Gallery Wall Contest

by | Pet Businesses

When you have a business, marketing and spreading the word about your services is something you’re always thinking about. Trying to come up with new and fun ways to meet potential clients and in my case, get more dogs in front of my lens. Most days, the ideas don’t flow easily or they’ve been done a million times. 

Well one day, I had an idea. I’ve been to Pet Power Studio many times and have seen their space grow and evolve, but there was always one wall in the store that wasn’t being used. Megan, the store owner, had told me when I first met her that she would love to fill it with photos of local dogs. That’s when it hit me…let’s host a contest for a few lucky pups to have their photos taken by me and have the photos displayed on the wall in the studio!

pet store in Encinitas California

The more I thought about how to do it, the more I wanted to figure out a way that it could somehow benefit a charity. I had heard of lots of pet photographers holding calendar contests to benefit local rescues, so I figured we could do the same. 

We found a local dog rescue called The Rescued Dog to be the receiver of all the money we raised. I set up a contest on a website called where people could enter a photo of their dog and gather votes to win. Each entry was $5 and each vote was $1 with all this money being donated directly to The Rescued Dog. 

I wasn’t sure how many people would participate or if we would meet our $2,000 fundraiser goals during the 3 weeks we ran the contest, but I’m happy to report that we did!

We had 21 entries and raised $2,396! The 6 dogs with the highest number of votes won a spot on the wall. 

Since Pet Power Studio is in Encinitas, California and has groovy, beach vibes, I decided to do each dog’s session at a different beach location in San Diego. 

Our first place winner was Ferguson! He and his mana helped to raise $435 for TRD. Since Pet Power Studio is in Encinitas, I decided Moonlight Beach was the perfect iconic Encinitas beach location for his photoshoot. He even wore is groovy bandana for it! Since the actual beach isn’t dog friendly, we took his photo above it near the parking lot with a very large audience watching. Ferg posed like a champ and didn’t mind his mom shining a reflector at him to get the best light! 

Our second place winner was Darby! She and her mama helped raise $431 for TRD. The location I chose for this beauty was Coronado bayside. I wanted to get the iconic San Diego skyline in the background and we had the perfect evening for it. Her photo was one of the last ones from the evening and the one I had been picturing in my head!

Our 3rd place winner was Jorge, who raised $416 for The Rescued Dog! He was also the lucky winner of one of our mini contests and got to take a SUP lesson with SUP Pups. I initially thought I’d get his photo in front of the Hotel Del, but when we got there, I saw the most adorable yellow VW bus and just had to photograph him in front of it! Total Pet Power Studio vibes. Jorge is paralyzed from the waist down, so I wanted to include his wheels in the shot to represent dogs who might be a little different, but that doesn’t stop them from living life to the fullest!

Our 4th place gallery wall winner was Nelson who helped raise $176! The spot I chose for his shoot was Scripps Pier. We ended up having a super clear, full sun evening (no clouds in the sky), so I wanted to wait until the sun went down to get a shot at the pier. Unfortunately, a few people had tripods set up at the front of the pier so no one could get a shot without them in it (rude!). But that’s alright because Nelson posed like a champ on the beautiful cliff side looking out at the ocean. Nelson is another special dog because he is a tripawd and show everyone just how capable a dog with only 3 legs can be! 

The 5th gallery wall contest winner was none other than Apple the golden, who raised $176 also! Apple is a friendly, energetic, beach loving pup, so I knew Del Mar Dog Beach would be a the perfect place for her session. She was freshly groomed and we managed to get a few shots against the cliff side before she headed for the water and got wet and dirty.  Even though it was mostly cloudy, we still got a soft and subtle sunset for the perfect shot of Apple with her paws crossed looking happy as can be.

Last but certainly not least was Poppy the yellow lab who helped raise $133 for The Rescued Dog! Her mom said they used to live in Kauai together and loves the beach, so I picked beautiful Cardiff State Beach for her session. We were blessed with the perfect slightly cloudy sky for sunset and Poppy posed just long enough in the water for me to snap a photo of a wave crashing right into her. She looks like a mermaid! 

Overall this contest was super fun and raised money for a great cause! If you would like to see the prints up in the store for yourself, head on over to Pet Power Studio in Encinitas and check it out!