In the United States alone, an estimated one million homeless pit bulls are euthanized. New York photographer Sophie Gamand never expected to be a leading voice for these dogs, but after her series Pit Bull Flower Power went viral, she was thrust into that role. She’s a fine art photographer who became an animal advocate.
Chances are you’ve seen her photographs of curious, wide-eyed shelter dogs wearing handmade flower crowns. A number of these portraits have saved lives; they’ve been shared over social media and led to the adoptions of dogs in need. Many of her canine heroes are now loyal family dogs living happy lives; many others are still in shelters, waiting for a chance to be taken home.
We caught up with Gamand to learn more about her journey, the importance of animal rescue and adoption, and what it means to be an artist at the center of a controversial public debate. Most of all, she clues us in on the power of great photography and the ways in which it can introduce a little bit of kindness and compassion into an uncertain world.
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Blossom, Brookhaven Animal Shelter