The new book by the wonderfully innovative canine photographer
By Leslie Phelan
Bath time: easily the funniest, most vulnerable experience one can share with a dog. Funny because of the wriggles, shakes and splashes that never fail to at least soak your sleeves, and vulnerable because it’s a personal moment between human caretaker and beloved pet; a moment where the dog must relinquish all control, be confined to a tub, get really wet, and trust that the human with the hands will be gentle on their sensitive spots and do their darndest to keep soap out of their bulgy eyes. It is this very moment of hilarity and sudsy tenderness that is the focus of Sophie Gamand’s latest book, Wet Dog.
Gamand, a New York-based photographer who has been snapping dogs for the last half-decade, says she does it for the glimpses of humanity she finds reflected in the expressions of the dogs, which she feels is a testimony to the bonds humans have built with their pets, both in individual instances and also over the centuries of canine domestication. She finds it most interesting that our connection with dogs was one of the first forms of artificial selection. We chose to selectively breed dogs so conscientiously to the point that they even began to take on undeniably human personality traits, separating them from the rest of the animal kingdom in the eyes of their adoring owners.
This series of photos, shot in the Bronx with the help of pro groomer, Ruben Santana, won first place last year in the Portraiture category of the Sony World Photography awards, and all 120 of the shots are featured in the book. Each frame is so quirky and cute, you’ll want to frame a few. Prints are available on Sophie Gamand’s web site, and you can even follow her on Instagram to get a regular dose of the dog’s life as seen through her lens!