The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” holds a different kind of weight today in the age of the internet compared to its humble origin in newspaper journalism. What we skim through or send virally with a mouse click is only given a few seconds of our attention. We shop online for clothes, groceries, and even for our next forever furry friend. When you peruse the current tenants list on your local animal shelter’s website, will their photographs reel you in for a face to face visit?

Chloe and StaceyWe’d like you to meet Stacey Morrison, pet photographer from Burlington, Ontario. Her career as a pet photographer began with her own personal adoption of an adult Golden Retriever named Chloe. Photographs of Chloe slowly expanded to portraits of pets of friends and from there, Stacey’s passion and talent bloomed to become Happy Tails Pet Photography. Looking through her online portfolio, each photograph has a striking way of telling the story of a human-animal bond along with a sense of the animal’s unique personality.

BenAnimal welfare is a cause close to Stacey’s heart and when she learned of photographers volunteering at local shelters in the United States, she was immediately inspired to volunteer her own skills to make a difference. Stacey has worked extensively with the Burlington Human Society, Canadian Dachshund Rescue, Ontario, and the Milton Animal Sanctuary. Photographing animals in a shelter environment is extremely difficult as the animals are usually timid and frightened and the lighting is dark. This photographer begins her sessions by taking each animal out of its current environment. The dogs run and play in the grass, and the cats explore the rooms outside of their cages. The end products from these sessions speak volumes: the natural photographs that Stacey captures brings out each animals true personality, something that cannot be conveyed through a snap shot taken behind bars.

“My hope is that by showcasing each dog and cat’s unique personality and helping them put their best “paw” forward through professional photographs, it will help them all find forever homes.”

Stacey is also a member of a non-profit organization called HeARTs Speak, HeARTs Speakwhich is a group of artists (photographers, graphic designers, etc…) devoted to helping animals in need. There are many ways we can help too and Stacey has shown us that even giving a bit of ourselves can change the life of one animal, one pixel at a time.

You can view Stacey’s work on her website where she accompanies each photography session with a beautiful write up: and also follow along on her Facebook Page.

All photographs used in this article are courtesy Stacey Morrison.