What would possess a psychotherapist in private practice to change careers & become a pet photographer? Maybe the message on Robyn Arouty’s website will give you a clue: “I wear a lot of hats. But animal advocate is the largest. I am proud of this hat and keep it in a cherished place. There are times I have the good fortune to share my knowledge with others…I take it, throw it out to the universe, and pray it circles the planet. This is one of those times…”
“I will never forget the first day I volunteered at an animal shelter in Houston. I cried walking through the wards where the animals were held…4 big rooms, concrete floors, metal bars, sad eyes watching me…some tails wagging with excitement, others with tails held between their legs, cowering with fear. This was a reality I never wanted to see, and a reality that haunts me daily. I snuck around snapping photos with my cell phone, my friends and family would surely not believe what I saw.”
“This is why I am a photographer.”
That first visit was about two years ago: since then, Robyn has been on the fast track to helping homeless dogs in need. She teamed up with a local magazine to feature her photos of adoptable cats and dogs. The photos got noticed and pretty soon she was being asked to do portraits of people with their pets several times a week. Robyn had no plans to start a business, but in a matter of months that is exactly what happened. She feels her psychology experience has been most helpful in getting clients to feel comfortable in front of the lens.
Robyn’s most recent endeavor is called POCKETSHOTS. It is a fundraising event that she does 2-3 times a month in her studio. People come in with their dogs/cats/kids for 30 minute photo sessions and 1/2 of the sitting fee goes to the rescue or animal welfare organization that is benefitting that day. She works from 8am to 8pm to maximize the donations & has raised $1,000’s to date. POCKETSHOTS events are now scheduled through the end of the year, and they are already booking for 2012.