Dogs have been a lifelong subject for the lens of Vincent Lagrange, who is publishing his first photographic book of charming canine portraits with teNeues. The Human Animals – Dogs celebrates the unique personalities of our four-legged companions, where Lagrange has captured the idiosyncrasies of each character in striking detail and intimacy.
On one page, a shy greyhound sits with its face away from the camera, eyes focusing on something in the distance, whilst on another, a young Jack Russell Terrier sits upright, its head slightly tilted with an expression that is well known to any dog owner – particularly if they have a treat in their hand. Shot mostly with a dark background, a chiaroscuro light gives these images the feeling of old master portraits, the dogs’ wise-looking faces illuminated like fine artworks.
The Antwerp-born photographer was only a child when his cat Dwiszel lost an eye due to an illness, and after closely documenting the feline’s recovery, a passion for photographing animals began. He learned the art of portraiture by often visiting the studio of his father and mentor Marc Lagrange, to whom the book is dedicated.
Much like when photographing a person, building a relationship with animals is all based on “trust, kindness and openness”, says Lagrange, who has photographed all manner of species, from fish and turtles to cheetahs and birds. His ongoing series of portraits, collectively called ‘The Human Animal Project’, was created to give “animals a voice through the power of photography”.