Moment of Truth Sets Photographer on Quest to Help Furry Friends
Rebekah Nemethy from Lake Peekskill, NY is a self-proclaimed bug stalkin', flower pluckin', pit bull snugglin' photographer who can often be found crawling on the ground with her camera. I first met her during the 6th annual Beacon Barks celebration as a Happy Hudson Valley write-up in 2011. You can easily spot her professional photographs over the ones I snapped with my pocket cam. The woman has talent, and she's getting noticed.
Magnolia petal in the breeze by Rebekah Nemethy
Rebekah is working on the Petco Foundation's 2016 pet calendar that supports animal rescue efforts. Her business is taking off - Rebekah specializes in fine art and pet photography - and she has a plan for giving back just to show how appreciative she is for her progress as an artist. The pivotal moment that launched her career will win your heart.
The Story that Sparked the Dream
I was totally panicking. I stood just outside my tent at Woofstock, forcing a smile as I watched the lady with the camera stop at each booth and take a photo. She was obviously the official photographer at the event, no doubt about it.
Who did I think I was anyway? Not a real photographer. I hadn't even had one paying customer yet. Portfolio building sessions, sure.... This was supposed to be the event that launched my pet photography business. I was on someone else's turf. I swallowed hard as the official Woofstock photographer moved one booth closer to me.
'If only they told me there was already a photographer here,' I thought. But, it was too late to back out now. The panic of the last week overcame me as she walked right toward me.
"Hi, I'm Lisa," she said as she extended her hand, "can I take a quick photo of you in your booth?"
I smiled for the camera, and then Lisa approached the tent to examine my photos. 'Oh boy,' I thought, 'here it comes.'
"I love that!" Lisa said, pointing to a photo of a chocolate lab, and totally shocking me. Wow, she's pretty friendly after all. I let my guard down.
Then Lisa told me about HeARTs Speak, the organization she started for artists who help animals. Members were mostly photographers who volunteer their services to help give homeless pets better first impressions with better photography. I learned that better photos meant more interest, higher adoption rates, and, inevitably, more lives saved.
And just like that, a new pet photographer was born in me.
Rebekah has plans to donate as much as 50% of her company profits to animal organizations that are deeply in need. When she started her photography business she was able to dedicate much of her time to animal shelters every week. In order for her to continue to give back to the causes close to her heart, she kicked off the Patreon page of her website: a monthly invitation for sponsorship with perks at all levels. Options range from $1 - $125 a month. Perks include invitations to check out her new work before everyone else, free downloads and exclusive access to prints. Check it out.
Rebekah offers some unique selling points. One of my favorites is her free art for your wall custom consultation. Send her a photo of your wall space, and she'll let you try something from her collection on for free! Nice, right? Check that out on her official website: reflectivephotos.net.
I still helped out at the shelters occasionally, but after I adopted my own dog the time just wasn't there anymore. This is why I started to think of other ways to help the animals. Depending on my monthly donations from Patreon, I will be increasing my donations 10% at a time as I hit specific goals. I can't fail, because even if I never reach my business goals, I'll have made the world a little bit better while I tried to follow my dreams.
Rebekah has hit 5% of her $10,000 goal. With your help, she hopes to do a little good in the world.
We support that!