The Art of the Personal Project is a crucial element to let potential buyers see how you think creatively on your own. I am drawn to personal projects that have an interesting vision or that show something I have never seen before. In this thread, I’ll include a link to each personal project with the artist statement so you can see more of the project. Please note: This thread is not affiliated with any company; I’m just featuring projects that I find. Please DO NOT send me your work. I do not take submissions.
Today’s featured artist: Mike Smolowe
My name is Mike Smolowe and I am a commercial lifestyle photographer in Los Angeles. I have always been drawn to animals and even went to school to be a vet in a past life. I am a people photographer by trade, but after having my eyes opened to the incredible number of dogs being euthanized in shelters daily, I knew I had to get out of my comfort zone and do what I could as a photographer to help.
A little over a year ago I began a project photographing homeless dogs in shelters and rescues agencies across Los Angeles and posting them on an Instagram account along with their name, breed, and personality traits( @rescuesoflosangeles). Approximately 3,287 dogs are euthanized in the United States each day due to minimal space in shelters and a lack of outward-facing advocacy for adoptable pets to the public. The goal of Rescues of Los Angeles is to get these unfortunate pups a better chance at being seen and adopted.
Sometimes it’s hard to see a dog’s true personality through the cage in a loud, scary shelter environment. By photographing each adoptable dog intimately, I want to help give them a chance to show off who they really are. A goofy smile, droopy ear or sparkle in the eye of a happy dog may not be so obvious behind the bars of a cage surrounded by other barking dogs. This project started as a way to help show off the good side of those without a voice of their own. Working with local shelters, fosters, and advocates, we photograph as many pooches as possible and hope to get the word(and photos) out there that shelter pets are just as loving, entertaining, and beautiful as animals from anywhere else.
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To see more of this project, click here.
APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s. After establishing the art buying department at The Martin Agency, then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies, she decided to be a consultant in 1999. She has a new Twitter feed with helpful marketing information because she believes that marketing should be driven by brand and not by specialty. Follow her at @SuzanneSease. Instagram