Elias Weiss Friedman has photographed thousands of dogs for his blog and book The Dogist. What sets his pictures apart is how human he makes his canines seem.
"When I'm shooting photographs of dogs, I'm trying to get them looking right into the lens. It makes the image feel dramatic. That's what makes a great image, taking something ordinary and making it feel dramatic," said Friedman, 27, who gets down on the dogs' level despite his 6-foot-3 height.
Friedman, author of The Dogist, started with a blog a few years ago. Along the way, he's posted over 3,300 images and gathered 1.5 million followers on Instagram, 50,000 followers on Tumbler, 70,000 on Facebook and 20,000 on Twitter.
In The Dogist book, already on the New York Times best-seller list, he features 1,001 dogs from cities around the world.
The Associated Press recently asked Friedman about his work.
What does "dogist" mean?
I consider a 'dogist' to be 'one who dogs.' The name was inspired by the fashion blog 'The Sartorialist.' It's not a real word, but it conveys the simplicity and silliness that lives throughout the project.
What is your favorite medium?
The online social media experience is sort of fleeting and has a short attention span, so you view the image and then you go back to what you were doing and you see another one later. It's like a feed, whereas the book is something you can hold and revisit and explore.
The blog is how people follow me and it gets updated every single day. There is something in a coffee table book, something you can hold and share. I think of it as a yearbook, the culmination of two years of work, the best of the blog, plus outtakes, plus my own stories, plus images people haven't seen, a chapter in the project.
What makes an unforgettable, photogenic dog?
Moses has wrinkles, teeth, ears, eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead that are remarkable. He looks human in oh so many ways. As a dog photographer looking for interesting variable elements, rare breeds; flat, wrinkled faces; young puppies and a big underbite (are) like gold for me.
What is next for you?
There are dogs doing incredible things around the world like rescuing, herding and hunting. There would be a National Geographic attitude about it. Dogs in their element. That's what I am excited about.
Driving around the country finding dogs doing things in their natural setting and showing people things they never saw — that interests me as a dog fan and a photographer. There won't be any people. Dogs are always more interesting than people.