These are pit bulls.

But they probably don't look like any pit bull photo you've ever seen before.

They've been photographed with wreaths on their heads.

It's a fairy tale dog!

The goal? Capture the lovable side of the dog that people so fear.

The images also helped the photographer overcome nervousness about big dogs.

The photographs she produced reimagine pit bulls as soft and lovable.

I mean, who can fear this face?

And if you find yourself smitten, know that many of these animals are still up for adoption.

Additionally, these prints are for sale. Proceeds go to support animal shelters.

Co.Design

Pit Bulls Photographed As Lovely Fairy Tale Creatures

Still afraid of pit bulls?

At age 13, Sophie Gamand was attacked by a large, black Briard--a dominant herding dog that can reach nearly 100 pounds. “It felt like I was being eaten alive by a bear,” she says. In the years since, she has volunteered her photographic services to animal shelters, and worked with canines regularly, so she could shake her fear of big dogs. Pit bulls, in particular, made her nervous--even though they seemed so sweet when she’d meet them.

So she turned her camera on her fears (and the pits), donning them in blossoms and capturing their portraits through a fairy tale lens in a photo series she called Flower Power.

“I realized that the way pit bulls are portrayed, even by photographers trying to make a difference, is always very harsh. The imagery associated with pit bulls is gritty, somber, highly contrasted, very urban. People want to portray them like badasses,” Gamand tells Co.Design. “I felt that, in a way, it participated in feeding the myth that all pit bulls are violent, gangsters, or dormant psychopaths. I decided to portray them as sweet as I could. They are powerful dogs, there is no denying that. But power does not necessarily mean violence."

Gamand's goal was to make the dogs look “strong and firm, but soft and loving” at the same time. So she framed them in austere portrait poses, but topped their heads with hand-made flower wreaths. Then in Photoshop, she added layers of color and texture to create the joyous, dreamy aesthetic--which was apparently inspired by glitter, vintage photographs, and (this factoid is particularly fantastic) My Little Pony.

A side effect to Gamand’s work: She’s received several inquiries about adopting the dogs she has photographed (though many still need homes).

You can purchase Flower Power prints through Gamand’s site with the proceeds going to participating shelters. Additionally, a calendar is on the way.

Buy them here.

[h/t: 22 Words]

[Photos: Sophie Gamand]

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9 Comments

  • Avalon Leonetti

    This is delightful. Pit Bulls have endured some terrible press in the last couple decades (thanks, Sports Illustrated). It's nice to see them portrayed in a positive light.

  • slowe111

    These are completely misleading and dangerous. Pit Bulls are a dangerous breed because of there genetic material and in-bred behavior which may not always be on display but is ALWAYS available below the surface in their psych. To betray them as anything else is a LIE and dangerous because it may convince people to go and get one. PLEASE, with all the other breeds of dogs available, Choose another. The Pit Bull breed should not be encouraged or expanded but reduced and obsoleted.

  • Lee Gedansky

    It is broad spectrum, fearful and misinformed thinking like this that perpetuates the sweeping misconceptions about pit bulls. Go to the people who really know. The rescue services and the veterinarians who devote their time and energy to them, to get the word of true authorities and make informed decisions.

  • nonayabeezniss

    Everyone, please be brave enough to do your own thinking, especially when assesssing heresay and those making broad, sweeping statements like "__ are__ and must be reduced and obsoleted."