Photos for Forever Homes

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RENO, Nev. -- You've heard that pictures are worth a thousand words but for the animals at the SPCA photos don't always capture their best side. Now, it is using pictures to help these animals find a forever home.

It's the lights and the camera, but the action is something you actually don't want in a still photo.

"A lot of times they're scared. We're just taking a quick photo so we can document their appearance and they're not 100% flattering at times," Lilli Walker, SPCA volunteer coordinator said.

"We have celebrity animals in the shelter," Steve Sloop, the found of Art Foundation said. "We have celebrity dogs, and cats and mice and birds and everything. We need to make them look like celebrities."

Volunteers from the shelter are getting trained to take professional photos of the animals. Having a flattering picture can give them a better chance at finding a forever home.

"We're learning about lighting, not over-stimulating the animal, about their body positions when they're being photographed and all the ins and outs of the equipment.

Funded by a grant, Shelter Art Foundation is a national non-profit organization that visits animal shelters across the country to teach volunteers how to capture an animal's best asset.

"We get them away from the bars, we get them away from the sad stuff, we get them away from the sad stories and we bring out that star," Sloop said.

"A lot of times when you photograph animals you make a lot of weird noises with your voice to make them look at you, but it may not be the best thing," Walker said.

Some techniques include lighting, eliminating distractions in the background and making the animals comfortable.

"It's making an immediate impact all over the country."