It’s true. On Monday, I’m going back to prison.

I was recently asked by a young teenager if he could interview me for a photography class assignment: Interview a famous photographer or just a photographer you know. He informed me that I fell into the second category.  Little did I know, that would not be the biggest laugh I would get from our interview.

He ended our conversation by summarizing what he had learned about me. “I learned that you drove cross-country with your husband and two beagles. And that you went to prison.”

Now it’s true, I did go to prison last fall.   But I went to photograph the graduation of a class of paws4people service dogs, not as an inmate.

As I wrote in an earlier post, I have been documenting the lives of a new litter of puppies that paws4people bred specifically to be trained as service dogs for returning members of the military.

Up until this point, documenting the lives of the puppies has meant taking advantage of their tiny size and posing them to show off their cuteness. The real work will come on Monday, when I will be going to the Hazelton prison in West Virginia to photograph the transition of the puppies to their inmate trainers.

Since I’m in holiday crunch time, I thought if I included adorable puppy pictures, I might be able to get away with a bit of a hasty post.

Before their eyes opened, we could position them however we wanted and they would just fall asleep:

I got lucky with this one. We piled the puppies up and I was able to capture the illusion of a true buddy moment:Kyria Henry, Founder and Deputy Executive Director paws4people, and I had a great time identifying small containers we could fit the puppies into.

It’s amazing how much the puppies have grown.  I went to see them last week for a final shoot before we take them to Hazelton.While the puppies are indisputably adorable, one of the most moving things for me is when the trained dogs are matched with their people and I get to witness the amazing relationship between dogs and humans.

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One Response to It’s true. On Monday, I’m going back to prison.

  1. Paul Lester says:

    Great post, great photos, great dogs!

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