Dog owners often say that their four-legged friends are like children. Even though we belong to different species, we can connect with dogs on an emotional level. Sometimes this communication is of better quality than with people.
Although dogs cannot use speech, they communicate by imitating human facial expressions.
It is this ability of dogs to reflect human emotions that inspired Belinda Richards and Tony Ladson’s incredible photography project, Dogs Are The Best People.
Belinda Richards is an animal photographer and founder of Frog Dog Studios. She has 18 years of experience working with animals as a groomer and animal emergency worker.
For more than two years, Belinda and her husband have been creating their own project. During this time they filmed over 500 dogs, cats, rabbits and even ferrets in their Melbourne studio.
To capture the animals’ genuine emotions, the creative duo makes sounds and offers a treat (like peanut butter) to each friend.
“Peanut butter is a must-have for a photographer, dogs love it, it makes them sit still for a couple of minutes while they lick their lips. At this time, it becomes possible to get a wide variety of different facial expressions in the picture.”
“Their reactions to the different sounds I make or words are just as unique as humans,” says Belinda Richards.
From a puppy’s delighted smile to the surprise on its face, each photo shows how similar dogs can be to humans.