A stroll down any street can show that dog owners sometimes look like their dogs, or vice versa, and studies have proven that people tend to choose dogs that mirror themselves and their own personalities.
Now, one Swiss photographer has taken that to the next level in an artistic experiment to show what happens when dog owner and dog become one.
The work is that of 27-year-old photographer Sebastian Magnani of Berne, Switzerland, whose mind-blogging images of the faces of dogs in their owner’s clothes are taking the Internet by storm.
Magnani says he spontaneously decided to take the series of four photographs, titled “Underdogs,” three years ago, in 2009.
“I had a flash idea out of nothing,” he told ABCNews.com. “The feeling just started and finished with a little smile.”
Magnani’s first subject was his girlfriend and his own dog and the location was his studio in the basement of his mother’s home. With just simple lighting, for a “timeless” look, a neutral gray background and then a little digital magic, Magnani perfected his work.
“In Photoshop I used the graphic tablet composed with various masks and transparencies,” he said. “And adjusted the background and colors a little and [used] a few secrets.”
Photography bloggers are marveling at his work, including British photographer Tom White who called the photo manipulations “flawless.”
“The reactions were simply amazing,” Magnani said.
While some artists say picking a favorite piece of work is like a parent picking a favorite child, Magnani does not hesitate to say his “first-born” is his favorite of the four.
“My favorite is the first one, the blonde-haired dog named Taco,” he said. “I like the expressive look and it’s a crazy dog; just fascinating and a really special personality.”
Magnani says he chose to use dogs in the portraits, over his mother’s two cats, because his “connection to the dog was bigger.”
In addition to the critical acclaim and worldwide attention Magnani has gained from the photos, he says there’s someone close to home who is the happiest with the results of his labor and imagination.
“My mother was pleased to have a picture of my girlfriend and my dog in a merge, for sure,” he said.