Vincent Flouret, A Parisian fashion photographer, went to Los Angeles for a bit of warm air and wonder. What he found were the engaging faces of many dogs looking to be adopted and decided to spend time helping them with a better chance of finding homes through his photography.
There are so many reasons - first, I'm very concerned about animal conditions. Also, it's been four years now that I have a wonderful dog, Max, who I'm taking pictures of quite everyday. Before Max I had a Labrador named Cocotte for 16 years and she was quite amazing. It's a long life story between animals and me.
Also, there are many similarities between doing fashion and animal portraiture, beginning with being patient! More seriously, if you look at a dog's fur as if it was clothes, you come to the same considerations when you take pictures...The colors, textures, shapes, details... it's basically the same... I was surprised to see that not so many fashion photographers explore this type of photography at least once in a while.
How did you establish a relationship with this shelter?
It's been quiet some time that I wanted to use my work to benefit dogs waiting to be adopted. I saw how the animal portraits of others photographers have helped, such as the wonderful work of Richard Phibbs for The Human Society of New York, but I never found the time in Paris to do it. Being on sabbatical in Los Angeles for two months was perfect timing to try. I sent an email to Brenda Barnette, General Manager at LA Animal Services. She was delighted by my proposal and put me in contact with Jastine Tabangin in charge of their public relations, who helped me to set up the project and get in contact with the wonderful people working at the shelters.
What made you go inside?
How many dogs can you shoot in a day?
It depends on how they react on set, but generally around 15, sometimes less. Because it's hard not to feel anything when you meet them, and I sometimes need a break between sittings to make sure I'll have as much positive energy as possible for the next one. Some of the stories I've heard are so heartbreaking... it can be a challenge to jump from a dog to another without getting too emotional.
Where is your dog while you are doing this?
In Paris, I suppose taking advantage of my being away to steal my spot on the bed...
Do you think you might do a book of these images?
If it can help to raise funds and/or help people to better consider these little ones, well yes, with the help of whoever may feel concerned about this cause, I'll do a book. And an exhibit too!
For inquiries on any of the dogs pictured here contact the LA Animal Services