Often it seems that everyone in New York has a pet while I remain trapped in a tiny apartment that isn't allowed to house anything with a tail. I've soothed this furry hole in my heart by running CutePugPics.com (which you should totally check out) but it's far, far, far from enough.
All of which is my slow windup to announcing the start of Animals of New York. It's my new photo series that I'll be the first to admit is basically a rip off of Brandon Stanton's Humans of New York except with pets. Well, it's perhaps a bit more than that, I hope. HoNY pulls off an almost magical feat by presenting portraits with deeply revealing snippets of conversation that transform random strangers into people who we can see share hopes, fears and regrets not unlike our own.
My modest goal is to follow the same formula of pairing portraits with slices of conversation but with the added twist of focusing on the relationship people share with their pets. It might not seem like an important distinction, but I think this approach separates Animals of New York from other gorgeous pet photo blogs like The Dogist. Staring deeply into a puppie's eyes is an endless exercise in awwing but I think the real magic is in the special bond between pets and their masters. Have you ever looked at someone's face when they play with their cat or dog or, hell, their pet lizard? That's true love right there, and my heart warms just thinking about it.
Pets give us a reason to be better versions of ourselves and in return we have the power to give them safe and happy lives. It's a great deal, and, frankly. I think I'm a slightly better person just witnessing people share that love with their pets.
I don't know if Animals of New York will find a following. I also don't know if it will evolve into something very different from its initial premise, as HoNY did. I suspect I'll continue to tinker with my photographic technique and how I present pets and their masters, so please bear with me as I figure out what the heck I'm doing.
I'd really like to turn Animals of New York into a regular gig shooting portraits with people and their pets. (And if you want photos, email me!) Because shooting people is cool, and pets are great, but it's when they come together that it really gets special. That's the ultimate goal, but in the meantime I'd just like to share this awesome thing going on between people and their furry friends. If you feel the same way then I hope you'll join me over at AoNY.