Episode 59 – Jo Lynn Kelley

Jo Lynn joins us today to talk about animal photography and her experience with animal rescue transport. If you love photography and animals, and want to help listen in as she talks about various aspects. She is also the creator of LKA Shooters, a photography group for any age or level.

Welcome to the Professionals and Animal Rescue podcast, where a goal is to introduce you two amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved with animal rescue. This podcast is probably sponsored by do bert dot com. Do Bert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Now on with our show for more than 20 years, Jolan is love. Photography was during the time that she opened up her own studio, that she discovered her talent for taking portrait ce Julien’s first rescue animals, Tanner and they spent 13 loving, adventurous years together. Jolan discovered dilbert dot com and June of 2016 and started transporting animals to their forever homes. Writing rescue stories and taking photos along the way seemed like the perfect way to combine her two passions, animals and photography. Today, Jolan has created LK Shooters AH Photography club, based in Central Virginia. The focus of the group is to foster an environment of complete inclusiveness. Anyone is welcome. You don’t need to be at a specific level. I have a fancy, expensive camera. The group has skills workshops and challenges, which include a specific mobile device category. Julian is establishing a community outreach component as well, which involves the members of the group’s reaching out to rescues and shelters near them to see if they need photos taken of the pets that need to be adopted. A great photo to showcase the animal goes a long way when trying to get them adopted. Hey, Jolan, welcome to the program. Hey, Cruz. How are you this morning? Wonderful. So tell us a little bit about you and kind of how you got into animal rescue. Well, actually, the animal rescue pieces A couple years ago, um, I had moved out to the West Coast. I’m an East Coast gal, moved out to the West Coast, took a few months, a pseudo sabbatical, so to speak from a job and did some traveling. And when I was out there, I really wanted to get engaged in some volunteerism. I’ve always been engaged in some level throughout my life, pretty much even in high school and from my school. And, uh so I was looking on a site. Um, it was some kind of ah volunteer match site. I think it’s actually called volunteer match and your sight do bert dot com popped up, and I was like, Wow, that’s so incredible Because I love animals, right? So and I also had experience rescuing and adopting an animal back in the nineties. So I thought that would be fabulous. Because not only did I discover that Joubert had drivers and transporters and pilots, but they also had a photography aspect that excuse me, intrigued me very much, cause I love photography. So, um, that’s back in 2016 about June ish mid year when I found uber dot com. And that’s how I started doing animal rescues with do bert dot com. Very cool. So now how many rescues have you done so far? Uh, probably a couple dozen. Awesome. It was great. I didn’t really. After my little pseudo sabbatical thing, I did come back east to pick up with my company again, and that when I got back east in late fall is when I really started picking up on the transport. So the initial phase of do Bert was more photo centric, Um, and even Chris, right? We did that focus group, right? With geography. Um, so the beginning of my experience was more photo centric. Um, but I did was able to finally get engaged in some transports. When I came back east, I was on a very popular nine route 95 quarter. Okay, so, yeah, there’s definitely a lot of transports that go up that way. Yeah, a lot need. So now your passion is your professional job photography as well. Uh, not now. I’m in corporate America now, um, funny and, uh, more of a very, uh, concrete I’m in accounting type profession at the moment. But I did have a studio back in the nineties, Um, my own photo studio, and it was really engaged. I mean, you know, a lot of photographers kind of have to put their dues in with weddings, right? So I can if I never go to another wedding, that’s fine. But I did find it did find a really great niece that I had with portrait’s and stuff and engaging young Children and engaging shy Children when you know, there weren’t very, you know, peppy on getting their portrait. Take inner, engaging families when they’re like, you don’t want to sit in that, you know, stiff you know, regal position and plaster that smile in their priest. I had a really good report with that. And also with animals. So, um, I did you know, I found a good ni share, but ah, no, Currently, um, I’ve been in corporate America now for a couple, maybe 15 20 years now. So and I do the photography on the side. Okay, so photography has definitely been a passion. Now, how did you combine that with animal rescue? U S O. Actually, do what dot com helped me with that. All right. So, yeah, it was really exciting because I had until I became engaged with Joubert. I really didn’t know all that pet rescue and shelters and stuff was really out there, to be honest with you, right? So, um, that’s how I started integrating the photography. And I found that I was able to do a lot during transports. However, not as much as I really wanted you. Right, Because if I’m doing it, if I’m doing a drive transport, I’m kind of focusing on that animal when I had, you know, when drivers were held up in traffic or something or, you know, situations like that or I would arrive early. And it’s not. I would be able to grab, like, amazing photos with the animals. Right? But sometimes, you know, you’re on the transport and you’re handing off, and, you know, the next person is like, you know, Hey, we’re 10 minutes behind. We kind of got to go soon it turned it morphed itself more into a little of, ah, happy snaps kind of thing. Work. Yeah, I could do something like, you know, production. Yeah. Yeah. You know what it’s like a quick like snap snap or hand your iPhone or cell phone off to the next transports. Hagen, you snap a couple pics. And, you know, while I have that background and photography and a lot of editing experience, I could, you know, soup those pictures up quite a bit. But it’s not the same is, you know, being just focused right on the photography. And I know you and I, And it’s been a passion of yours for countless years to try toe, get a photographer to just dedicate themselves at the hand off to photograph the handoff because the drivers were looking at the animals, you know, heart. Yeah, they’re trying to coordinate and take care of the animals and make sure everything gets done and the paperwork is handed off. And yeah, I’ve always thought it would be a great idea if we could have designated photographers at the handoff points to really capture and then share, you know, with all of the people on the transport and the sending receiving organizations as well. Right? I think that is a killer idea. And I really want Thio. Try Thio tryto, you know, light a match somewhere and and rekindle that or even kindle it, for that matter. But, um so yeah is definitely something I love to get more involved in. What I find is the little tiny hitch to that. Um, from my perspective is that often times I’m associated completely as a driver, right? So if I’m available, they they want me to drive, and I s Oh, it’s like, you know, it’s hard to be like I mean, I could The latest thought I had Chris, is that Hey, maybe I wait until the whole drive and the whole relay is filled. And then come on the back and say, Hey, Okay, now that you have all the legs field. You know, I can come photograph a couple of these stops and, you know, type of thing. So I was thinking that might be a possible approach. Yeah. No, I think it’s it’s interesting. I mean, and I’m glad you brought it up because I really still believe that there’s so many photographers of varying skills across the country that you know would love to dedicate their talents to helping animals and having these photographs of these animals and the volunteers and all That is really just great because it helps us to do a better job of marketing the animals to get him adopted. People love to know about the journey. Isn’t that the truth? Agreed? Wholeheartedly. Wholeheartedly. So now we just gotta figure out where can we recruit these people from? And how do we How do we get them engaged? Um, and, uh, and wanting to help out, right? Yeah. That’s always the challenge, isn’t it? That is the challenge, Chris. That is definitely the challenge. You know, I had okay. Oh, I was just going to say tell us more about l k shooters, cause I know this is something that you started. And it’s one of things I think is really cool about it is that you welcome everybody of all skill levels. Right, Right. So that’s one of my passions is to not be an exclusive this or an exclusive, that I trying Thio involved everybody in on every level. And I’ve always been this way, Chris. So even, you know, on the job in this way, too. So, you know, I I dedicate countless hours and even dollars, you know, to just certain things, too. Make sure that somebody who who can’t afford I’ll just give a job example. You know, I used to be like an engagement champion on the job and kind of coordinate, you know, off off campus after hours. Little events like laser tag and bowling is a popular one. But laser ty was fun. So what I would try to do Chris would be to make sure that the person who can’t have really afford because not everybody can afford $14 for a laser type game, right? Try to make it available so that everybody would be inclusive, included and able to participate, no matter what their income level, you know, or any other kind of criteria. So I bring that element to the okay shooters as well, right? I don’t I don’t think that you have to have this fancy DSLR camera that, you know, this outfit that costs $3500 just to, you know, get the package kit. You know, if you have a smartphone you could be part of Okay, shooters, right. We have mobile mobile device challenges, um, again trying to engage everyone. And, you know, there’s challenges with that too, right? Because I think, well, I mean, what I’ve run into it, Dad, is I’ll have the mobile challenges, right? And then some people that have the DSLR cameras, they’re like, Well, I don’t really get that mobile thing. Yeah, you know, like, Well, you may not, But the mobile people who play, you know, participate in that are so excited that that exists, You know what I mean. So it’s It’s a little tricky for my own mentality, trying to get everybody included yet kind of still here. The feedback of leg, you know, that’s not for me. And, you know, try thio. Still be of the mind set. Well, I know it’s not for you. But you know what it is for, You know, you know Joe Schmo or Sallie Mae over here, you know, so trying, Thio. You know, some people are Some people get uncomfortable outside of their own little world. So I always try to bring is much of an element of all different viewpoints and aspects as I can and actually of hoping in the back of my mind, I’m actually hoping, you know the DSLR person who doesn’t get the mobile thing. We’ll get the mobile thing because I feel like, you know, this is out there, you know you can You can do this too. Yeah. No, I mean changes. Change is hard for people in trying new things. And so that’s one of things I think is really cool about What you’re doing is you’re you’re welcoming people with all different levels of experience myself. I have zero experience with photography’s. I want ones with my iPhone on, looking for looking for advice and looking for insights and looking to learn. And then to your point, you’ve got other people that have a lot more skills and a lot more advanced equipment. So you’re right. It’s It’s definitely a challenge to keep people engage in to provide different ways because not everybody’s interested in trying different things. Sometimes they’re like, Hey, look, this is what I do and I’m I’m good at what I do and I don’t want to change exactly exactly. Yeah, I had, You know, you reminded me of, ah comment I had received from one of the club members because at one point I was doing mobile device challenges every week because that wasn’t easy saying to kind of do and put together when I did the DSLR workshops for the more advanced you know, photographers, those took time to, you know, they take time to prepare and gather and get documentation and stuff. And but the mobile challenges is kind of like a you know, here’s topic Go shoot, you know, according to that topic. So I said all that to say I had a comment that said, There’s too many of those right? So I was thinking of that. I’m like, Well, too many of those are you know, I take every comment to heart, trying to make sure of what you know what’s going on and take a look at it. So I you know, I was able to realize that what I’m trying to do by having too many is my goal was that I want somebody to be able to wake up on a Saturday and have something to do. Have a goal. Having this over that It doesn’t mean that everybody that plays with their iPhone has to do every single mobile challenge, right? So even though there’s one every single we you can skip a couple weeks, you know what you mean. So once, I think once I explained it to that person, they were so much more it easy, Really? Oh, yeah. You know, I didn’t think of that. I thought like it was a mobile challenge. I participate mobile challenges. Therefore, I must participate in everyone. Lift, right. You’re mandated. You must do this. You you’re you must participate. So I think you know. But that’s the kind of thing you know. I just really because I know myself. I happen. I’m a snot sound introverted, right? But I am very, very introverted person. I’m a social introvert, and those who are social introverts definitely understand that, um, concept, but being very introverted, right. So I would, you know, kind of wake up and like, Well, what do I do today? Because it’s not like I have, like, this huge diary of, like, this circle of 50 friends that I could just like dia ll for, you know, something to do. So that was the kind of thing I wanted. I know there’s other people that are out there that wake up on a Saturday or a Sunday or Wednesday, and, like, I really don’t have something to do today. What can I do? And I want it. Lk shooters toe have something going on that they could D’oh. Sure Know what I mean? So, um, that’s kind of the reason why I had so many have so many, um uh, mobile things. Disease. Yeah. Yeah. Now I know l k shooters is really kind of grown, and it’s more from what you started with. Uh, yeah. So, um, it’s it continually, it continually morphs. Chris, what we started was who sees me on meetup dot com, right? And then we morphed into having a Facebook group, and the Facebook group was a lot more interactive, um, and easier for people to kind of correspond with I think it was. It was It’s a Facebook is a good platform. Yes, you have your people who are deathly afraid of Facebook and won’t even, you know, look at it or want to even hear the word Facebook. But, um, there’s a lot of activity on Facebook, and I found that platform to be a little more engaging than the meetup dot com. Um, as well as there’s no fees associated with Facebook. And there are fees with meetup dot com. And what I did now was everything is going over to Facebook. The mood of dot com group is not going to exist from the end of July 2018. Um, which is okay, right? So we’re going to We wanted to do some kind of community outreach, and I know there will be more community outreach is, but I wanted to start with the Animal rescue because it’s it’s just so near and dear to my heart. And so we started some workshops with, um, some photography members, Thio try to see how are we going to engage and reach out to the community and try to get this photography piece of either you know, photographing for shelters, for fund raisers and also this, you know, transport handoff piece. How do we do that? And I think what we’re going to find we have, We’re still working. We’re in the beginning stages, but I think what we’re going to find by using Facebook platform it’s going to have a huge reach, which was my dream is to get the reach out there. The meetup dot com all those. It’s fabulous. It’s more localized, right? If you’re not familiar with that meetup dot com is, it’s kind of more focused on your geographical area. Where is obviously, you know, Facebook and other social media can reach nationwide and worldwide. Right is my fact. One of our photography very active photography club members is from the UK He’s in the United Kingdom. Yeah, so it’s really exciting, right? Um, so that’s what we’re trying to Jews. There may be other, you know, community outreach, things that we do. But we’re trying to, um, get the photography component linked with do bert dot com, right? And even our bond. Now I’m trying to study to get my are per certifications. I know that there’s interest in getting some photography, um, certifications set up with AARP right now. I’m working on the driver certification. Um, so I wanted to you know that in a cz. Well, and try to get some of the photography club members should do that. Um, Chris, I wantedto ask you, right So I can be Kylie engaging. I’ve been told I’m inspiring. I haven’t enthusiasm when I get an idea, and I, you know, want to run with it. I kind of, you know, get it out there. I’ve got energy. I think any listener can probably hear some of the energy. Yeah, for sure. All right, so I get that energy bit. And Chris, I know you. You’ve been on you’ve had Joubert. You know, you found it out with your wife. Like, what was that? 2013 is and then asked in 2014 years, and then it launched in 2014. Right? So you’ve been genius for, like, four years, right? And you are a little more right. And Sue, what can you get? Reason pointers on How have you remained engaged during that time when you’re trying to engage people, but they’re not getting the You’re not like they say they’re engaged and they think they’re engaged, but they’re not fully engaging. I I know people have busy lives, right? So that’s a factor. But how do you keep your How do you keep your spirits up? Sometimes I get discouraged. To be honest. No one it is. It is difficult at times because, you know, you have a vision that you want to realize, right? And you’re trying to get people to follow that. And And to be honest, the way I do keep myself motivated is a couple of things. First of alls. I remember what my goal is in my purpose and particularly with do Bert. It’s it’s about the animals, right? And so any time I start to feel like I’m just done with this, I can’t do this. I come back to know because I got into this to help animals, and if I give up, then that doesn’t serve my goal. And so then I try and okay, let’s go at this in a different way. And really, what I find is really trying to put yourself in the mind of those other people. It’s OK. What is it? Why are they not engaged. There’s always a reason, Um, and it’s often times what I have to do is have conversations, and I find they get the best feedback from people when I can ask them or or do a screen share with them. And they are walking me through and kind of narrating me through what they’re thinking or anything that they’re saying. Well, when I get in here and now, I don’t know what to do And this doesn’t make sense in this because it’s very difficult for you as the person that’s trying to lead them, to unlearn what you know and to go back to the beginning. And when you when you start to talk to these people and you say, Well, why why didn’t you want to do that? Did it not appeal to you? Was it not fun? You know, Was it not the right thing? People like things to be constantly changing because it’s fun, but they also need some consistency, and it’s ah, it’s a hard balance to strike and I think my recommendation would be is to really just keep talking to people and and ask very open under questions and you know, Why would you say that? And how does that make you feel And what are you thinking and what recommendations you have? Let them narrate back to you ideas for what would engage them. And then you’ve got a kind of cultivate multiple people’s opinions and and see if you can turn it into something. Mmm mmm mmm mmm, mmm mmm. Just a great chip. You know, it’s it’s fun. I would say it’s one of the fun things about what I do is I enjoy working with and interacting with. People enjoy learning from them, um, getting getting feedback. It’s hard sometimes because people can be cruel and mean, and you’ve got to be able to dust yourself off and say, you know, it’s not. It’s not a personal attack. It’s, you know, there’s there’s something else there and see if you can see if you can unpack that and learn from them. Having a having a very humble approach is often helpful to get people to open up about what they’re really thinking. So I’m really glad that you brought that up because I’m going to use that example moving forward with a lot of items and and that’s really important. You know, I can’t have this chip on my shoulder. I need to fee on the humble and just really listen to the other person, you know? I mean, I don’t always need to be hurt right now. No, it’s It’s very difficult. Everybody’s got egos and nobody’s got objectives that they want to accomplish. And you find that when you take that humble approach and you really listen, you often will hear a perspective that you wouldn’t have otherwise heard. And, you know, some people react to it well and others not so much. But, you know, my approach is kind of de escalate. Take the drum out, take the emotion out and just say, Help me, Help me out. I’ve never Whenever I’ve asked somebody for advice or ask them for their help, I don’t think anybody’s ever said, uh, no. Go away. When you take that approach and you say, Can you can you help me? What would you recommend? What you know, What can I do? What are my options? Very things that air asking for their opinion at a very nine confrontational way. I think you’ll find that people be more engaging with you. Good point. Very well. Said So, Jolene, what’s next for LK shooters? Where you headed? Well, as mentioned, um, we want to continue reaching out thio local shelters. The other thing I’m trying to do and incorporate is a fundraiser, right? It’s, um, something that we just started. We’ve had two so far. Um, what it is is a 50 50 photo treasure hunt and what this is is it’s a timed event that would less Right Now it’s lasting 48 hours like a weekend event, right? And I post up a list of treasures, right for people to go photograph and they’ll go out and photograph. And each treasure itself is worth, you know, x amount of points. And then there’s bonus points involved in stuff like that. So the high, the one with the highest points at the end of the time, is going to be the winner, and it’s a 50 50. So the winner’s gonna get 50 percent of the contributions and donations, and another, the other 50% is going to go to a pet rescue. Um, to date, I think we have raised $60 that actually has benefited Do Bert dot com. We have donated on three separate occasions to Joubert, Um, from this 50 50 contest type challenge, so to speak. Um, so it’s been a success. It’s only have only had to. But, you know, the two have been good because I’ve learned something on each one. And so, you know, toe workout, certain kinks and stuff like that. Because 11 member that one was was the, uh, person I mentioned from the United Kingdom. So they’re paying, you know, they’re sending the donation. But then when I send the 50 50 back, I’m I’m paying a service fee to convert to head into, you know, sterling or pounds. Right? So, you know, little things like that. So we wanna work those little things out. Um, but this is ah thing. I think that would very I think just can take, you know, take the nation by storm. This type of event, it’s fun for the photographer. It’s engaging. It’s going to raise the animal rescue awareness to those that join. Um, and obviously the best part is we get the money to the rescues and the shelters and you know, the people involved in this in this passionate world of, you know, animal Rescue. So I’m very excited about that again. It’s the beginning stages, so there’ll be more to report on that. But that’s where we’re heading to try to really focus on that piece. Well, Julian, this is great. And I really appreciate you coming on the program today to share with us. Is there anything else you wanted to mention before wrap things up? You know, I did want to mention one other item. Chris. Um, I’m also a pink her I painted acrylics, and that is another area that I was also trying to develop for. Ah, fundraising is to paint photographs of animals for fundraising. So I do have a website. It’s blue jay imagery dot com. It’s just blue with the letter J, followed by imagery dot com, and that can give anybody that might be interested in some of that information. Uh, something from it. You know, more details on that on that type of piece that I’m trying to work as well again in its infancy. But I’m looking to grow that pieces. Well, great. Well, thank you, Julianne. I appreciate you coming on the program today. it was nice to talk to you. Ah, thank you so much. Krista is really a blessing to be asked. I really appreciate it. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. If you’re not already a member, joined the Air P A. To take advantage of all the resources we have to offer. And don’t forget to sign up with do bert dot com. It’s free and helps automate the most difficult tasks in animal rescue.

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