Many volunteers walk through our doors over the years but every now and then comes along a volunteer like Delon Ho. In 2018, Delon decided to become a volunteer with our photography team with the hope of contributing further to the quality of our photos given his background as a freelance photographer. Since he primarily takes on commercial projects, the opportunity to photograph the dogs at the shelter presents a pleasant change of pace along with the ability to help out a good cause. He also took this as a chance to help overcome his fear of dogs that he developed after being chased by one when he was a kid.
Shortly after becoming part of the team, there was a vacancy for the role of Team Photography IC. Curious on how he could help, Delon’s initiative to ask and understand showed his potential as a leader. Impressed by this, Delon was offered the opportunity to step into the IC role for team photography. Our president had the following to say when asked about Delon:
“SOSD has many volunteers but few have shown the level of commitment and dedication which Delon has. He stepped up valiantly when SOSD needed someone to head the photography team. He knew that the job was not easy and would require much of this time, but his dedication towards the cause took the plunge. We are so fortunate to have this young gentleman as a fellow volunteer. He is a shining example of how we can strike a balance between volunteerism and career.”
Delon manages the scheduling of team members for when they would be required to go to the shelter and adoption drive events to capture content, ensuring to plan these schedules as in advance as possible so team members are able to check their availability. Following which, Delon is in charge of compiling and uploading these images for use. When asked to shed further light on the work that our Team photography does, Delon shared that Team Photography operates slightly differently from our other teams in the sense of working primarily on an independent divide and conquer basis. He also shared with us the role that the team plays in the organisation:
“I believe that photography is a powerful medium that can share messages and connect with people.”
The best part of being part of team photography for Delon is the excitement of never truly knowing the kind of photos that you’ll end up with after the shoot. Especially when it comes to photographing the dogs, each time you photograph the same dog you’ll always get an unexpected result.
Delon finds motivation in simply seeing the way that volunteers communicate, collaborate and interact with each other, such as during the time of our move from the shelter in Pasir Ris to The Animal Lodge in Sungei Tengah. This was a rare occasion where volunteers across various teams don’t normally cross paths and got the chance to work together and Delon was able to capture some of these moments through his lens.
Delon’s advice to new volunteers is to understand the importance of communication in a volunteer-run organisation such as SOSD. Do not be afraid to share your ideas, keep each other updated and ask questions when in doubt. He also reminds volunteers not to feel ‘paiseh’ if they are not able to commit to something, it’s always important to voice that out and to remember that there will always come another time your help will be needed.
Delon is less afraid of dogs now, apart from the occasional ‘jump-scare’, or the sudden brush on his leg. In fact, he is actually more afraid of the smaller dogs/puppies as he fears that he may accidentally step on them. His journey with SOSD has allowed him to understand why different dogs behave differently, how we should learn to understand them and not judge them.