Whether you’re an amateur or professional photographer, each of us are looking through the lens (or screen these days) for the best moment to capture. Sophie Gamand has mastered the art of “best moments” in her amazing wet dog portraiture series. Recently the recipient of the 2014 Sony World Photography Award in Portraiture and a soon-to-be published author, the SGNL by Sony team had a chance to catch up with her to see first-hand just what makes her photos so fantastic. That day, while Sophie documented dog grooming with an Sony a99 she was testing, we documented her. Watch the video to see how the day turned out and read on below for more on her story
Sophie grew up in France and as a child always looked for new ways to express her artistic side. Out of high school and with a little nudge from dad, Sophie graduated with a masters in law however soon found herself pursuing her two true passions. Photography and…opera singing!
While in Europe her focus was primarily studio and portraiture photography. Upon moving to New York, Sophie saw the large opportunity in street photography and began to face her worst fear of photographing complete strangers. With camera in hand, Sophie signed up for a street documentary class with the first assignment being locating a stranger and documenting their life in five frames. Venturing out into her neighborhood, she came upon a vet clinic. While documenting the strangers inside, Sophie spotted a dog peeking out from behind a wall. The dog’s big blue eyes and worried, human-like frown motivated Sophie to snap a photo – thus beginning her journey into dog photography.
“For me, photographing the dog was avoiding photographing people but as I worked with dogs, I discovered so much about people and I feel like maybe 20, 50 years from now I will have such a broad body of work that would really shed an interesting light on this interspecies bond that we have. This amazing partnership that we have with dogs and also what it says about us as a human society.”
Sophie was inspired to utilize her talent to give back through involvement in local NY dog shelters and through her photo documentary of stray dogs in Puerto Rico in partnership with dog rescue group, the SATO project. At dog charity event Sophie met popular pet stylist Ruben Santana who specializes in creative grooming. Between their passion for pets and their unique approach to their craft the two quickly started collaborating on projects including one documenting the grooming process. I think we know what happened next…
“I decided that day that I was going to photograph everything that was coming my way. When Ruben started bathing the dogs, I turned my camera to them and I realized how amazing their expressions were. That was another great discovery in the world of dog photography”.
Sophie – we couldn’t agree more 🙂 Congratulations and we look forward to seeing your book. To learn more about Sophie Gamand and her other projects, visit her website SophieGamand.com.