Photography to Spread the Message: "Every Animal Matters"

With all that's happening in the world right now, animal welfare isn't often a top news item. That's exactly why the International Fund for Animal Welfare is so important.

Working in more than 40 countries all around the world, the IFAW rescues, rehabilitates, and releases animals, working with teams of experts and everyday people to restore and protect natural habitats. As Stacie Paxton Cobos, the non-profit's VP of Brand Marketing and Communications puts it, their goal is "helping animals and people thrive together."

Raising awareness about their work, and the serious need to support animals at risk, is a crucial part of the IFAW's efforts. That's why you can now find a collection of photos of their team at work for free download in the Pexels library.

From dolphins being released back into the water to a veterinarian treating a sick koala, these authentic images show what it's like to work with the animals who need our help, in a range of locations across the globe. They can all be downloaded and used for any project.

We talked to Stacie Paxton Cobos of IFAW to learn more about the work they do, why photography is an important part of it, and how photographers can get involved.

We're also teaming up with IFAW for a photo challenge, on now until March 31, 2021! Learn more here.

Pexels: Could you share the story behind the photos on your Pexels profile?

Stacie: The photos on our Pexels profile show our work in action. You’ll see koalas, wombat joeys, and wallabies rescued from the devastating Australian bushfires. You’ll find dolphins rescued and released back into the wild. And images from IFAW’s all-female ranger team in Africa protecting their heritage wildlife from poaching.

We believe that every animal matters, and you’ll see that reflected in our work.

In your opinion, how can sharing stock photos like these help raise awareness for animal welfare?

IFAW believes that every animal, as a part of a larger species and as an individual, has intrinsic value.

Sharing the visual story of just one animal connects it to the narrative of our larger goal: to rescue, rehabilitate, and release animals into secure habitats — all over the world. If viewing these images compels just one person to learn more about IFAW and join us in our mission to create a world for animals and people to thrive, that’s success.

Photo by International Fund for Animal Welfare · View Photo

How can photographers also help raise awareness around this important issue?

Everyone has a platform, and I’m thankful for anyone who uses their platform for good. Photographers harness a power to communicate emotions rather than facts, and oftentimes it’s those emotions that move people to act.

At IFAW, we depend on support to effect change — whether it’s through donations, signing online pledges, spreading awareness, or volunteering — without support, our work wouldn’t be possible.

If there are photographers who are keen to raise more awareness about issues impacting animals, people, and the place we call home, they can get in touch with my team at [email protected].

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about IFAW?

IFAW’s work doesn’t stop because it can’t. During economic crises, natural disasters, political and social unrest, and the current global pandemic — animals depend on human protection. Our work is often the difference between life and death.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, IFAW has not only continued our work but increased efforts in many areas. For example, rangers across continents saw increased poaching incidences due to the drop in tourism, so IFAW added support so they could continue the lifesaving work that keeps elephants and other animals safe.

Covid-19 has offered a unique opportunity to highlight the connection between illegal wildlife trade and human wellness — a core tenet of IFAW’s ideology.

Because we take a holistic approach to every issue, we work on every aspect of wildlife trade. We work within the public and private sector to raise awareness, we work with global leadership to create and pass legislation, we support wildlife law enforcement officials and judiciary institutions, we execute behavior change campaigns to reduce demand, and we activate the power of the collective.

Learn more about how you can help the IFAW's efforts to protect animals all over the world at their website.

Photo by International Fund for Animal Welfare · View Photo

Say Thanks To International Fund for Animal Welfare

Written by Jill Evans · Mar 01

Editor of Pexels Stories and 35mm photographer

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