Letter from the Owners

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It was in a London squat that childhood friends and photographers Will Robson-Scott  and Ollie Grove uncovered the most enduring love story. The girlfriend of a guy they had encountered (Andy was apparently too out of it to recount it himself) was telling them how he had come across a stray dog on a beach in Goa. They hit it off, and the two quickly became inseparable—so much so that Andy smuggled the pooch, newly dubbed “Vagga,” all the way back to London so they could be together.   

Black Friday Nike Free 5.0 V6, This canine love affair is part of Robson-Scott (also a filmmaker whose somberly exquisite short Chiraq won him a Cannes Lion last year) and Grove’s ongoing series exploring the special connection between a dog and his owner. The project recently culminated in the release of In Dogs We Trust , a limited edition photo book presenting a survey of loyalty, respect, and companionship. 

The duo criss-crossed terrain from the UK’s most illustrious dog show to Compton to present a diverse spread of subjects over 124 pages. Amongst the more prominent pooch lovers featured are KAWS, DJ Muggs, photographers Martin Parr and Estevan Oriol, and writer Tabatha McGurr—all documented in a formal portraiture style that retains a sense of closeness. 

Black Friday Nike Free 5.0 V6 Ahead of their NYC book launch at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, March 11 at Kinfolk in Williamsburg, Robson-Scott and Grove shared their thoughts on the bond between human and hound as so expertly captured in In Dogs We Trust .  

Why do you think dogs hold such a special place in so many people's hearts?
Because however we acquire them, it feels like they chose us. They lend more of their heart and devotion to humans than we do to them, despite how we might see things. When living with humans, there will be an individual within that family unit that is so worshipped, they can hardly put a foot wrong…and humans love to be loved.

The intro essay says that your book was inspired by The Dog Album by Scott B. Jones and Gary E. Eichhorn. Can you tell us a bit about this book and what in particular about it inspired you to start your project?
The Dog Album is a collection of formal portraits of dogs and their owners from the turn of the century. It was a great influence, because it emphasized the value of the dog all those years ago, and it is still so recognizable today. The choice of the dog to sit in on the photo as opposed to a partner or the family in these early days of photography was a testament to the importance of the dog to the people. It seemed only right to make another such collection 100 years on—a historical manifestation of the relationship between dogs and their owners.

What did you learn about the relationship between dogs and their owners through shooting this series?
Thankfully, what we learned was mostly positive—the bond between human and hound seems stronger than ever. Even in circumstances where we would expect to find mistreatment of dogs, we found the opposite.

Black Friday Nike Free 5.0 V6 One thing that we did learn from the project was that there is still a severe lack of importance placed on rescuing dogs instead of breeding them. Countless numbers of dogs are left homeless, yet we as humans insist on creating more and invent new breeds to make more money.

What was your most memorable shoot for this project?
I think we would probably agree that the most memorable shoot from the project was visiting SS Kennels in Compton, not because anything truly unusual happened, but because the crew of guys we visited there insisted on us “joining the circle” to smoke blunts, leaving one of us (“photographer A”) incredibly paranoid and dry-mouthed.

The rest of the afternoon in Compton was spent with “photographer A” under the delusion that he would never escape the infamous CPT alive and that the dogs were talking about him. The crew of welcoming pitbull breeders politely and generously insisted on more circles being made throughout the day, which left “photographer A” on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

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