AN AWARD-WINNING photographer is on a mission to help unwanted dogs find new homes by taking professional portraits of them.

Brighton-born Nikki Goodeve is known as the “photography fairy” or Dr Dolittle by her friends.

She has been working closely with Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare in Ringmer to help animals who have been there some time find a forever home.

Mrs Goodeve said she wanted to help dogs because they are often overlooked.

She said: “I am a regular visitor of Raystede and it is an amazing place.

“My daughters, who are four and six, love the rescue centre too.

“I am passionate about helping animals and photography.

“I work with them voluntarily and it’s awful that some dogs, like huskies, need to wait a long time for a new owner.

“Some people buy huskies as puppies and then realise how big and energetic they become when they grow up.

“With photography I want to make a real difference to their lives. I wanted to capture the personality of each dog so that their images really speak to you and portrays the heart and soul of each subject.

“Some dogs have been at Raystede for months and with limited resources it’s understandable that the charity is only able to take basic snaps of each animal to post for rehoming.

“I have been able to promote the pictures on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

“The posts have been seen by thousands of people. I hope the next person to see them might just be the new owner so these dogs can live a happy life with someone who loves them.”

The photographs feature dogs including Kush, the five-year-old Siberian husky, Timber the six-year-old Siberian husky and Blue the four-year-old lurcher.

Last year Mrs Goodeve, 44, who lives in Haywards Heath, was voted best photographer at the Sussex Muddy Stiletto Awards.

She has loved animals since she was a child.

Her garden is regularly visited by animals including seagulls, hedgehogs and foxes.

She said: “I wanted to be a vet but I didn’t have the grades to study it. I’ve always loved photography so I chose this as my career and I set up my own business six years ago.”