FARMINGTON — A local photographer is offering free studio portraits of family pets in exchange for bags of kitten chow donated to the Franklin County Animal Shelter.

Alana Ranney has a goal to gather 750 pounds of Purina Kitten Chow for the local shelter. Pet owners can get a photo by bringing a 25- to 30-pound bag of chow to her studio, Alana’s Fine Art Photography in the Mt. Blue Shopping Center.

She has already delivered about 175 pounds of food to the shelter from portraits she’s taken of dogs, she said.

The Pet Photo Shoot started in March and is being extended through May. Each of the photos taken will be entered into the first “Annual Pet Portrait Contest.”  

The top 12 images selected by judges will be featured in the 2013 Franklin County Animal Shelter Calendar. The grand prize winner is featured on the front cover, she said. Other prizes will also be awarded.

Ranney said she was looking for a volunteer project and found a similar one listed among other professional photographers’ projects. She contacted Heidi Jordan, executive director of the shelter who informed her of the need for kitten food, she said.

“It’s a great idea,” Jordan said of the project.

The calendar also helps the shelter. Seventy-five percent of the proceeds will be given to the shelter.

She’s currently looking for business sponsors to join her in providing prizes and printing costs. They will be featured on a sponsor page in the calendar, she said.

The featured pets will be selected and the calendar ready by September. The calendar should be out in local stores in time for the holidays.

Some pet owners have chosen holiday themes for their pet photos. The owner needs to provide the props, although Ranney says she has some they can use.

Everyone wants to know if their pet will make the calendar, she said. “They’re excited. It’s been lots of fun,” she said of the pet photos she’s taken so far.

Appointments are needed but any pet can be photographed for the cat food. An online photo is provided and there’s an opportunity for pet owners to purchase more. She is providing some portraits as prizes in the contest, including a family portrait session.

More information is available on her website, Pet owners can email her at [email protected] or call her at 860-9057 to book an appointment through May.  

[email protected]

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