As we in rabbit rescue are all too aware, this is the time of year that many photographers push cute Easter photos featuring young children posed with real rabbits. Often, the rabbits are not cared for properly, are terrified from being handled by children, and end up unwanted or neglected after the Easter rush is over. This also inspires children to beg for rabbits of their own and parents to give in to those demands. Unfortunately, for many small photography studios, Easter portraits can generate up to 50% of their yearly sales. Therefore, it will take considerable work to convince them that they won’t lose business if they stop using real rabbits in their photos.
However, an MMC supporter with LARabbits is leading the charge in asking them to do just that. Instead of targeting individual studios or photographers, she has gone directly to the source and contacted Professional Photographers of America (PPA), a professional organization for photographers. And she’s done it by appealing to their compassion and offering viable – and humane – alternatives to using real rabbits as props, such as brightly packaged chocolate bunnies, realistic-looking toy bunnies, brightly decorated Easter baskets, and flowers. She also suggests that they can attract media attention and additional business by supporting the “Make Mine Chocolate!” campaign.
PPA responded to her request by allowing her to post her letter on their members-only forum and on their newsblog. You can read her letter here. We hope that PPA members will consider her suggestions and contact us for information on how they can participate in compassionate photography.