Photographer Elke Vogelsang and her rescued dogs
Elke Vogelsang is a German photographer with a big love for dogs. This comes across in her beautiful images, for which her three adopted canines, Noodles, Scout and Ioli, often are her perfect models. Elke started volunteering in a local animal shelter when she was still a kid, and is currently planning a photo series with shelter dogs in Spain. In this interview, she talks about her own three faithful rescues, and what makes them so special. Can you introduce yourself? My name is Elke Vogelsang. I'm 42 years old. Based in Hildesheim, Germany, I work as a professional photographer who mostly shoots portraits of people and pets, but in my spare time I spend plenty of time with my three rescue dogs who frequently find themselves in front of the camera. You have three rescued dogs, and they are the main subject of several of your photo projects. Can you tell us a bit about your dogs, and how they found their way into your life? Noodles is a female Galgo Español mix from the south of Spain. She is eight years now and joined our family when she was 8 months old. She was rescued from a kill shelter in Spain and brought to Germany. She is the eager beaver, the clown, she always wants to learn, to play, to run and be entertained. She is unintentionally comic sometimes. Scout is a female Galgo Español mix as well. She is 6 years now. She and her 7 brothers and sisters were found next to her dead mother somewhere in a field near Madrid. I call her Madrileña mia, my metropolitan girl. She is a hunter, beautiful, wary, alert. Noodles and Scout once saved my husband's live. So I can't put into words how much they mean to me. Last but definitely not least there is Ioli. He is a Spanish mix as well. His mother arrived pregnant in Germany in a very bad condition. He is one-eyed but not handicapped, sweet as honey, everybody's darling, very charming, always funny, sometimes cheeky and insecure. He steals hearts. Are they the first animals that you have adopted? They are my first own dogs, but we always had dogs in our family, all of which were adopted from our local animal shelter. Why did you choose to adopt instead of buy? As a kid I helped out in our local shelter and I know from experience that you find the most amazing, gorgeous, friendly animals here. So, I know that I will always find the treasure I'm looking for among shelter dogs. You provide your photography services free of charge to animal welfare organizations. Can you tell us a bit about that? I take pictures for my local shelter. Unfortunately, I'm lacking time for this. Friends who rescue dogs from Spain ask me to take pictures of their foster dogs. I love to meet so many different characters among my canine models and am glad to be able to help a bit in finding a home for them. Currently I'm planning a photo series with shelter dogs in Spain. How would you convince people to adopt an animal from a shelter? I don't think that rescue dogs are any different from dogs from a breeder. All dogs are loveable animals. But it hurts to see that there are so many great dogs out there never finding a home. Some people think that former stray dogs or shelter dogs might be complicated or even aggressive, but you find all kind of characters among them, just as it is the case with breeder dogs. My dogs would have been killed, if it hadn't been for some people getting them out of those kill shelter (or in Ioli's case his mother). They are friendly, beloved family members. Couldn't wish for more loveable companions. I would always adopt. What's the best thing about your rescued dogs? Where to start? I don't think I can come up with one single thing, it's an allround package. They are charming, beautiful, individual family members. They give so much but actually do demand little. They are funny, my joy and recreation. They make me laugh and are a comfort. If you wish to know more about Elke Vogelsang's beautiful work, you can visit her website here, or follow her on Facebook. All the photos in this post were taken by Elke Vogelsang.