“Unfortunately, both careers have exposed me to some of the darkest sides of humanity,” the North Perth resident said.
“My sense of justice shifted from humans into concern for the most vulnerable creatures and continues to drive me to create change through my photography.”
The award-winning photographer was this month recognised for her outstanding contribution to animal welfare with an International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) Action Award for Terrestrial Wildlife Photography.
“IFAW is a wonderful organisation and I’m very touched to have been awarded this honour,” the Houndstooth Studio creative director said.
“Animals and photography are my two passions. I am continually inspired by the integral nature of animals in our lives.
“On any given day, I might be capturing the essence of adorable guide dog puppies, a beloved four-legged family member or rehabilitated rescue dogs that have abundant love and loyalty to give potential adoptive owners.”
Over the past few years, Ms Cearns has also photographed dogs available for adoption at the Shenton Park Dogs’ Refuge Home, images for its website and taken photos at its Santa Paws shoot.
IFAW native wildlife campaigner Josey Sharrad said the award recognised Ms Cearns’ “continuing mission” to raise awareness for rescue animals.
“Alex focuses her work on grassroots conservation; her photography greatly helps to raise awareness of rescue and welfare work both here in Australia and overseas.”