Dog owners are forever anthropomorphising their pets, projecting thoughts and feelings onto them, and basically turning them into four-legged people. German photographer Sandra Müller's new book Dog People features 83 creative portraits that answer the question: "What kind of person would this dog be?"
Müller recruited friends and their dogs and then used Facebook to find subjects. She talked to each owner about their dog's personalities to figure out what kind of person they'd be, and then decided on the outfit they'd wear. Maja, Müller's own Bernese Mountain Dog mix, was her first subject, and she dressed her as a beauty queen because, "Of course, she is the most beautiful dog in the whole world".
Rather than using Photoshop, Müller worked in the studio. She prefocused and pre-lit each shot, and once her subject was seated, slipped on a shirt or jacket or scarf and, if "the dog didn't mind, I might add a hat or a necklace before pressing the shutter button," a process that took two or three minutes. Most of the dogs were "very chill," she reports.
Rather than being a fashion show or a Halloween parade, Müller hopes the images function as real portraits, and that each one "honestly captures a type of person, a human being you could actually meet."