele Barton – Elizabeth and Michele are a photography dream team, getting stellar shots of shelter dogs to catch the eye of potential adopters.

Elizabeth first offered her photography services to the MarCom team in the summer of 2017. With staff kept very busy with social media posts, website maintenance, designing and printing flyers, and more, it was getting harder and harder to keep up with the steady flow of animals needing their “glamour shots” for the website. Elizabeth is a professional photographer with a deep love of dogs, and some time to volunteer, so she stepped up to lend a hand.

Michele has been a Dog Pet Pal since 2013, and as an Extra Care Pet Pal, she was the perfect candidate to handle adoption dogs – no matter how shy or rambunctious – during the photo shoots. While Elizabeth snaps away, Michele makes sure each dog is nailing the perfect pose and keeping the extra excitable pooches under control (not an easy feat). We’re so glad to have this dynamic duo on our team!

Marla Dell- Marla approached MarCom last year to offer her photography services when she noticed that available dogs didn’t always have photos on their runs when she worked her shifts as a greeter in the adoptions department. While we’re always grateful for more help, it’s especially awesome to have a professional photographer volunteer to take photos and really help our animals put their best paw forward.

Even though Marla has more experience with dogs in her personal life, she was game to photograph any critter who was ready for the limelight, be it a cat, a rabbit, or a guinea pig. The MarCom team is so grateful for her willingness to jump in whenever and wherever needed to make sure the animals get gorgeous photographs.

Thank you to all our magical Marketing & Communications volunteers for helping us promote our adoptable animals each and every week!