The Jefferson SPCA Photographers
We invite you to help them put their best paw forward!
One of the best ways Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter has to get their adoptable pets seen is through high quality photography. Photos can be shared through social media and through the popular website check out our adoptables here (HYPERLINK TO WWW.JPAS.PETFINDER.COM). Below you see a some of our dedicated photographers and little info about each. If you are interested in joining our volunteer photography team
Rachel Goyette, of Rachel Ruth Photography, has loved photography since age 12. She began taking pictures when her mom bought her first camera two years later. Growing up in a family with multiple dogs has given Rachel a love for animals as well. As an adult, she often photographed her own animals and would volunteer with local rescue groups to take pictures of their adoptable dogs.
In March of 2012, a volunteer brought Rachel to the Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter Westbank Location where she met our manager, Brooke. Brooke welcomed her with open arms to help photograph the shelter dogs. Rachel started taking the dogs outside into a natural setting, and the more pictures she took the closer she came to her true calling. She wanted to be a pet photographer!
While in school studying photography at UNO, Rachel wanted to expand her knowledge and learn from a professional pet photographer. In July of 2013, The Jefferson SPCA paid for her to take a class with Amy Shutt, a well known pet photographer in Baton Rouge. Applying her new knowledge, Rachel started photographing dogs in a studio setting inside the shelter. She also branched out to help the Eastbank location because the facility lacked a professional photographer. Rachel has since continued to widen her impact by passing on her knowledge to Brittaney Blaauw, a new Eastbank Shelter volunteer photographer.
Rachel’s signature white backdrop helps showcase the dogs by truly capturing the personality and essence of the dogs available for adoption. For Rachel, the most rewarding aspect of photographing for the shelter is hearing stories of how adopters saw her pictures online and were driven to adopt a dog because of her picture.
Pictures are worth a thousand words but to us shelter volunteers, they are worth a thousand lives!
For Leona, photography is a hobby and a passion. She received her first camera at the age of 10 and knew instantly that photography was in her blood. Fast forward to the digital age, Leona’s husband gave her a digital camera, and shooting with film was no longer a desire her. As technology advanced, she wanted to expand her knowledge of photography, but she wasn’t sure which directions she wanted to take. After seeing creatively beautiful portraits on Pet Finder showcasing gorgeous shelter pets, she decided that she would try shelter photography. Even though she had no experience in photographing animals, she had a vision, and just needed someone to give her the opportunity.
In 2010, Leona contacted the Jefferson Parish SPCA and pitched her idea. She made no promises as the quality or quantity of pictures that she could produce, but she wanted to try. She was welcomed with open arms and has been taking photographs of the shelter babies on a regular basis ever since. Shelter photography is where her heart is. She strives to connect with the animals to create a image that will capture their personality. She does all this in hopes that the person looking at this image feels a connection and becomes the future owner of a shelter animal. Leona feels that shelter photography is very rewarding. She is doing something that she loves and it helps save lives.
Ashley Rodriguez Rohde
As a lifelong resident of the Westbank of Jefferson Parish, I am beyond thrilled (and honored) for the opportunity to photograph shelter animals at JPAS’s Westbank shelter in Marrero. Since 2003, much of my time has been devoted to Weimaraner Rescue of the South where I served as a board member and intake coordinator for several years. I continue to devote much of my free time to pulling and chauffeuring (i.e., transport) weimaraners for WRS. Still, I was always on the lookout for a way to advocate for the humane treatment of animals in my own community. Words cannot describe my excitement to learn of JPAS’s photography program and the opportunity to fulfill my greatest passions: animal advocacy and photography! As a self-taught, amateur photographer, I’ve captured priceless memories of my family, friends, and pets. Now, twice a month, I am blessed to do the same for Jefferson Parish’s canine and feline citizens. Capturing that one “special” shot of a scared, abused, abandoned animal offers a glimpse of the amazing, lovable pet within -- just waiting for its chance of a better life. We’ve learned so many times how that “one” photograph made all the difference. I am grateful to the dedicated JPAS team for welcoming me into their shelter family – working with this group has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Julie Bowen I can add/edit her bio to upgrade a notch.
Volunteer with Friends of the Jefferson Animal Shelter since 2002. Started taking photos of shelter cats in 2009 so that they would have more exposure through the Petfinder site.
Brittaney Vicknair Blaauw