RASKC, along with other pet agencies, were selected to take part in a fun, community service project held at Zulily‘s studios. The project was created in the hopes of raising awareness of shelter pets by donating their time and expertise to capture the pets in a softer light, namely in a home-like setting. Zulily, which provided exclusive access to their studios and creative staff, set three beautiful backdrops ranging from playful room, to the “We’re going on vacation!” feel, and finally “This is home” vibe.

Below is an interview with the two amazing professionals that took action and got involved! (to see photos from the shoot, scroll past interview).



1. Tell us a little about yourself

[Sean Gumm] I’m a fashion and editorial photographer living in the Seattle area. At Zulily.com, I lead a group of incredibly talented fashion photographers. At home, I live in belltown with my partner Alex and our golden retriever Mica. 

 [Jason Heritage] Hi everyone!  Professionally, I’m a Marketing Coordinator for Hermanson Company.  I handle all of their graphic design, photography and video needs.  In my non-career life, I am recently married and we love hiking and exploring new places with our dog Loki.  I run a small photography business on the side selling my adventure photos as well as taking on pet photography sessions.

2. How did you get the idea for this great project?

[Sean Gumm] Jason came to me looking for fellow photographers to help take portraits at local animal shelters. Once I told him about all of the studio resources we had available to us and how many amazing photographers and stylists wanted to help out, we decided to go big and throw an event here at zulily.com’s photo studio.

 [Jason Heritage] I actually got the idea from a class that I was taking at the time.  The class teaches you how to overcome personal barriers and to take on anything you want in life.  Volunteering at shelters and starting my own photography business was an area of my life I had been inactive in even though I really wanted to get involved.  So in searching for ideas of what to do and how to get involved in a meaningful way, I got connected with Sean over at Zulily.  We talked about what we could do and about 2 minutes later, voila, we had come up with this awesome event.  The main goal of the event was to help shelter animals get adopted faster by providing professional studios sessions for as many animals as we could get in.

3. How would you describe the day? (crazy, hectic, fun; what was the feeling after it was all done?)

[Sean Gumm] It was a breeze! All the shelter volunteers and helpers were so kind and patient, they were wonderful to work with. The dogs were very well behaved and everyone was having a good time. No stress whatsoever. 

 [Jason Heritage] The day was actually really fun but to be completely open, I did have some nerves going into it.  All of that went away immediately though.  Sean and his team had set up a phenomenal studio session for the animals.  They built beds and obstacle courses.  It was amazing.  I loved bringing in the various groups and learning how each animal wanted to be worked with.  The coolest part of this event was that the rewards were immediate.  We could see the pictures as they were being taken on a big computer screen and with every click the photos were blowing us away.  

4. Do you have pets? Tell us about them!

[Sean Gumm] I have a 9 year old golden retriever named Mica. She is scared of just about everything including (but not limited to) bubbles, cardboard, and the sound my computer makes when I get an email.

 [Jason Heritage] I do!  Loki the Adventure Beagle on instagram (@adventurebeagle).  He’s my slightly famous and incredibly loud snoring, fun loving and adventurous little guy.  His current claim to fame is that his lovely face graces the lead image of the National Park Foundations page about bringing your dog to the National Parks.  

5. Thank you for all your efforts on this project – if you had one key message you hope others take away from this, what would it be?

[Sean Gumm] If you have a great idea, Ask For Help! I was shocked just how easy it was to find a fleet of volunteers and helpers to make this event a reality. Everyone wanted to be a part of it. 

 [Jason Heritage] Go beyond your self-doubts, accept all connections and, as much as you can, strive to make a positive impact on the world.

While some of these pets may have already been adopted, click below on “adopt a pet” to find other furry friends available at RASKC!

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