Since dogs were first domesticated tens of thousands of years ago the anthropological records show an affinity developing between them and their owners. This has lead to a vast amount of different species, varied in every possible aspect. It is argued that individuals are subconsciously drawn towards different types of dog depending on their lifestyle and character. This could be because, like in a romantic relationship, we, as humans, tend to subconsciously match ourselves with pets that we feel we share something in common with; hence the common expression ‘dogs look like their owners.’—Josh Bryant
UK-based photographer Josh Bryant observes the steadfast, devoted bond between man and animal and the subconscious commonality between the two. Bryant believes that when we choose a pet, we are subconsciously looking for qualities that mirror ourselves. The animal becomes like an extension of our personalities, even if we are hesitant to express them—Bryant says, “with confidence of the dog at their side, people offer you a glimpse into their lives that they would not normally allow; making private become public, where once they would feel vulnerable and uncomfortable.”
Bryant’s portraits keep our eyes jumping between owner and pet, the subtle yet uncanny nuances in face, posture, and gaze make us smile, reminding us that pets, with their unwavering and unconditional love offer us something we may try for a lifetime with another human. They are our companions, and after all, isn’t that what we all really want?