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Finding Shelter chronicles the deep, intimate bond between animal shelter volunteers and the abandoned animals they care for.
Finding Shelter chronicles the deep, intimate bond between animal shelter volunteers and the abandoned animals they care for.
Finding Shelter chronicles the deep, intimate bond between animal shelter volunteers and the abandoned animals they care for.
203 backers pledged $18,819 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Finding Shelter- Portraits of Volunteers and Shelter Animals

$18,819

203

THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far. In just six days this campaign was funded- but there's still more work to be done. 

All additional funds raised will go directly to: paying for a second assistant, professional microphones and recording equipment to use during volunteer interviews, a larger van rental so we can travel safely and with all supplies needed, covering the enormous cost of lodging and travel, and allowing me to produce the highest quality book with the best papers and printers. Pledging to this campaign is the best way to pre-order the book, so please continue backing this project if you, like myself, feel inspired by it.

"Images of homeless dogs have become, unfortunately, an all too familiar site... Freidin's photos emphasize that, in many cases, it's not just the dog relying on the generosity of the volunteers, but also people turning to abandoned animals for their own sense of love and security."  –Four and Sons Magazine

My name is Jesse Freidin and I've been photographing dogs for the past ten years. My work has been featured in major magazines around the world. I'm lucky enough to have received some amazing awards, and am also the creator of "The Doggie Gaga Project," a series in which I photographed dogs dressed as Lady Gaga with Polaroid film that went viral overnight. 

Credentials aside, my work has always been driven by my deep passion for animal advocacy and a near obsession with the dog/human bond. I am fascinated by the depth and emotion of that symbiotic relationship. I want to tell the stories that are not being heard which is why Finding Shelter began–to give voice to a small community that is directly responsible for keeping millions of abandoned animals alive every day.

“I volunteer to help the greater dog community by giving back some of the love that my old dogs gave to me. Encouraging and reassuring them that they are safe, loved and that there’s warmth and goodness left in the world just for them.” Jeremiah + Picasso

Finding Shelter is not project about shelter dogs. It is a project about people. It is a story told through photographs of thousands of volunteers that care for the once loved and unwanted animals that fill our shelters, accompanied by volunteer's personal accounts of why this work is so meaningful and life–changing, all compiled into a beautifully printed photography book.

I seek to capture the selflessness and emotional resilience of the people who give those animals their second chance. I'll travel the country, visiting shelters and photographing the emotional bond between dogs and volunteer workers.

With your support, I will do this visual research and produce a beautiful photography book. 

"There is great celebration when a dog who has been here for several months finally gets adopted. This is why I continue to volunteer at the shelter. I believe that humans have a responsibility to care for these animals that we have made our companions."

 "With each dog to whom I give love- be it walking them, reading to them or pulling them from a shelter- I am becoming a more whole and healthy person."

"I volunteered in my local shelters and watched them have to euthanize perfectly friendly, adoptable animals. I felt that it was my responsibility to help solve this crisis, and started Wags and Walks Rescue- now the fastest growing rescue in the nation." Lesley + Kona

Though a publisher has shown interest in this book, I must fund the entire production cost myself and may end up having to self publish entirely. Please help me turn this project into a reality by donating, sharing this Kickstarter with friends, and being a part of this inspirational and important work. 

A percentage of proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to animal shelters and shelter education. I’ll also be giving each shelter digital photographs of their adoptable animals which they can use online to help get these pets adopted. Most importantly, Finding Shelter aims to drive awareness to local shelters and rescue programs across the country, helping direct new adopters to available animals, encourage volunteerism, and begin a more compassionate and deeper discussion around animal rescue.

"We, as volunteers, know that not all of our pets will find a home, but we make sure that during their time at the shelter those animals feel loved and cherished. Shelter pets deserve to find a forever family, and I volunteer to make that happen."

OUR CROSS-COUNTRY SHELTER ADVENTURE:

I'll be photographing over 150 volunteers at 12 shelters from coast to coast.

Finding Shelter Cross Country Trip
Finding Shelter Cross Country Trip

PROPOSED BOOK LAYOUT:

This beautiful photography book will feature a full page spread for every animal/volunteer pair, accompanied by a personal account of why each volunteer dedicates themselves to such challenging and rewarding work. These stories, seen side by side with the portraits, are incredibly moving.

 

WHERE IS MY MONEY GOING? 

This is a passion project, not a way to make a profit. Below is a graph of where every penny of the $12,500 will go. Notice there is no section called "commission for the artist." 

Finding Shelter Expense Chart
Finding Shelter Expense Chart
 

So far, finding Shelter has been featured in:
The Huffington Post
Yahoo!
The Dodo
7x7 Magazine
Four and Songs Magazine
The Bark Magazine
Dogster
DogMilk
…. and more.

REWARDS PREVIEW:

Polaroids From The Road: examples, images will vary

Tshirt Design: (dog illustration by Lili Chin of Doggie Drawings)

8x10" 'HOWL' Print: matted and signed

 11x14" Basset Print: signed, loose print (comes with below print)

 11x14" Group on Couch Print: signed, loose print (comes with above print)

A shelter is a place of mutual healing for humans and dogs, and I am grateful for the privilege to show the restorative powers of that bond through this project. 

Please give what you can. You may select a reward from our great list of perks after you confirm your donation, or you may simply donate to the project without any reward- it's completely up to you. I appreciate any and all support in making this book a reality. 

Risks and challenges

As an artist, I am dedicated to creating an incredibly high quality book for my supporters whether I self-publish or work with a publishing house. If I do self-publish, it may take a bit longer to produce and ship the actual book but will not stop completion of the project.

Other risks are very small. I have been photographing animals exclusively for the past ten years and have seen it all. If my car breaks down during the two week road trip I have vehicle insurance and am padding my itinerary to allow for unexpected travel delays. I have already contacted the shelters I will be working with, and promise not to pick up any hitch hikers.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH: Give yourself a good pat on the back- you've just brought us five dollars closer to making this book a reality. Consider this a digital hi-five from our whole team. And our dogs. And all the dogs in the world. And some cats, too.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THREE BLANK NOTECARDS: Receive a set of three 4x6 beautifully printed blank notecards + matching envelopes featuring the artist's favorite black and white dog portraits from the Finding Shelter project, as well as a personal handwritten thank you note from Jesse and an invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    SIGNED BOOK: Receive a signed first edition of the Finding Shelter book, as well as a personal handwritten thank you note from Jesse and an invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SIGNED BOOK + LIMITED EDITION 8x10" 'HOWL' PRINT + THREE NOTECARDS: Signed first edition of the Finding Shelter book, one hand-printed 8x10" matted and signed 'Howl' print (see image below), three 4x6 blank notecards featuring the artist's favorite dog portraits from the project, a hand written thank you note from Jesse and an invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    TWO SIGNED BOOKS + TWO 11x14" PRINTS + THREE NOTECARDS: Receive two first edition signed copies of the Finding Shelter book, two 11x14" un-matted signed prints (1: group on couch print + 1: basset hound print) from Jesse's fine art dog photography portfolio only available on Kickstarter (see images below), and three blank notecards featuring the artist's favorite dog portraits from the project. You'll also receive a hand written thank you note from Jesse and an invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TWO SIGNED BOOKS + TWO 11x14" PRINTS + SIX NOTECARDS + TWO TSHIRTS + SIX SINGLE EDITION SIGNED POLAROIDS FROM THE ROAD: Receive two first edition signed copies of the Finding Shelter book, two 11x14" un-matted signed prints (1: group on couch print + 1: basset hound print) from Jesse's fine art dog photography portfolio only available on Kickstarter (see images below), six blank notecards featuring the artist's favorite dog portraits from the project, two tshirts and six analog signed original Polaroids taken by Jesse during the road trip (the artist's favorite medium- these are one-of-a-kind photographs, you'll have the only copy that exists). You'll also receive a hand written thank you note from Jesse and an invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    PRIVATE PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS FOR FOUR PEOPLE, FOUR SIGNED BOOKS, FOUR NOTECARDS, FOUR 11x14" PRINTS + FOUR TSHIRTS: A two hour master class on photography for you and three friends, four signed first edition copies of the book (one for each of you), four blank note cards featuring the artist's favorite dog portraits from the project, four tshirts and four 11x14" un-matted prints (2: group on couch prints + 2: basset hound prints- see images below). You pick the topic (photographing dogs, natural light portraiture, analog photography in a digital world, etc). Jesse has taught seminars for students at all levels, and loves sharing his knowledge in a fun, approachable manner. Digital and analog photographers, pro to beginner welcome. Also included are personal invitations to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA. Can be hosted in our studio in the Berkshires or at your home. Travel expenses not included, US only.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    TWO SIGNED BOOKS, TWO T-SHIRTS + TATTOO ME: For those true enthusiasts out there- Jesse will get a tattoo of your companion animal on his person, with their name underneath in proper script. Also included are two signed first edition copies of the book, two t-shirts, a hand written thank you note and invitation to the gallery show in San Francisco or North Adams, MA.

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Funding period

- (30 days)