It’s exceptionally rare to find someone who likes working for free.
But a group of photographers across the Hunter and Central Coast is doing just that, with volunteers giving their time to help rehome animals in need.
John Valentine started Newcastle Pet Rescue Photographers in 2013 when he adopted a dog and noticed the need to share the loveable faces of animals looking for homes.
Since its humble beginnings, 25 photographers have jumped on board for the cause, photographing close to 4,000 animals across the Hunter and Central Coast.
Photographer Kerensa Mitchell says she sees her involvement as a way of helping those who cannot help themselves.
“We love animals and being able to give back to the community, and the best way to do that is with our cameras,” she said.
“The fact we get free smooches is an added bonus.”
From cats and dogs, to rabbits and donkeys, these photographers have seen it all.
“You go to photograph puppies and kittens and you get crawled all over, I have photos of puppies crawling all over me,” Mitchell said.
“I love being a part of the rescue animal’s journey.
“It may be a small journey but it’s where the family fall in love with their new family member.
“We get to see the animal when they’re ready to go to a new home, some puppies and some older dogs we don’t see their whole story, we just have a little part in their rescue.”
But like some jobs, the work has its hazards – although this one isn’t negative, just an undeniable urge to adopt every cute animal they meet.
“All our photographers have adopted,” Mitchell said.
“Up until recently I wasn’t allowed to have a dog and now I can it’s dangerous, I have fallen in love with puppy eyes, it’s very tempting.
“There are some you fall in love with and then you find out they have been adopted, it’s nice to know they have a home.”