At Badass, we’re incredibly lucky to have such amazing photographers volunteer their time to capture our dogs. A beautiful portrait, opposed to a sad, shelter in-take photograph, can make all the difference in helping a dog get adopted. At Badass, our primary Brooklyn photographer is Hilary Benas, who volunteers her time and is at nearly every adoption event, spending hours with her camera and a squeaker (for getting the dogs’ attention), then spending even more hours at home editing and uploading the photos. Hilary takes our beautiful “Happy Beginning Portraits” and has produced stunning shots of our adoptable dogs, but I think her incredible gift really shines when she is capturing the interaction between people and dogs. While cleaning up my folders at the beginning of 2014, I was reminded of this as I looked back at our Badass Year in Photographs. It was nearly impossible to choose my ten favorite photos, but narrowing in on photographs that capture a special moment between human and canine gave more focus to my curation. Hilary, thank you for the amazing gift of your time and your skill. None of these dogs would be where they are today without our entire community of rescuers, fosters and volunteers like Hilary. These photographs celebrate our community.
1. February 2013. Weighing in at over 75lbs Sierra was a big girl, with a heart of gold. In this sweet photograph she shows any potential adopters who may be concerned with her size that she just wants to be loved.
2. March 2013. A volunteer holds Charlie Parker at one of our indoor adoption events. You can tell from the look in Charlie’s eyes that he is an alert little man with a big attitude.
3. April 2013. Boomer believes to this very day that he is a lap dog. Boomer’s soulful eyes are his most striking feature, sitting on Volunteer Tanya’s lap he looks a vulnerable despite his size.
4. May 2013. The famous reunion of Badass Rescuer Eva and Captain Morgan. In short, this photo changed everything for us.
5. May 2013. Charles Dickens wants to get on eye level with a volunteer to express his gratitude. Rachel resists hugging back in an attempt to teach Charles some manners, but it’s pretty hard to say no to that face.
6. June 2013. Rue McClanahan hung around Badass for a while. Despite being only five or six years old, her grey muzzle gave off the impression that she was much older. Rue could also be shy, especially when she first arrived in Brooklyn. Luckily, she hit it off with this friend visiting a Badass adoption event, and Hilary was able to capture her playful, youthful side.
7. June 2013. Despite all of her usual tricks, Hilary was unable to persuade Clark Kent to face the camera. He was too busy getting to know his new family.
8. October 2013. Many of our dogs are overwhelmed by the bustle and activity of our adoption events, especially if they’ve just arrived off transport. Here, Shirley needs a quiet place to take solace and a volunteer willingly obliges.
9. October 2013. Memo: It’s Mikey’s world; we all just live in it.
10. November 2013. Polly Prince, now known as Harper Lee, gets in a few licks with her new family. Polly hung around Badass for a few weeks in the loving care of some of our dedicated fosters. As a foster, it can be difficult to say goodbye to a dog you’ve cared for, but joyful photos like this one help make the goodbye easier.
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