From what I've seen in this world, there are two kinds of people - dog people and cat people. My wife, for instance, is a cat person. She not only prefers cats as a pet, she also relates more to their personalities. Like cats, she's also inquisitive, values her space, and tends to be cautious and alert. I, on the other hand, am definitely a dog lover, and my personality is more like a dog than a cat. I'm outgoing, enthusiastic, fiercely loyal, and highly affectionate.
Just like people, dogs have unique personalities and quirks. Ask any pet owner and they'll tell you that it doesn't even matter if both dogs are the same breed - no two are alike. That's why taking photos of dogs is just as much about capturing the personality of the subject as with human photography. Unfortunately, dogs have the added challenge of being more difficult to direct during a photo shoot. It takes a lot of skill and patience to get truly great pictures of a dog, but the results are worth it.
Alicja Zmyslowska is a 20-year-old photographer from Poland who has been garnering a lot of attention over the last year for her incredible portraits of dogs. She uses natural surroundings and lighting with a soft focus to give the dogs a dreamlike, almost angelic appearance.
Zmyslowska says she's loved animals since she was a child.
She received two pet cats when she was four, but she dreamed of getting a dog. You see? Dog person vs. cat person.
In 2006, her dream came true when Kiara, a Golden Retriever, came into her life. Right from the start, Zmyslowska couldn't resist taking pictures of Kiara.
She'd often borrow her elder brother's DSLR camera, until she finally got one of her own.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Besides Kiara, she also started to take pictures of her friends' dogs, and even dogs that she meets while out and about.
She has a few favorite locations that she uses for her shoots.
She cycles between them depending on the season, the weather in general, and also what type of shots she'd like - playful, action, still, etc. For instance, forests are better for still shots, while open meadows are better for motion shots.
Zmyslowska prefers to work with dogs over people, although working with dogs does admittedly require working closely with their owners.
Naturally, it's easier to work with her own dogs or those of her friends since they're more obedient/comfortable around her.
Her most challenging subjects are the dogs that she finds in shelters or homeless dogs. These dogs tend to show very little interest in anything she has to offer (food, toys, etc.), so it's harder to get the right shot.
If you'd like to see more of Zmyslowska's work, check out her website here.
Be sure to SHARE these beautiful photos with your family and friends.