Black dogs have a harder time getting adopted than any other coloured dogs–or that what Fred Levy heard when he was at a dog park with his dog in the summer of 2013.
“I had heard about this with cats, but no dogs,” Levy said. “I thought it was interesting and sad.”
Perhaps it was fate. But this photographer had just found a new project to work on from that incident.
According to him, “Everyone who owns a black dog knows how hard it is to photograph them. They often get lost or turn into black blobs. As I thought about this challenge, I came up with the Black Dogs Project.”
He opted for a unique method–photographing black dogs in front of a black background. He had two reasons for that.
One was the challenge of photographing a difficult subject in my small studio–I would have to make sure that I had all the lighting right and placed to light my subject but not the backdrop,” he said. “The second was the chance to show how beautiful black dogs can be and that it’s not impossible to get great photos with the right lighting.”
But what completely took him by surprise is the overwhelming reaction he got from people.
“I have been swamped with emails and phone calls from people all over the world asking about the project, wanting to be included and showing support for what is a very widespread, yet not a well-known issue,” Levy explained. “When I started, I had no idea how extensive it really is and I’m still in awe of how far-reaching Black Dog Syndrome is.”
When he was questioned about the stigma against black dogs, he said it existed for more than one reason. One of them being the aforementioned problem of photographing them. And the other is that many people thought darker dogs meant that they would bring bad omen or aggression in the family.
“Education is the key to dispelling these types of stereotypes,” he believed. “Though I don’t have all the answers to solve this problem, I encourage all pet photographers to work with a local shelter and help them get better photos of their adoptable dogs. I know it makes a huge difference in placing dogs into good homes. I’m hoping that this project creates lasting awareness, not just a fad to adopt black dogs. The way I see it, the more we can do to educate people about good pet ownership, the better it is for all pets, no matter what they look like.”
Just look at how Levy continues to prove every meanie out there wrong.
She looks like a baby doll.
The baby is clearly loving the shoot more than the doggie.
She is scared and confused. Still, she is loving it.
This picture speaks for itself. Let’s stop this black dog myth. Black or white, all the give is love.
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