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French snapper's 'wet dogs' prove global hit

Sophie Inge · 4 Dec 2013, 11:50

Published: 04 Dec 2013 11:50 GMT+01:00

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Although the smell of a damp mutt might be a turn-off, the sight of them clearly isn't, as the success of New-York based French photographer Sophie Gamand's photography project shows. 

Entitled simply 'Wet Dog', the project features dogs of a variety of breeds, shapes and sizes at bath-time. Her photos have since gone viral around the world, receiving press coverage in countries as far afield as Russia and Italy.

"I am fascinated by the relationship between dogs and humans," Gamand tells The Local. "Dogs are the only species that decided to live in partnership with us. In a way, they are the closest to humans.

"So in my photography, I want to celebrate that particular bond, but also challenge it. How far can you push the boundaries and test the bond between humans and dogs?" 

Gamand, 33, says she was inspired to start the project after observing American pet stylist Ruben Santana at work. 

"I decided to follow him for a day in his grooming salon. I photographed them [the dogs] before, after, and during the grooming. I saw him bathing the dogs and their reaction was so funny. I knew I had something."

Is she surprised by the amount of media attention her project received? 

"Absolutely! I have worked on big projects before - projects that took me over a year to complete. This one was a breather. I just wanted a simple series that would not require too much thinking, just to be in the moment and enjoy the ride. I released the series in late October on my website, shared it with friends. They all liked it very much, but nothing really happened."

It wasn't until a blog published her photos a few weeks later that things started to take off.

"I had agents, book publishers, magazines and people in TV emailing me from all over the world. Now I'm working on a couple of books and have big plans for the Wet Dogs.

"I always looked at Internet success stories as something unreal, that never really happens. Now I know the power of Internet for people like me."  

(An article on Gamand's wet dog portraits in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper)

Story continues below…

Bemused as to how a series of photos of dripping wet dogs could prove to be so popular around the world? Judge for yourself by clicking on the link below. 

French snapper's 'wet dogs' prove global hit

Click here for Sophie Gamand's official Facebook page, You can buy prints of her photographs from her online store.

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

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