Through the Lens of Pet Adoption


Local Photographer Captures the Personalities of Animals Seeking their ‘Furever’ Home

Story by Erika Heeren

Photos by Len Eckman

Lenn Eckman is a local photographer who is using his craft, along with a team from Studio Boise, to share the faces of some of the adoptable pets at the Idaho Humane Society.

Born in Boise, Eckman lived outside of the state for most of his young life as a military dependent. Eckman recently moved back to Boise to pursue his career in photography. Currently an intern at Studio Boise, Eckman’s goal is to focus on sharing the stories of wildlife rehabilitation and conservation.

“I want my photos to make an impact,” Eckman explained.

For now, Eckman is using his talent to increase awareness about adoptable pets at the Idaho Humane Society. Eckman is a part of a team that goes into the shelter to do regular photoshoots of adoptable animals.

With volunteer coordinator Courtney Thompson, photography assistant Evaline Amador, and dog handlers Roasalie Skefich and Heidi Hayes – Eckman can capture the personality of each dog. But, it isn’t always easy in a shelter environment.

“When you’re photographing dogs in the shelter, they’re scared. Everything is different, and there’s lots of barking – you have to interact with them to get them comfortable. When we do these shoots, it’s all about making them happy. We use toys and treats, and get them comfortable in their environment so that we can get a better feel for their personality. Then, we’re able to get the best out of them in the pictures,” said Eckman.

Even in a stressful environment, Eckman has plenty of experience working with animals from which he can draw. His own fur family includes a white Shepherd mix named Bear, two cats, two rabbits, and a snake. He is also currently pursuing his falconry license after his experience working with his mother and the Peregrine Fund and the Department of Nevada studying these fascinating birds.

When working with the Idaho Humane Society, Eckman feels the greatest reward is when one of these dogs or cats finds a forever home.

“It’s amazing – people have reached out saying they’ve adopted a dog because of one of these photos. It’s all about showing that personality.”

You can find Eckman’s animal portraits on the Idaho Humane Society Facebook page. You can also find a more extensive selection of Eckman’s work on his Facebook page using the handle Lenn Eckman Photography.

The Idaho Humane Society has opened a new facility on Overland and Maple Grove that houses the organization’s adoption, education, and veterinary media centers. The new location is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the Idaho Humane Society, you can adopt a pet, volunteer, and donate to the cause of pet welfare. The organization also provides general veterinary care for pets in owners who meet specific income qualifications to help them keep their pets healthy.

Learn more about the Idaho Humane Society and current adoptable animals by visiting their website at