More than Photos: The Why Behind the Lens

What a year it has been. In January, I made the decision to relaunch Hoff House Pet Photography after we had settled into our new city of Pensacola, FL. Little did I know then that this journey would lead me to meet so many incredible pups & people.

With our move finalized, I had the opportunity to delve deeper into the realm of animal rescues and shelters in Pensacola, gaining insight into the daunting challenges they confront daily. The issues of overpopulation, constrained resources, high medical expenses, and the emotional burden of tending to the abandoned animals in our community are truly overwhelming. It was clear to me that I wanted to play a role in making a difference and providing assistance in any way possible. So with my camera in tow I started meeting dogs that needed good photos for their adoption profiles. This led me to work on two fundraising calendar contests this year & becoming a foster for the Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue.  And man I’m so glad I did, my home wouldn’t be as filled with love (and drool) if we had never met Nash.  You see, Nash was surrendered by his owner to the NWFLGDR, becoming our very first foster dog, and in the end, our first foster fail too, oops! Hard to imagine life without this dude now & I owe it all to the camera.

Great Dane in Sunflower Field

So as the “winter” season begins, and our busy schedules count down to holiday celebrations, breaks and the New Year, I always find it a nice time to reflect on the experiences I’ve had in past 12 months. And these past 12 months have all been about Community.

In my short time here, I have been blown away by the animal-loving community in Pensacola. The way you guys show up for the food drives, adoption events, and calendar contests never ceases to amaze me. Even in local Facebook groups, you can see people coming together to help other local animal owners find food or medical assistance when times get tough. It’s so heartwarming to see the positive impact it has on sweet fur babies in need. So I thought I’d recap some ways in which the pet community has welcomed me this year and allowed me to help in the best way I know how, photos!

Great Dane running at the Pensacola Equestrian Center

Adoption Photos
I first dipped my toes into the rescue world by photographing Great Danes up for adoption with the Northwest Florida Great Dane Rescue. I know how impactful photos can be and these pups deserve a scroll-stopping photo to grab potential adopters’ attention. I have since got to meet a few of the families that adopted these Great Danes & man I love to hear when they say my photo caught their attention!

Dazzling Danes Calendar
After the great response to the adoptive Danes photos I brainstormed as to other ways photography could help & the Dazzling Danes Calendar was born. This calendar contest benefited the NWFLGDR and raised over $5,000 for the rescue, not too bad for a breed-specific calendar! Several of the calendar stars were NWFLGDR alumni pups now living lives of luxury with their forever families. I loved hearing their stories & how they each brought so much joy to their new families.

Want to support this rescue? Snag a 2024 calendar here!

After listening to all the stories of NWFLGDR alumni I just knew I had help more, so we applied to foster. Enter Nash! This big boy was an owner surrender due to no fault of his own. He was such a good boy & quickly had interest with potential adopters. When he left for his trial sleepover my husband & I cried. It ended up not working out at the sleepover & when we picked him back up my husband said he wasn’t leaving again. So that was that & we became a 3 Great Dane home!

With walls already covered in drool we decided what’s one more Dane? and welcomed in our next foster, Ginger. I’m happy to report she was adopted in November (and not by me this time)! Again, I cried when she left but knew she would do great with her new family. Ginger’s (now Gigi) new family sends me photos & videos and she is thriving! Fostering is emotionally difficult but so worth it when they find their forever homes.

Ginger At the Pensacola Equestrian Center Trails

Pups of Pensacola
As I attended WolfGang Pensacola events & talked with them about the success of the Dazzling Danes Calendar we decided to collaborate & launch the first ever Pups of Pensacola Calendar. And boy did the pup community jump on board, raising over $15,000 for the Escambia County Department of Animal Welfare. These funds are already making an impact to the fur babies at the shelter!

Want to support this shelter? Snag a 2024 calendar here!

Winter Wonderland Shelter Dog Walk

And as the final hoorah for 2023 you can find me photographing WolfGang’s Annual Shelter Dog Walk, capturing 20 sweet shelter pups hoping to find their forever homes before the New Year. So be sure to check out the details here & maybe you can end the year with a new furry friend!

Dog looking to be adopted

At the end of the day, this year has been dedicated to uncovering the incredible animal community in Pensacola. I am deeply grateful to those who have welcomed me to utilize my photography skills to assist animals in need. This experience has truly illuminated the reasons I am passionate about my work and has allowed me to contribute, no matter how modestly, to making a positive impact. So, a heartfelt thank you to all! I can’t wait to see what wonderful things 2024 has in store!