An Old Dog's New Trick

Dog being filmed and photographed for animal shelter pet adoption website

Dad, it’s so easy! You just click this right here, upload the video and photos, mute the audio and press ‘create movie’.” That’s how this old dog (me), learned a new trick. My introduction to video production came from my 15-year-old daughter!

I’ve carried a camera since the 1900’s. That was later than the gold-rush and railroad days; but not too much later. And it was a 35mm film camera at that! When digital first came out, I could be quoted as saying, “It will never catch on. Nobody will leave the quality of film.” This old dog wasn’t up for a new trick. But eventually I had to roll over and now couldn’t imagine going without my digital camera.

When it came to video, it just wasn’t my thing. I’d stick to my still photographs and leave all that up to the videographers. But necessity is the mother of change. While they loved the glamour photos of the animal shelter dogs, so many rescue groups and potential adopters wanted a better feel for an animal's size and temperament. Often, that can’t be conveyed in a still photograph. Reluctantly, I began posting video footage on the pet adoption website.

Dog being filmed and photographed for animal shelter pet adoption website

Sitting in a tent in the Okefenokee Swamp after a day of paddling and wildlife photography, I watched as my young daughter edited and posted her GoPro footage on her phone and straight to her YouTube account. “It’s that easy?” I asked. And after just a ten minute tutorial, I was up to speed on making videos for the dogs needing adoption and rescue.

They aren’t the best videos. I haven’t put as much time and money (yet) into learning video production as I have photography, but the results have been great. The rescue and adopters have commented how much even these short, 1-minute videos have helped with adoptions. I guess it pays off for the dogs when an ‘old dog’ finally learned a new trick!

Happy bulldog mixed breed dog with tongue sticking out

Photo credits: William Wise.

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September 07, 2019


William, great story.

September 06, 2019


Thank you for a very enlightening article. I hope this helps me.  My main issue is trying to decide which pictures to use.  It just seems like there are so many in my library. 

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