Have you ever taken a look at your beloved pet and felt they were giving you a very human, very emotional look back? All of us have likely felt this way at one time or another. After all, animals have feelings just like we do, and when we take the time to recognize this, the results can be truly extraordinary.
This is the inspiration behind the idea two photographers had to bring those real-life emotions of dogs to life. Since 2009, Emanuela Colombo and Mario Forcherio have been taking closeup, focused photos of dogs' faces, and their photography project, Dogs and Us Photography, is the result.
The pair is from Turin, Italy, and although they take photos of other animals and even people, Dogs and Us Photography is their most compelling and popular project. Pet photography in general is a specialty for Colombo and Forcherio, which is probably part of the reason they're able to create such memorable photos for this project.
The pair says they came up with the idea for this project from their own personal experience with their dogs. They began to realize how important the master-pet relationship was and wanted to explore it more. "We try to grasp what unites them [the master and the pet] and translate it into images."
Achieving these images, however, and actually showing the relationship between dogs and their humans isn't easy. According to the pair, "You need empathy, passion, and lots and lots of patience" to create the perfect image like those seen here.
"After all this time," says the pair, "we have been able to understand what moods our dogs are able to communicate to us." Emotions such as happiness, boredom, wonder, confusion, fear, appreciation, amazement, and patience are just a few of the looks you can see on the faces of the dogs in the photographs.
The project is truly unique, offering a perspective on dogs that we don't normally receive: that of an emotional study. This is extremely common with photographs of humans, but not so with animals, even though they emote just like we do.
According to Colombo and Forcherio, the faces of their dog subjects "turn into faces with human expressions, which we only need a small dose of sensitivity in order to read, and they become open books." As one looks at these photographs, it becomes very easy to see the time and attention that went into them as well as the true beauty of the emotions of their subjects.