mIZZYBELLE

mIZZYBELLE


 

BEHIND the SCENES

Sophie Gamand at Animal Haven

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  Sophie Gamand is an award-winning fine art photographer living and working in New York City.  Originally from France, Sophie was first known in canine circles for her highly acclaimed Wet Dog series, to be released as her first book in Fall 2015. 

For the past five years, Sophie has also devoted half her time to helping homeless animals through her work with rescue organizations and the creation of awareness initiatives - most successful of which is her moving Pit Bull Flower Power campaign, dedicated to helping bully breeds shed their rough-and-tumble image.  In working with rescue groups, Sophie helps to promote adoptable animals through pro bono shoots and portrait sessions in order to teach and share the the importance of good imagery in the rescue process.

DOG & CO. tagged along on a recent trip to the amazing Animal Haven adoption shelter in Soho, NYC to get the scoop on how Sophie works her magic.

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SATURN

SATURN

SATURN

SATURN

"The biggest challenge is to get them to sit and stay still. Getting out of their cage is the highlight of their day so they are excited (or really anxious). Then I point a camera in their face. Not easy! I look for eye contact, which can be a challenge because for a dog eye contact can be a threatening thing. But I believe adopters will look at the eyes first."

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"Photographing dogs has changed everything about my relationship with them. I grew up with dogs on a large property in France. I had never walked a dog on a leash. Working with rescues has taught me a lot about dogs’ needs and limitations. It forced me to become more assertive as a person, because a happy dog is a dog who feels like you are in charge so they don’t have to worry. I love working with shelter dogs because it requires team work, we have to trust each other."

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The PROFESSOR                                                                      

The PROFESSOR                                                                      

EDMUND

EDMUND

SOCRATES

SOCRATES

 

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"I bumped into photographing dogs by accident.  I snapped a photo of a dog at the vet clinic, and he seemed so out of place and worried.  I started exploring all of the things that we do to - and with - dogs in New York City."

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SPUNKY

SPUNKY

 

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 "I don’t photograph dogs like animals, I photograph them like individuals who have personality, desires, fears, in a word, a soul, just like us."

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WOBBLER

WOBBLER

"Right away I decided to get involved with rescue. It was a brand-new world to me as we don’t have that problem in Europe so much. Here, there are so many homeless animals and shelters! I had to get involved."

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ANIMAL HAVEN

ANIMAL HAVEN

#PitBullFlowerPower

"I wanted to do a project with pit bulls because they scared me. I tried to find an idea that would represent them the opposite way they’ve always been portrayed. Something feminine and elegant, fragile even. I wanted to surprise the average pit bull hater into thinking: I never thought of pit bulls that way. I love when people tell me I changed their mind or at least opened their hearts to these dogs. One of my favorite adoption stories is Brownie, who sat overlooked in at a Long Island shelter for almost 3 years until her Flower Power portrait came out and caught her adopter's eye. I am so lucky to be a part of this."

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"The moment I capture the perfect dog with the perfect crown and the perfect expression, it’s priceless. This series, I feel, gave meaning to my photography at a time where I felt photographing dogs was fun, but sort of meaningless."

 

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KING


ADOPT US!

You can find more information on adopting these sweet pups (+ kitten!) on the Animal Haven website here, or by clicking on any of the photos above.


Want to see more of Sophie's work?

You can check out Sophie's fine art photography on sophiegamand.com,

and her rescue work at strikingpaws.com.

You can also follow her on Instagram at @sophiegamand.