Giving Indies hope through the lens of love

Prathima is a professional photographer and here’s how she’s turning her passion into something good for Indies, who deserve all our love and respect.

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It’s been 5 years since I started Pawparazzi – pet photography company. I have photographed more than 430 dogs & 350+ families with their pets. Adoption & helping dogs on the streets has always been very close to my heart, so every year, we have raised money for Indies and streeties in need through our INDIE CALENDAR!

Humble beginnings for greater good

In March 2023, I signed onto an international project called Tails of the World. It is an international collective of professional pet photographers, all united in a mission to make a difference for animals in need by celebrating our local dogs and fundraising for animal rescues with Tails of the World coffee table books.

The project is to take photos of dogs in the city that you are signing up from and showcase beautiful buildings, historical sights, and the renowned aesthetics with the help of dogs as the subject.

A journey of giving Indies hope and recognition

In 2023, I realized that the Tails of the World project would put Indies on a global platform which would showcase their beauty, wit, and uniqueness. Pawparazzi was the ONLY Indian pet photography company to represent India & I made a conscious decision to feature ONLY Indie dogs & their adoption stories for the shoots. Indie dogs have never been represented globally on a large scale and putting them on a platform felt like an honor and privilege. I wanted to advocate for Indie dogs through my craft and bring about a conversation starter as to how we can raise awareness about their adoptions. 100% of the session fees go for charity and every photo from these shoots has been published in the ‘Tails of the World’ in March 2024.

Every year, I create an Indie calendar and sell them to raise money for NGOs across the country. For the 2024 calendar, we used the photos taken in the Tails of the World project! We donate all of the money that we get from these calendars. With the calendar for 2024, we have Raised Rs 1,10,000/- for charity. We have donated the money to 2 NGOs – Second Chance Sanctuary and Pawpeople.

I hope we all infuse our purpose with our crafts to advocate for creatures in dire need of love and security.

Here are the adoption stories of 2 of the dogs featured in the Tails of the World project!

Little bundle of love – Bruzo Datt Sharma

Abhay Datt Sharma shares “During the second lockdown, my friend shared a Facebook post which mentioned a cruelty case of an adopted Indie dog ‘Bruzo’. He was tied outside a house and his mouth was tied with a rope because he was teething. He was often beaten up by his family. He was infested with ticks and suffered from a severe case of mange and dermatitis. He had several scars and wounds all over his body. For a dog who was abused for the first eight months of his life – Bruzo was extremely trusting. When we went to meet him, he came to me immediately.

After the passing of my 09-year-old pet, I had decided not to get a pet again. But I fell in love with Bruzo and knew I had to make it work somehow. Within two months my parents moved to Mumbai to help me raise him. Our love and care have made him into a different dog altogether. He lights up the house with his big goofy smile and his enthusiastic nature. He meets every person with so much love and excitement that sometimes it’s difficult to believe that he has such a rough start in life.”

After seeing Bruzo’s photo, I knew in the first go which location we needed to shoot at. The Sea Link in Mumbai is a magnificent 5.6 km – 8 lane structure that connects Mumbai Suburbs to South Mumbai.

For everyone who lives in Mumbai, crossing the Sea Link has a very nostalgic feeling and it’s an iconic structure that Mumbai is now known for. I wanted Bruzo’s happy grin and excited body language to point to the Sea Link as if to proudly say “This is our Mumbai!”

Bobo’s blissful presence in our life

My husband and I took a decision to adopt a pet almost 15 years into our marriage. We took the plunge when we saw Bobo’s adoption appeal on social media. He was abused and hit on the head as a puppy and still does not like anyone new touching him on his head. After he came into my life, I feel that a spark (that was missing) has been reignited.

The Horniman Circle Gardens represent lush greenery surrounded by grand buildings. It took over a decade to get completed. But then later it was being used as a dumping yard. Two governors decided to make this a city attraction and soon made it the centre of a business hub which was surrounded by office buildings. The garden was named Elphinstone Circle as a tribute to Governor, John Elphinstone. This marked the first planned garden circle of the city.

I wanted to have Bobo placed in front of the main Elphinstone building, situated at Horniman Circle as it’s one of the few flat-iron buildings in South Bombay. At just the perfect moment, a kaali-peeli (black & yellow taxi) happened to zoom past us, adding the perfect zest to the image, depicting the vibe of the city.

While shooting at Elphinstone Building, a Streetie (what we lovingly call our street dogs) came bouncing towards us and became best friends with Bobo. I thought “Why not have her in the photo as well?”

So, we walked to the right side of the building where the iconic and age-old Bombay Samachar printing press is located. The Bombay Samachar, Asia’s oldest continuously published newspaper, was first published on the first of July 1822. The red painted brick was the perfect backdrop to these white-furred cuties that we had with us. They were really enjoying themselves while running after each other and play-fighting. I just sat like a fly on the wall and captured the true essence of their friendship.

Vocalizing adoption of Indies

I think right now what we need is to raise more awareness about the beauty of our Indies. Each one is so unique, they are so smart, eager to please, and learn. They are so loving and loyal, I fail to see why people don’t see that. I have an Indie and he is the best thing that’s happened to us. Every year through my platform of Pawparazzi, I share adoption stories of Indies to help people understand that they are much more than what they seem. Talking about them, how they’ve changed our lives once we’ve adopted them, and how they teach us more compassion, patience and understanding is vital to people taking the next step to adopt them.

I love that we now have celebrities also who advocate for adoption of these beautiful furries and we all on our own can do our bit to raise awareness for them/

At Pawparazzi, our goal has always been to give back. We have an Indie Calendar that we release every year that helps in raising awareness about them and showcasing their beauty.

(Prathima Pingali – Owner & Photographer, Pawparazzi Pet Photography)

https://www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com/
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