You might remember Sophie Gamand from her Wet Dog project. As the name suggests, the series of snaps captured an assortment of pooches just after they’d finished frolicking in the bathtub. The images hit home with a striking appeal thanks to a combination of the pups’ facial expressions and their wild styled hair. (We first spoke to Sophie about the origins of the project back in 2014.)
Since Wet Dog was scooped up and turned into a book, Sophie’s been concentrating on her Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution series. By posing dogs in need of adoption with crowns of intricately crafted flowers, Gamand says the aim of the series is to “change our perception of Pit Bulls [so] we can change their fate.”
Taking time out from her various canine-centric photography endeavors, I caught up with Sophie and talked about the book version of Wet Dog, the image problems associated with Pit Bulls, and those playful pooches who couldn’t resist taking a taste of their flower crowns.
Dogster: What do you think attracts people to the Wet Dog series of photos?
Sophie Gamand: I think they show the wide range of emotions dogs are able to display. They are truly unique and great partners of humanity. The series is funny, but it’s also poignant.
What’s the strangest or funniest reaction to water that you’ve seen with a dog?
It’s fun when some of them just take a drink from the shower head! It’s like they are having a bath and trying the make the best of the situation.
Who’s the dog on the cover of the book? And why did you chose him?
I photographed many dogs at the groomer’s, so the cover boy is just a client from one of the groomers. My publisher and I chose him because his expression is truly priceless.
Now to the bit where you plug the book. If someone has seen some Wet Dog pictures online, why should they also check out the book?
There are more than 120 pictures in the book, and maybe only about 20 were released online — so most of the book has never been seen before!
I noticed the above photo on your Instagram account. What makes Wet Dog a good book to read on the toilet?
Ha ha, I love my followers’ sense of humor!
Beyond Wet Dog, you’ve also been busy with the Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution project. How did that come about?
I wanted to photograph Pit Bulls in a way that had not been done before to try and dispel the prejudice associated with them. America euthanizes about one million of Pit Bull-type dogs every year — it is a major crisis. We need to be able to talk about it and find solutions.
I believed Pit Bulls were always more or less portrayed the same way, with studs and leather and chains, so I decided to portray them the most feminine way I could think of. My idea is that art is a tool powerful enough that it can change the way we view things. If we change our perception of Pit Bulls, we can change their fate.
Who are the dogs involved in the Flower Power project?
All these dogs I photograph with flower crowns are available for adoption in shelters. They are all great dogs who deserve better than being destroyed and thrown away like garbage. I believe in the respect for all living creatures and the celebration of beauty and soulfulness.
Where do you source the flower crowns from?
I make the crowns myself.
Have any of the dogs attempted to eat the flowers?
It happens! It’s mostly because they think the flowers are toys.
What sort of adoption success have you had with the dogs in the project?
Some long-timers have been adopted thanks to the photos. Some of them had been waiting two years in a shelter, with no interest from adopters until they saw the pictures. [The photos] speak to adopters in a different way. They are also highly shareable on social media, which means the dogs reach a wider audience. It’s been a very successful project, all around.
What sort of dog-themed projects are you going to be working on next?
I am about to start working on my next book, which will probably be rescue-related. I always have lots of ideas and projects, so it’s difficult to choose which one should be next.
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