“We are proud that our images help make a difference to the lives and welfare of rescued animals. The right image viewed by the right person can mean a dog is re-homed, a donation is made,or that media will run with a story that increases awareness or raises public concern for a cause that directly affects the welfare of the animal.”  Alex Cearns, Houndstooth Studio

We love to give back – it’s a large part of what we do and is something we feel very strongly about. We feel that all businesses, no matter how big or small, have the ability to help those in need and to make a difference by offering something of themselves.

Alex is  considered to be one of Australia’s most passionate champions of, and voices for, rescue animals and her driving motivators are to raise funds and awareness for the organisations she supports. She received countless accolades for her philanthropic work with animal rescue organisations across Australia and overseas including being named Australian of the Day by the team behind the Australian of The Year Awards, named as Terrestrial Photographer of The Year by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and named as a finalist in the Pride of Australia Medal (Environment Category) .

Through Houndstooth Studio, Alex provides pro-bono photography services, products, cash and sponsorships to the value of around $500,000 per annum (calculated by cost per image provided, time and production), to over 40 animal rescue and charity organisations. She travels extensively throughout the world and photographs rescue animals in a way which showcases their joy.

Recent and ongoing projects include;

‘Santa Paws In the Doghouse’ Dog’s Refuge Home of WA (DRH)

Aims of the photography project:

  • conduct an annual day of photography, capturing images of over 150 dogs with Santa
  • to provide supporters with a digital file of their dog with Santa
  • provide 100% of proceeds to DRH to assist with upkeep of resident dogs

RAISED In excess of $100,000 (over 6 years and combined with In the Doghouse funds obtained on same day)

Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), Ubud, Bali

Aims of the photography project:

  • to showcase BAWA’s rescued animals in ways they have never been seen before – with the same antics, needs and vulnerabilities as our pets at home
  • to provide BAWA with images for a new merchandise range
  • to host fundraising exhibition in Perth (June 2012) to raise funds and awareness
  • to host fundraising exhibition in Melbourne (October 2012) to raise funds and awareness
  • to fund BAWA animal ambulance for 3 month period

RAISED $20,000+

Free The Bears Fund and Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, Cambodia

Aims of the photography project:

  • to showcase Cambodia  beautiful rescued animals photographed over two visits
  • to provide Free the Beard Fund and the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre with new stock image set
  • to host a fundraising exhibition in Perth (June 2013)
  • generate print media for charity partners

RAISED $22,500+

 Free The Bears Fund and Wildlife SOS, Agra Bear Resuce Facility and Bannerghatta Bear Rescue Facility, India

Aims of the photography project:

  • to showcase rescue bears now living in two rescue sanctuaries in India
  • to lead like minded people on photography tour with travel partner World Expeditions to assist with enrichment and other tasks at bear sanctuaries
  • photograph 28 bears for adoption certificates

RAISED $10,000+ (portion of each tour attendee fee donated by World Expeditions)

Free The Bears Fund, Cambodia and Vietnam

Aims of the photography project:

  • to showcase rescue bears now living in two rescue sanctuaries in Cambodia and Vietnam
  • to lead like minded people on photography tour with travel partner World Expeditions to assist with enrichment and other tasks at bear sanctuaries
  • photograph bears to provide images to FTB for use
  • create a limited edition print as a fundraising item
  • generate print and television media for charity partner

RAISED $22,000+ (a portion of each tour attendee fee was donated by World Expeditions, the limited edition fundraising print raised $9070, and tour attendees sponsored bears and doneated funds)

Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania

Aims of the photography project:

  • to photograph rescue Bonorong animals in studio and natural light
  • to raise awareness of plight of Tasmanias native animals, including Tasmanian Devil as Tarkine Devil Project Ambassador
  • to raise awareness about the need for a 24 hour wildlife hospital in Tasmania
  • generate print and television media for charity partner

RAISED In excess of $6 million dollars in media coverage globally

Fauna Rescue SA and Koala and Wildlife Hospital Adelaide, South Australia

Aims of the photography project:

  • to photograph rescue koala joeys in a studio setting
  • to raise awareness of plight of koalas in South Australia
  • create a limited edition print as a fundraising item
  • generate print and television media for charity partners

RAISED $7000 for orphaned koalas

Double Take Dogs Fundraising Exhibition with Matt Mawson, Perth

Aims of the project:

  • to showcase 36 photographs of dogs and 36 sketches of said photographs
  • to host a one night only fundraising exhibition
  • to raise funds for the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA
  • generate print and television media for charity partners

RAISED $6000 for the Dogs’ Refuge Home of WA

See our Animal Charity Organisations page for a full list of our wonderful state, national and international animal charities, farm and wildlife sanctuaries and shelters. 

Please contact us at if you have an animal charity project we may be able to assist with. 


Our philanthropic partners give their feedback.

“Watching Alex in action with native wildlife revealed her exceptional ability to work with animals.  Most animals, especially native animals, can be extremely unpredictable to work with. It requires more than knowledge of animal behaviour, it also requires being able to emit the right “feeling” or energy to help the animal relax.  Alex’s ability to work calmly and amazingly quickly with our native animals made the incredible shots she obtained entirely possible. Her obvious passion for endangered wildlife shines through so truthfully in her photography, and the ease of working with such a bubbly and passionate soul made the photographic days spent with her an absolute breeze.  We at Bonorong were first attracted to Alex because of her generous support for other animal organisations in need. After seeing her work, we knew instinctively she could achieve so much at our sanctuary and that her personality would shine through in her photography. She is an amazing talent and a true artist.  The results of the project she recently worked on with us simply would not have been possible without the passion and pride she displays in her work.  We would welcome Alex back ANY time. No amount of money could buy the emotions she captured forever in her beautiful images of our precious wildlife. “

Greg Ions, owner and conservationist Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, Tasmania

“Alex is a true philanthropist – she does not simply make a donation to Bali Animal Welfare Association, she truly immerses herself in our work, she understands what we do, the challenges we face and she offers her support in a myriad of ways. When Alex travels to Bali to work with us, she stands alongside myself and our staff in the field rescuing puppies and kittens from trash dumps, taking part in informal animal welfare education sessions with local people and she sheds tears with us when one of our animals doesn’t make it. The way in which Alex truly understands our work and the world in which we operate speaks volumes, for her integrity both as a human being and as a business woman. Alex does not choose to adopt an animal charity in order to promote the social conscience of her business – she is the social conscience of her business. Her actions are living proof of this.

To all of us at BAWA Alex’s support is invaluable, she has taken remarkable photographic images of the animals of Bali which she then freely provides us to use as we wish for marketing and promotional purposes.  As a not for profit struggling to survive in a developing country we would never be able to obtain images of such quality, that tell the true story of the animals of Bali without Alex and Houndstooth Studio.”

Janice Girardi, founder Bali Animal Welfare Association, Bali 

Alex Cearns, and the Houndstooth Studio team have been an incredible partner donating their professional services to help us with our calendars, cards, bookmarks and other merchandises. We are incredibly humbled as we have never had to approach Alex. She offered to help us raise money through calendars and merchandise; with the photos donated by Houndstooth Studio. She was also the first business to pledge support of our first Quiz Night by donating  photography session vouchers and a huge print canvas. The items helped us raise hundreds of dollars, which went  towards saving neglected and abandoned animals in Perth and the surrounding areas. Saving Animals From Euthanasia Perth are incredibly grateful, and acknowledge that through Alex’s dedication to our foster animals, many more lives have been saved. Alex also often links pictures and posts to our Facebook page, an important tool in our networking to save more lives, creating more awareness of our fosters and animals needing care or homes.”

Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE) Perth committee 

The WA Dingo Association wanted to create a calendar  featuring our member’s Dingoes. We needed to find a professional animal photographer who could capture the true ‘essence’ of a Dingo, who could create a pictorial representation of what we see every day, the animals we strive to create an awareness of;  A beautiful creature, sentient, aware, gentle, loving and empathetic – A magnificent, athletic, native Australian wolf with inherent instincts that show in their character, a sometimes detached condescending aloofness, and an independence from need of human care, but a proud and regular humorous ‘larrikin’ when raised in a domestic environ with the right people. That was the brief.  BIG expectations of any photographer. But Alex and her team transformed those expectations into a reality. She nailed the brief. We had 11 dingoes photographed in one day, no mean feat considering it was coming into breeding season and many of the Dingoes were female, of age and affected by seasonal hormones. “Sisters” can be a tab grumpy when chasing the same boyfriend!   Alex and her team are true ‘animal people’. Aboriginal Dreamtime legends depict the Dingo as an all seeing, all aware being, that can see into the soul of a person and make judgement of their true character. Many feared rejection from Dingoes in the camp as it was mark against them. Dingoes know instinctively if you are a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person. Alex and her team all passed with flying colours. All the Dingoes loved them! The photo sessions were relaxed, the Dingoes were at ease and comfortable, allowing them to show their true nature and allow Alex to capture that as an image for all to see, Alex’s photographic style us unique in the market. The animal is the focus and there are no distractions. The images are exactly what you want of your best friend, and exactly ‘who and what’ they are, captured in a millisecond. If you want a ‘living memory’ and a true representation of your furred, feathered, fanged or finned friend, Alex and her team will deliver. Since our initial calendar in 2011, Alex has provided her services free of charge for each subsequent year, and we have used her images on greeting cards, merchandise and advertising items.

Leigh Mullan, President West Australian Dingo Association