Photographer Alex Cearns
was an animal lover almost from the moment she was born. She grew up in the outback of Australia where her father was a sheep shearer.
"As an only child, my constant companions were my dogs, guinea pigs, horses, rabbits and bottle-fed lambs. I filled every spare moment in the company of animals, becoming smitten with Australian wildlife as I explored nearby creeks and bushland."
The love she received from these animals has stayed with her. She believes that animals are loyal and full of joy. They have a lot to teach us about how to live our lives. In return, she believes that we have a responsibility to care for animals in need.
"I feel obliged to use my photography to create awareness about rescue dogs, and to hopefully prompt people into taking action, like making a donation, volunteering at a shelter, or fostering or adopting a rescue pooch."
To remind people of the carefree nature of pups, Alex took a series of photos she calls "Zen Dogs."
Here are some of our favorites from the series:
1. "My dear friend, life is too short for you to worry about the past."
2. "We've all got different spots. Love what makes you unique."
3. "If only you knew how much I loved you."
4. "It's okay if you need to cry."
5. "But it's better to dance the pain away."
6. "It's time to experience the joy of the wind blowing through your ears."
7. "Love out loud and love as much as possible."
8. "Listen more than you speak. Be someone's safe space."
9. "Greet every moment with joyful curiosity."
10. "Remember that life is simply beautiful."
Alex's favorite photo is not from the Zen Dog series at all. It's a photo she took at the Taj Mahal.
"They weren’t interested in me at all, preferring to race around chasing each other, playfully tumbling all over the place without a care in the world."
Although this picture is from a different shoot, these pups convey the same message: Be yourself. Follow your heart. Don't let anyone get in the way of your joy.
Learn more about Alex's work at her website and follow her on Facebook for more of her beautiful photos.