Nostalgic photographs of British dog shows back when the humans’ hairstyles were just as groomed

All photographs courtesy of Hoxton Mini Press. © Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

These playful photographs by the late photographer Shirley Baker capture the quirkiness of owners and their canine companions at one of the most quintessentially British events: the dog show. In fact, the humans' hairdos are sometimes more impressive than their groomed pets.

From Pekingese to Poodles, Dalmatians to Dachshunds, Dog Show 1961-1978 is not only a fascinating portrait of the phenomenon but also highlights the tender, amusing and – at times – obsessive relationship between humans and their dogs.

“I love the immediacy of unposed, spontaneous photographs and the ability of the camera to capture the serious, the funny, the sublime and the ridiculous," Shirley once said. "Despite the many wonderful pictures of the great and famous, I feel that less formal, quotidian images can often convey more of the life and spirit of the time."

Shirley's series is currently on show at The Photographers’ Gallery in London where a book, Dog Show 1961-1978, has also been launched. Brought to you by indie published, Hoxton Mini Press.

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library

© Estate of Shirley Baker/Mary Evans Picture Library