Sophie Gamand is a French photographer living and working in New York City. Her most recent series, Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution, aims to challenge people’s perceptions about dogs that fall under the “pit bull” breed umbrella. By abandoning the go-to aesthetic of portraying pit bulls as tough, tear-you-up-in-a-second dogs and instead embracing their naturally sweet demeanors, Gamand has created a stunning series of images inspired by fairy-tales and, well, hippies.
I realized pit bulls were always portrayed in very urban, gritty photographs. The imagery associated with these dogs is often harsh, very contrasted, conveying the idea of them being tough badasses. In my opinion, this feeds the myth that these dogs are dormant psychopaths. So I decided to take the other route and portray them like hippies, soft fairy-tale inspired characters, feminine and dreamy. The idea of “Flower Power” blossomed.
An estimated 1,000,000 pit bulls are euthanized each year in America’s shelters. Victims of prejudices, uneducated laws and urban tales that associate them with ultra violence, they are probably the most misunderstood dogs. Pit bulls, like any terrier dogs, are strong and powerful animals. There is no denying that. But most pit bulls are peaceful and sweet love bugs. Their power is in their snuggles and unconditional love. For this series, I imagined them like hippies, fighting the system and the image they are given with the power of love and the softness of flowers.
“Flower Power” is about challenging the viewer to approach pit bulls with a fresh perspective and an open heart.
Each of the 14 dogs included in this project are currently available for adoption. Check out the whole series and learn more about each dog right here. Interested in purchasing prints? Check out Sophie’s online print shop where proceeds will go to the rescue groups currently caring for these 14 beauties.