Photography Club Showcases “Dog Show” at Local Arts Center

Photography Club Showcases “Dog Show” at Local Arts Center

Cheyenne Haslett’13 & Claire O’Halloran’13
Web Features & Web Opinions Editor

The Staples Photography Club held a show at the Westport Art Center Studio Gallery, featuring pictures of dogs from the Bridgeport Animal Shelter, on Friday Mar. 4 to May 8.

The Staples photography club took photos of dogs from an animal shelter raising awareness about animal cruelty. | Photo by Sam Saccomono ’11

The “dog show,” in essence, is being held to “change the concept of animal adoption, revolutionize the rescue world, [and] also give voice to animals that don’t have a voice of their own,” said Callie Loparo ’12, initiator of the dog show and member of the club.

Loparo came up with the idea for the shoot through her love for animals, but she didn’t want to educate people about animal cruelty with “sob stories and making everyone depressed.” Instead, she decided to share the life of a dog in the pound through photography.

The club arrived at Bridgeport on a Sat. morning and, “due to the generosity and willingness of the Bridgeport staff, had complete freedom and run of the place,” said Loparo.

They set up two separate studios and did everything from offering dog treats to using the flash on their cameras and waving or snapping their hands to get the dogs attention.

However, getting emotion out of the dogs was effortless because the dogs “have been through everything; abuse, neglect, lives as strays. So naturally, they are emotional beings,” said Loparo. The dogs “showed their true colors” for the cameras.

The emotion the club portrayed in their photos played a big role in the achievement of one of their goals and all dogs featured in the show have been adopted.

The club has officially made a dent in the “over 3,000 dogs in Fairfield County that need our help,” said Loparo.

The club saw the scary reality of this situation when one of the dogs they had photographed was put down, said Sam Saccomano ’11, Co- President of the club.

Bridgeport Animal Shelter is very appreciative of the effort and is bringing good publicity to the show through their website, on which it states, “[the club’s] goal is to bring awareness to the great animals available for adoption, right in our backyard as well as the conditions of the shelter.”

The dog show showed people what the students experienced while at the shelter, as well as alerting people of the brutality of animal cruelty.

In an effort to make a difference, attendees to the show are encouraged to bring donations for the animals that are living in the shelter.