Bark for the camera

Budding photographers to snap animal portraits for shelter benefit

What avid art collector wouldn’t want an early – and we mean really early – work by Annie Leibovitz or Richard Avedon? Eleven-year-old Madeline Hartshorn and her younger sister Cameron Hartshorn may not be famous photographers just yet. But give them time and they could be.
On the chance that one or both of the Hartshorn girls is, indeed, the next Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hudson County pet owners might want to book one of the 20-minute photo sessions Madeline is offering on Saturday April 27, Friday May 3, and Saturday May 11 at Hartshorn Portraiture, their parents’ photography studio in Hoboken. Most shoots will be scheduled between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
During the 20-minute photo sessions, the elder Hartshorn sister will shoot artistic images of pets as a benefit for Jersey City’s Liberty Humane Society. Cameron, 10, will serve as Madeline’s assistant. (And on the off chance that Madeline chucks photography completely later in life in favor of some other career path, well, at least you’ll have a nifty photo of your pet.)
Each pet portrait will cost $95.
Liberty Humane Society is the only nonprofit animal shelter in Hudson County. The shelter offers animal sheltering services and animal control/rescue to Jersey City and Hoboken and services more than 2,500 animals each year.

At press time, the girls already had 12 photo shoots booked, which amounts to more than $1,000 raised.
While the shelter receives municipal funding from Jersey City and Hoboken, it still requires additional funding from donations from the community and holds numerous fundraisers throughout the year to meet its operating costs.
“Every year we try to do a fundraiser and a lot of things don’t get a response from people,” said Jennifer Hartshorn, Madeline and Cameron’s mother and co-owner of Hartshorn Portraiture. “So this year we decided to do something a little bit different. One hundred percent of the money paid goes to the Liberty Humane Society.”

Affordable pet services

The photo shoots will be in-studio images of pets. And while the Hartshorns expect that most photos will be of dogs, the family is open to other domesticated animals.
“My girls are cat people. So they would think it’s so exciting if there was an opportunity to photograph a cat,” their mother said.
At press time, the girls already had 12 photo shoots scheduled, which amounts to more than $1,000 raised for the animal shelter.
Jennifer Hartshorn emphasized that Madeline and Cameron will get some parental support and guidance throughout the fundraiser, but the sisters will be doing most of the heavy lifting.
“Over the next few weeks in production, Madeline and Cameron will go through each client’s images and they’ll select an 8×10 that they think best represents the [animal], and we will ship it to the client,” the girls’ mother said.
The girls’ photography fundraiser for Liberty Humane will also help them earn credit for Girl Scout awards.

Services offered

With the help of about 80 active volunteers, Liberty Humane is able to offer such services as animal and behavioral training to its dogs, while the shelter’s cats are kept together in family units to decrease stress.
The shelter, located in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, also offers pet owners low-cost Wellness Clinics to provide affordable health care so families can afford to own and take care of their pets.
The photography studio is located at 720 Monroe St., Studio E-418. The phone number is (201) 610-1199.

E-mail E. Assata Wright at

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