Since rescuing his dog, Rothko, from an animal shelter, Italian photographer Dan Bannino has a new way of looking at pet adoption. He sees each adoption as a way of changing lives—the dog’s and the new owner’s. And, he’s started to understand the silent connection that is shared between man and dog. He relates the communication to that of writers: “speaking through their expressions, sounds, and movements.” This similarity inspired Bannino to create “Poetic Dogs,” a photo series of stray dogs posing as famous writers:
For “Poetic Dogs”, Bannino found 19 dogs in a rescue shelter in Turin. He transformed the stray dogs into photo models and shot side by side portraits. The images include comparisons to Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Charles Bukowski, and Mark Twain, to name a few. His own dog posed as Shakespeare.
Bannino is passionate about literature, he reads a lot, and he finds similarities in his favorite writers and the stray dogs. As he says, these dogs have had difficult lives, as have many struggling writers. When Bannino walked into the shelter one day, he saw a dog in his cage, watching and barking at all the other dogs, with eyes like Hemingway.
“He’s kind of a really tough character, like Hemingway was.”
Most of the dogs, after being abandoned or abused, were afraid of people and sounds, so Bannino had to earn their trust. He did this by walking them, playing with them, just being gentle, and of course, giving them a lot of treats!
The photos, shot on a Nikon D7100, have been turned into posters and printed on various products, which Bannino sells online. The proceeds go to his local animal shelter.
Roberto Perazzollo, the manager of the animal shelter in Turin, is happy with the project. He hopes it will encourage people to go to a shelter rather than buying a dog in a pet store. As he says, there are good dogs just needing and waiting for a home.
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