The Art of PAWtography and Life

PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF MARK KELVIN

August 13, 2022

What do you usually take a picture of? Are you more of a selfie, a foodie, or a shofie? For whatever reasons, the photographs we take are of every moment we want to keep forever — the ones we would like to remember.

But have you ever thought about the art of taking photographs of strangers? Of those whose stories are unknown to you?

On 18 July, Mark Kelvin posted on his Tiktok account @kelvinmarkulit a video feature that caught the attention of netizens for its unique content. The set of photographs starred stray dogs and cats that are not in the typical commercial-like setup; not in a photo studio but in an animal shelter.

AN unscripted photo with a shelter cat.

It was a genuine and unscripted interaction; many were amazed by how the photoshoot turned out.

“It was not planned at all that this is my first [animal] shelter visit,” Mark shared.

Mark said that the PAWssion project was unknown to him, and it was just through the comments on his animal photographs that he learned about it. He always wanted to be a part of the advocacy #adoptdontshop, so he decided to pay a surprise visit to the shelter.

He was unsure of what awaited him at the shelter, yet he was certain that he wanted to serve his purpose in mind: “Sobrang na-touch ako, hindi ko ma-explain yung feeling sa mga dog lovers and cat lovers and seeing animals that suffer it’s my weakness… pag pasok ko pa lang gusto ko na maiyak.”

‘A great photo mirrors the heart and the soul of the photographer,’ Mark Kelvin said.

“I’ve decided to visit them not only for video content but to serve as an eye-opener to everyone that we have a pet shelter and we have dogs and cats waiting for your open arms to get adopted and to be part of your family,” he added.

Mark witnessed how the animals in the shelter embody hope; despite their living conditions. A blind and disabled dog named Winter story struck him the most. He was moved by how the dog still managed to put on a smile and shared it with him.

“Hopefully, a lot of people will be reached by my videos, and maybe it’s about time for them to adopt a dog or a cat,” he said.

WINTER, a blind and disabled dog managed to put on a smile for the camera.

“Wag nila iisipin na they are trying to adopt a pet or an animal, they will actually adopt a friend — a companion,” he added.

Photographs translate to thousands of words, although nothing is actually written across each picture printed out or posted online. To Mark, it’s a way of telling the world that even animals need love and appreciation.

Mark shared, “A great photo mirrors the heart and the soul of the photographer… it’s all about your intention, talaga… whatever you do, bury your soul into it.”


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