EVEN in the tragedy of the 2011 floods in South-East Queensland, Craig Holmes found one thing still put a smile on people's faces: dogs.
The photographer believes our four-legged friends can't help but make people feel better.
So he decided he wanted to create a book of photographs, showing the joy that dogs could bring to their families.
At the same time, he was waiting to collect his own family's newest edition: abandoned kelpie puppy Tess, from a Brisbane RSPCA shelter.
"The shelter was flooded in and the strain on resources was enormous," Craig said.
He set about using his 40 years' experience as a professional photographer to raise funds for a cause he was passionate about.
"It was such a depressing time for Queensland and I wanted to create something that made people smile and was also supporting the RSPCA and the work that they do," he said.
The result is Dogs and Their Families - a coffee-table book featuring 180 pooches and the people who love them within its 226 pages.
Each family that participated in the project donated $45 to the RSPCA and had a photo shoot with their dog on Marcus Beach.
While Craig said some of the dogs were reluctant to stay still for the camera, he had loved working with them and seeing how they had "completed" some families. As a result, he could not choose a favourite photo subject.
"It was great to meet all these people and their dogs," he said.
"Each has its own personality and was fun to photograph."
So far, the book has raised $9000 for the RSPCA.
Craig hopes the project encourages people to think about adopting an animal from the organisation, as it could save a life.
"Already, three people on our street have gone and adopted a dog from the RSPCA," he said.
RSPCA Noosaville shelter manager Nicole Cleary was excited by the Dogs and Their Families project.
"It's great for us to have something so professional," she said.
"Donations are what allow us to feed and shelter the animals here so it is excellent support."
Nicole said the RSPCA Noosaville shelter had 28 dogs and about 62 cats looking for homes.
DOGS AND THEIR FAMILIES
- Costs $125, plus $15 postage, and all proceeds go to the RSPCA.
- Books can be pre-ordered at dogsandtheirfamilies.com.au.
- Only a limited number are available.
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