Maybe it can be said that the themes of weightlessness and dogs, two totally unrelated topics share one thing. They are both favorites of countless shutterbugs. Well, German photographer Julia Christe takes these twin topics to a new level by merging them into one theme. Dogs suspended in mid-air.
In this playfully whimsical series, Christe captures images of dogs in mid-air as they get to that precise instant before succumbing to the laws of gravity. Christe searched far and wide, looking into dog shows, dog schools and even at veterinarian clinics for her canine models.
The project was commissioned for an animal pharmaceutical product. Her casting call turned into a massive 100 dogs responding as the pooches and their owners arrived at her studio in Berlin, making her project, Freestyle a reality.
While the dogs look like they have been propelled upward, they aren’t actually jumping. In the shots of Freestyle, the dogs are actually in the process falling. Before any animal activist cries ‘foul!’, none of the dogs were harmed in the making of this collection. To create the windswept effect, a wind machine was used. No less than the owners themselves would ‘drop’ their own dogs from a very low height.
Each pooch would safely and painlessly land onto a mattress. As these types of projects usually unfold, the initial drop, and following shot were frequently the best, which required that Christe be on top of her game so as not to miss the perfect moment. The element of surprise and anxiety on the innocent dog’s faces is just absolutely priceless.
Many dogs actually took pleasure in the experience and were willing to be dropped again while others balked at repeating the activity. This entertaining series of animal portraits will definitely put a smile on your face. Every portrait expresses the lively but different personality of the dogs as tails, ears, and fur are ruffled in many directions.
See Freestyle in its entirety here.