Award-winning photographer and keen dog trainer Dylan Collard explores people's connections with their canine friends in Living With Dogs, an upcoming photo book filled with snaps of owners and their pets.
Due to be put up on Kickstarter towards the end of May, Living With Dogs follows in the footsteps of Dylan's previous photography work in that it involves shooting real people on location. In this case, the locations are dog owners' living rooms and kitchens, who are proudly captured surrounded by their dogs.
Thanks to the clever use of lighting and composition, a sense of narrative is built around each set of dogs and their owners. The effect is to create a realistic yet curated glimpse into the everyday lives of people who share their lives with dogs. Like the advertising work that Dylan is famous for, you might not get all of the meaning immediately. Instead, his photos draw you in and ask you to tease out the hidden messages.
The large-format book, produced in the UK first if it hits its Kickstarter target, will be released in an edition containing 1,000 copies. Presented with a foil-blocked hardback cover and a full-colour image dust jacket, Living With Dogs contains 50 images printed across 200 pages.
As well as Dylan's incredible photographs, the book will also contain interviews with the (human) subjects and essays penned by renowned specialists from the dog world. All profits from the book will go towards dog charities - once production costs are deducted - and if you would like to partner your dog charity with the book, then you're in luck. Dylan is on the lookout for charities, so drop him a line via his website.
"Living With Dogs highlights how much we adapt our lives to suit our four-legged friends; how much room we give over, the comfort we offer and the support we provide for these animals," says the book in its introduction. "Animals that, after thousands of years of breeding and domesticity, are totally dependent on us for food and shelter."
By turning his lens on the wide spectrum of dogs in our society, from rescue dogs, medical dogs, working dogs and, of course, pet dogs, Dylan uncovers the different types of bonds that are all united by companionship. They might be relationships of give and take – as healthy, worthwhile ones often are - but ultimately, Living With Dogs promises to be a unique portrait of belonging, love, and feeling at home.