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Recording Animal Information

Before you leave the shelter after a session, make sure that you have recorded all the vital information for every animal you have photographed. You may want to make reprints and enlargements for many years for shelter use as well as your own portfolio. Accurate record-keeping will ensure that you can quickly find the animal's name and other important information.

We usually record the following for each animal:

  • Name
  • Registration number
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Physical description
  • Reason the animal was left at the shelter

The registration number is used by the shelter as an identification number and will be helpful to them for quickly matching a photograph to an animal. After we get the film developed, we also write down the negative numbers for each animal so we can quickly identify the correct negatives later. Recording the animal's physical description helps to make this task easy.

This may sound like a lot of information to record but it usually only takes a couple of minutes per animal. We then keep these notes with the negatives and photographs once we have filed them. If you make a reprint of one your negatives years from now you will appreciate having all these notes to refer to.

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