Canine close-ups help homeless pets
Hoboken sisters do doggie photo shoots to benefit shelter
by Dean DeChiaro
Reporter staff writer
Mar 30, 2014 | 1898 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHERS -- Madeline (left) and Cameron Hartshorn (right), whose parents own a studio on Monroe Street, are offering dog photoshoots to Hoboken canine lovers in order to raise money for the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City.
LITTLE PHOTOGRAPHERS -- Madeline (left) and Cameron Hartshorn (right), whose parents own a studio on Monroe Street, are offering dog photoshoots to Hoboken canine lovers in order to raise money for the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City.
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Madeline and Cameron Hartshorn aren’t allowed to have a dog, mainly because their mother Jennifer refuses to put up with the never-ending cycle of walks and picking up poop, and because there’s a chance the dog could knock over any of the priceless equipment in their father Mac’s photography studio in Hoboken.

But this Spring, that isn’t stopping Madeline, 12, and Cameron, 11, from doing something to help the animals they love so dearly.

The girls, who attend the Hudson School and Elysian Charter School, are burgeoning photographers, following in the footsteps of their father, who runs Hartshorn Portraiture on Monroe Street. They grew up around the studio and can identify which camera is which and what each is best used for.
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“We went there once to drop off the money last year. It was nice to see the dogs that we were helping.” -- Cameron Hartshorn
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So last year, when the girls came up with a plan to start taking pictures of dogs and selling the photos for charity, they put the idea into action. They ended up raising $2,000 for Jersey City’s Liberty Humane Society, simply by inviting people to the studio for a 30-minute shoot and the promise of an 8 x 10 photo of them and their furry best friend.

Now, they’re doing the promotion again through the end of April, and have already raised around $500.

“At first we were just taking pictures of dogs because we like dogs, as a hobby, and then one day we decided we could actually help dogs by asking people to pay and giving the money to charity,” said Madeline.

Little professionals

Having your photo taken by the Hartshorn girls is not an amateur operation. The girls use a few different high-tech cameras courtesy of Dad, and switch off throughout the session, allowing each of them to capture what they think are their subject’s best angles. Just about anything is fair game, the girls said.

“It's up to them how they want to do it,” said Madeline. Cameron noted that a few customers have asked to have their dogs dressed up for the shoot, which she said is fine.

Following the shoot, again with the help of Dad, the girls choose a few of the photos to edit (they’re slowly but surely learning to use the software) and present the final choices to the client. They choose one, everyone goes home happy, and the Liberty Humane Society is a bit more capable of taking care of its pups.

“We went there once to drop off the money last year,” said Cameron. “It was nice to see the dogs that we were helping.”

For Jennifer and Mac, seeing their daughters join the family trade (Mac is the photographer, Jennifer handles the business side of the studio) is both encouraging and inspiring.

“It’s kind of a learning experience for them and they get to spend a lot of time with their father,” said Jennifer.

“We’re very proud of them,” said Mac. “We’re proud of them for everything they do, of course, but to see them really embrace this idea as a way to help, it's great to see them do it.”

Professional studio

Hartshorn Portraiture, one of the many studio spaces that resides in the Monroe Center for the Arts, celebrated its tenth anniversary in late 2012. Mac used to be a fashion photographer (that’s how he met Jennifer, who was a PA at the time), but when they had Cameron, the traveling became too much. So they settled down and opened Hartshorn, and since then have offered a luxurious and professional portraiture service to clients on both sides of the Hudson River.

To book a dog photoshoot with Madeline and Cameron, call (201) 610-1199 or visit www.hartshornportraiture.com/dog-sessions-back-popular-demand/. Each session costs $95, the entirety of which is donated to the Liberty Humane Society in Jersey City. For more information on the shelter, visit www.libertyhumane.org.

Dean DeChiaro may be reached at deand@hudsonreporter.com

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