On a beautiful, sunny Saturday, September 21, Wag to My Heart was welcomed back for the third year as the official photographer of the Dove Lewis blood bank fundraiser, Dogtoberfest. Held in the parking lot and adjacent street of the Lucky Labrador brewpub, it hosts events like dog wash, nail trimming, a photo booth and a host of pet-loving vendors. Of course, where there are people doing good things for animals, WTMH is there, camera in hand, to capture the magic.
What is Dogtoberfest you may ask?
Simply put, it is Portland’s biggest dog wash. More importantly, all proceeds go to help fund the Dove Lewis blood bank which provides dogs and cats with lifesaving blood for surgeries, injuries, and medical procedures. Just like humans, animals need blood donors as well and this event helps fund that effort. For more information or to inquire if your animal can be a ‘Superhero’ donor (the need is ALWAYS there), click here: https://www.dovelewis.org/community/support-blood-bank
What to expect?
What started out as an ominously cloudy day drew some nervous glances from volunteers and vendors alike. Who wants to wash their dog on a rainy day? Luckily by the time the event started (11-5), the clouds parted and it got downright hot out there. By 11, there were already dogs wandering around in line for the doggie wash. An important point that we found out that day that was always on our minds was that the dog wash is WARM water, not cold. Next year we might have to bring our pack for a spa day. Our dogs are not fans of nail trimmings so that reason alone might be why we bring them along next year.
Instead, we left the fur babies at home and set up our WTMH vendor booth. Flanked on either side of us were treat vendors, ensuring we constantly had a parade of dogs looking for snacks coming by. At most major events we hold a raffle for a free limited edition session and photo credit. Over the course of the day we received over 100 entries to our contest and we randomly drew a winner from the lot. This year’s winner is Lora C. We will reach out to you shortly with details on the next steps to get you a portrait that you will never forget! Next time it could be YOU so if you see us at an upcoming event, make sure to enter.
Shake, Shake, Shake!
From a photography point of view, there are few things as exciting to capture as the wet dog shake! You put the camera on mega fast mode, wait for a wet dog that has finally had enough and then hold down the shutter and click away. With close to 250 dogs washed that day we had plenty of opportunities to capture some memorable shots. Not all dogs could be captured due to a really great problem to have. There were SO many volunteers! Seeing the sheer number of people volunteering their Saturday to help wash other people’s dogs was heartwarming to see. However, it did make it difficult to get some clear shots as there seemed there was always a butt in our way. You roll with the punches, you move constantly, you lie on the ground, you do whatever it takes to get the shot.
Holding up a camera with an extended battery and long lens can get quite tiring (and sore) so we switched off booth and photography duties a few times during the day (as well as food and restroom breaks), ensuring there was always someone out there capturing the memories. This also allowed us to say hi to the people and pooches that stopped by our booth. The best part of doing events like this is getting to meet all the cute doggos and their dedicated owners.
Dove Lewis Fundraising
It feels like such a bonded community knowing that everyone there loves and cares for their pets as much as you do. We saw many people we have seen at other events, some of which had already had portraits done by us. We also saw a few of the models that posed for the Dove Lewis 2019-2020 calendar!
Did you know that all pictures in this year’s calendar were taken by Wag to My Heart photography? We donated our time and got to photograph 13 amazing animals all over the Portland metro area. We got to see some new places that we will be returning to for other shoots as well as got to meet (and thank) the generous owners who donated their money to help a great cause. The calendar is still for sale and looks amazing. You can purchase your own here with all proceeds going right back into Dove Lewis.
Hope to see you all out there next year!