These photos really made a splash.
Cobble Hill photographer Sophie Gamand does not own a dog, but she has built a career out of shooting adorable pictures of man’s best friend. In fact, her big break came via a series depicting wet canines, which she said prove that not all pictures of dogs are pet photos.
“In the world of photography, dog portraits are normally considered inferior,” she said. “If you’re going to photograph dogs, you have to make it meaningful.”
Gamand, who is now working on a book of her “Wet Dog” portraits, will be giving a talk at Photoville in Brooklyn Bridge Park on Sept. 27 about how her series of dripping-wet pooches helped catapult her career.
Gamand first became interested in photographing the four-legged fur-balls after moving to Brooklyn from France four years ago. Roaming around the streets with her camera, she found it easier to shoot people’s pets than people themselves. And it made their human companions open up to her.
“It was an easy way to talk to people,” she said.
Gamand then started working on a project at a dog groomer in the Bronx, where the idea was to capture the animals before and after their makeover. In the midst of that shoot, the still-sopping dogs caught her eye.
“The wet fur made the dogs into sculptures,” she said. “Then I saw their faces and it really got me.”
A series of those wet dog photos started going viral online in 2013, and she subsequently won the Sony World Photography Award for portraiture in May of this year. The attention garnered her a deal for a book, which she hopes to release next fall.
Garmand thinks the wet dog photos resonate with anyone who has ever owned a dog, because they have seen these sad faces while giving their own pets baths.
“It’s like a guilty pleasure,” she said. “They look so cute and so pathetic, but it has to be done.”
“Photoville Artist Talk: Sophie Gamand: Wet Dog Portraits” in the storefront of One Brooklyn Bridge Park [Joralemon and Furman streets in Brooklyn Heights, (718) 215–9075, www.photo
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