“One of the volunteer categories was photographer. Since that's my biggest passion, it was a perfect fit!” said Calder.
Calder’s portfolio, which includes such subject matters as travel, weather, music and sports, says he probably averages between two to four hours of volunteer time with City Dog Rescue between taking the photos and editing them. James is also a great resource for the dogs in boarding at City Dogs Daycare. Since these dogs do not have foster families for the adoption coordinators to talk to, James provides invaluable insight into the personalities of new dogs.
“Whenever there are new dogs brought to CDR, or if there are events to promote the dogs for adoption that I can attend, I’m there to photograph them. So I’m sort of ‘on call.’”
City Dogs Rescue Communications Director Meredith says, "The photos from James have been instrumental in helping promote our dogs and find them homes. Many of the photos we receive initially from the shelters are so depressing. I'm always so excited to see the photos that James takes because he does an amazing job capturing the true personalities of each individual dog. He's very talented and I love how he can get the goofy pictures and the money shots!"
He also has a long-standing volunteer record with the non-profit DC Rollergirls and local news and entertainment blog DCist. A friend to the captain of the team, he started out in 2006 shooting mostly the Cherry Blossom Bombshells for the first two seasons. Due to a hectic work schedule with a job in Baltimore, he had to take a hiatus, but in 2010 when they launched their All-Star team, the timing worked out for Calder to return. James has even recruited members of the Rollergirls as CDR volunteers!
“Since then, I now shoot pretty much all things DC Rollergirls, from individual player headshots and team photos to the “home team” bouts and the All-Stars, whether at home or on the road at regional tournaments, in locations from White Plains, NY to Raleigh, NC.” He’s even earned a derby moniker “Shutterthug.”
When Calder is shooting photos for City Dog Rescue, he gets a kick out of getting down low with a wide-angle lens. He says sometimes the dog’s reaction is “too adorable.” And volunteering for a dog rescue organization provides opportunity for lots of unplanned, funny moments.
“Volunteering with City Dog Rescue at least gives us a regular puppy fix.”
To see more photographs from James Calder, visit his website. To sign up to volunteer your own talent, visit our volunteer page.