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Pet Photographers Save Lives

Through HeARTs Speak more than 600 creative professionals provide pro-bono services to save and support animals

As we can all agree, birds have stunning variations in plumage and we are generally eager to watch and photograph them. But as all pet parents and rescue volunteers know, photographing a pet however, usually results in many fuzzy retakes – thank goodness for digital cameras!

As a rescue on a budget, professional photographers and staged backgrounds were beyond our budget. Our volunteers relied on our smartphone cameras and the best lighting we could find in each of our foster homes. Some photos sufficed… others left us thinking if only we had a professional volunteer photographer…

We recently learned about a collaboration between professional photographers and rescue organizations called HeARTs Speak. This is exactly what we were looking for! Professional photographers who are passionate about animals and animal rescue, who were willing to volunteer their craft and time to rescues in exchange for a little PR. Since then, this partnership has proven to be an invaluable win-win for both parties. Not only do these photographers have the equipment and skills to capture the beauty of our adoptable birds, but we were amazed to realize how they were able to capture and showcase each parrot’s individual personalities as well! In addition, both of our photographers had never photographed birds, so we were able to assist them with increasing their portfolio. This collaboration has no doubt helped our organization increase our reach and impact for the well being of the birds in our care.

We first worked with Sarah Matula ( who not only photographed our birds, but then further promoted them through exhibitions and merchandise. Sarah assisted our rescue by making various holiday related and other attention-grabbing images to assist the rescue with year round promotion, competitions and general audience-engaging social media posts. Sarah became a true advocate of our rescue, as we became of her work. Julie McGuire ( then assisted us with our adoptable parrot photos, and like Sarah, was able to capture lovely, intimate photos of our adoptable parrots, their antics and our volunteers.

Along the way, there have been many hilarious and unpredictable moments… A cockatoo hopped onto Sarah during a photo shoot to get a better look. A curious Senegal closely inspected the equipment. And every time we were sure we had a camera hog in the making, they would hop off the perch and run in the opposite direction! Everyone was of course tickled by the continuous greetings, reassurances of “I love you” and the “good byes” – among other phrases – from the wonderful birds we devote our time to, along the way.

We are incredibly grateful to these two photographers, their devotion to animal rescue and in their incomparable skill and passion for their craft.

Article submitted by CT Parrot Rescue. For more info on HeARTs Speak, please visit their website at


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