Who Let the Dogs Out
The world’s most beloved pet photographer turns his lens on man’s best friend
The world appears to be divided into cat and dogs lovers, but fortunately Walter Chandoha, the 20th century’s greatest pet photographer was not one of these people. He loved these beautiful and intriguing creatures equally for what they are, and as subjects to photograph both for fun and for commercial assignments. While working on his bestselling TASCHEN book Cats, Chandoha handpicked his favorite dog photos for a potential follow-up book, putting aside into carefully marked up boxes hundreds of contact sheets, prints, color transparencies, many unseen for at least 50 years, and many totally unseen. Sadly, Chandoha passed away in 2019 at the age of 98, but his legacy lives on in this dashing sequel dedicated to man’s best friend.
“Walter Chandoha’s photographs of dogs are compelling not just because dogs have an inherent charm, but because the person behind the camera knew his craft. He knew how to get the shot he wanted, how to light it, how to compose it, how to capture a particular expression or gesture,” writes the photography critic Jean Dykstra in the book’s introduction. We see terriers, collies, beagles, bloodhounds, poodles, small dogs, big dogs, cute dogs, working dogs and many more, featuring over 60 breeds photographed in both black and white and glorious Kodachrome.
Spanning a 50-year period, the book is divided into six sections, and each chapter illustrates Chandoha’s winning combination of technique, versatility, and soul. The opening chapter In the Studio focuses on formal portraiture with the dogs depicted like Hollywood stars; next it’s Strike a Pose where our canine companions ham it up for the camera; in Out and About they get to roam and play, often photographed with Chandoha’s own children; next it’s Best in Show with Chandoha using his reportage skills to capture vintage dog shows from the Mad Men era; in Tails from the City, the dogs are hitting the streets of mid-century New York; and in the closing chapter Country Dogs, it’s back to nature, the fields and the beaches. Whatever the breed or scenario, each photograph captures the unique emotional bond between dogs and humans, and why we need each other more than ever in these precarious times.
Walter Chandoha (1920–2019) was a combat photographer in the Second World War, before a chance encounter with a cat led him on a path that would shape his professional career. His images have appeared on over 300 magazine covers and in thousands of advertisements, from posters and T-shirts to the giant 18x60 foot Kodak Colorama in Grand Central Terminal, New York City.
Reuel Golden is the former editor of the British Journal of Photography and the Photography editor at TASCHEN. His TASCHEN titles include: Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, both London and New York Portrait of a City books, Andy Warhol. Polaroids, The Rolling Stones, Her Majesty, Football in the 1970s, the National Geographic editions, and The David Bailey SUMO.
|Author||Walter Chandoha, Reuel Golden|
|Dimensions||cm 23,7 x 31,6|
|Language/s||English, French, German|