How do you perfectly capture the love and devotion of an animal on camera? Is it a matter of catching them at just the right moment, treats, or sheer symbiosis - the connection between subject to artist, even for just a millisecond? In honor of National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month, we’ve curated a selection of very special canines, documented beautifully by seven photographers from around the globe. Mesmerizing and poignant, these images are wonderful visual essays into the lives of animals ranging from working dogs, to those who are often misunderstood. Comedian W.C. Fields famously once said, ‘Never work with children or animals.’ He probably never met dogs quite like these.
The Kennel Club's 2017 Dog Photographer of the Year competition received almost 10,000 entries from 74 different countries. First place in the Assistance Dog Category went to Alasdair Macleod. Pictured is Megan, a rescued Greyhound, during her weekly visit to South Beach care home in Saltcoats, Scotland. She sits with resident Duncan Currie, 95, a pilot for the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron, known as the Dam Busters.
In second place within the same category was John Ferrett, who captured this meditative moment of Reno, a Labrador Doberman cross, whose owner is a double amputee and registered blind.
Harry Page has worked as a Fleet Street staff photographer on two national titles for over 30 years. In 2015, he switched from ‘people to pooches,’ according to the Telegraph UK. This photo is entitled “Snuggling with Mum.”
Elliot Erwitt became a professional photographer — commercial and photojournalism — in 1950, and is still working today at 89. In 1998, he created an epic 500 picture canine homage, aptly entitled “Dogs Dogs.” "This is not a book of dog pictures but of dogs in pictures," said Erwin of his black and white narrative chronicling the lives of our always amusing canine companions.
In 2014, Andrew Fladeboe was awarded a Fulbright Grant to photograph and study working dogs in New Zealand. In an interview with National Geographic, when asked about the importance of the working dog, Fladeboe said “working dogs are still in widespread use today, and in fact the number of jobs they can perform grows every year. To me, they represent God’s greatest gift to humanity, a species sagacious and noble, willing to do whatever we ask of them and only asking for some food and a pat on the head in return.”
Balls - sometimes they’re more a dog’s best friend than us humans. Award-winning California based photographer Seth Casteel magically captured over 80 portraits for his book, Underwater Dogs, at the exact moment his subjects break through the water to capture their newest chew toy. By the way, this is Rocco, a Boston Terrier.
French born/New York based photographer and animal advocate Sophie Gamand was sick of the bad rap given to Pit Bulls. In 2014, she created a series of photos entitled Flower Power, designed to challenge the way these creatures are perceived. To date, she has shot over 500 images - all shelter dogs. Many of these photos will be on display on October 28th in Brooklyn, New York, in conjunction with Pit Bull Awareness Day at The Glass House.