GREAT FALLS — On Saturday at the Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center in Great Falls, pet photographer Catherine Mertz captured pets for the center’s first-ever Holiday Pet Portrait event.
Customers brought their pets in for professional holiday pet pictures, with a portion of the proceeds going to the animal adoption center.
After taking shots of several furry friends, Mertz shared how she became a pet photographer.
“My daughter’s really into helping the animals and I love photography and I was like you know what, why don’t I go take pictures of dogs?” Mertz said.
Mertz has had a love of photography since 7th grade and couldn’t think of a better way to put her passion into action.
"I just always have adored photography, my grandfather's influence. He was the guy that always had the camera in your face all the time, and he bought me my first camera," she explained.
So, she started a pet photography business called BasX ("basics"), and now she photographs animals for the adoption center.
“I’m here most mornings taking pictures while my daughter is in preschool and then I deliver the pictures basically same day to try and raise adoption rates,” Mertz said.
While endless puppy love is a major perk of the position, another is finding these animals a forever home.
“The best part of it is getting to love on all the animals. The hardest part is walking away and not taking fifty dogs home. Or a whole bunch of cats, or whatever, because you knew that these animals need a good home," Mertz said.
She finds comfort in knowing that the pictures she takes have a purpose.
“You’re taking pictures of an animal that’s been here a year and all you want to do is help them find that special person,” Mertz said.
To learn how to donate or more you can visit the Maclean-Cameron Animal Adoption Center Facebook page.