Photographer’s Aspen work will benefit Lucky Day Animal Rescue
July 18, 2013
Editor's note: The following article, which previously appeared in the Vail Daily, has been updated and modified in advance of a photographer's appearance in Aspen next week.
It's a dog's life for fashion photographer Andrew Grant. He travels the United States shooting portraits of dogs, creating big, beautiful coffee-table books and giving every dime he raises to local rescue groups.
When he's in town, the money goes to Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado, whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate animals that are in high-kill shelters in the state and neighboring states or rescue them from neglectful and abusive situations.
If you want your best friend in the book "Rover," you pay $5,000. If you want your dog on the national cover, you pay $50,000.
And did we mention that every dime goes to the local Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado? We did, didn't we?
"It's a big deal for people to get their dog into the book, and it's a great opportunity to raise money for local animal rescues," Grant said. "'Rover' is a good vehicle to attract brand-new donors who've never been involved before."
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Grant will be in Aspen from July 26 through Aug. 2. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 858-344-7900 to schedule a photo session.
"I first learned about 'Rover' from paging through the book at Gorsuch and wanted to learn how we could get involved," said Rachel Hahn, director and co-founder of Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado. "Becoming the beneficiary is a great opportunity for us and for Roaring Fork Valley dog lovers to show off their photogenic pets in a museum-quality coffee-table book."
Yes, the fashion world is beautiful to look at, but it does involve certain personality types. Digital photography shows everything, perfection and imperfection, and models tend to provide input about their pictures.
"I've never had a dog complain about his or her picture. Let's put it that way," Grant said.
Grant didn't always live a dog's life.
He used to make his living in property management and decided that he'd had enough, long before the real estate market crashed. He studied photography at the Brooks Institute and started a commercial photography business.
He was shooting an ad campaign and catalog for Chef Works in a friend's Southern California store. She has five show kitchens, so it was like shooting in five different homes, Grant said.
She also has two French bulldogs and they kept walking through the sets. He couldn't very well shoo them away because they're her dogs and it's her store. So he photographed them.
He was thinking as he was driving home in Southern California traffic, which gave him lots of time to think.
"I should do a whole book of dogs," Grant said.
That was February 2008, and a couple of weeks later he started on his first dog book.
The economy hit the skids later that year, and people were walking away from homes and pets. Local animal shelters were deluged with abandoned pets.
He kicked the project into high gear, and a few months later he was doing press checks at the printing plant in China. Two months after that, it was featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show, "Extra" and "InStyle." Pet advocates Heidi Klum and Ewan McGregor picked up the torch.
This is year four of what was supposed to be a one-year project. Since then, Grant has produced two more books and is working on this fourth and final edition, including the photo shoots he's scheduling for Aspen.