At only 19-years old, Alicja Zmyslowska has already managed to capture the world’s attention with her truly incredible dog portraits. The Polish-based photographer has always loved animals, and the love shines through all of her stunning work.
Her goal with every photo shoot is to capture the heart and soul of the individual dog. Just like humans, dogs also come with a wide variety of personalities, which Zmyslowska taps into and utilizes for authenticity and style. Zmyslowska’s technique grants portraits as unique as the dogs featured in each one.
Check out some of the magical dog portraits by Zmyslowska here!
In an interview with Bored Panda Zmyslowska says, “Since I was a child I loved animals. When I was 4, I got two beautiful cats but my biggest dream was still to have a dog. In 2006 this dream came true.“
The photographer’s life was forever changed after she finally got a golden retriever named Kiara. From day one, Zmyslowska would borrow her brother’s DSLR or use her own compact camera to take endless photos of the pretty golden dog. Kiara is pictured below.
One year later and Zmyslowska finally got her very own DSLR camera. In her own words, “And everything started!” While Kiara continued to be her first, best and favorite model, she also began taking photos of her friend’s dogs and neighbor’s dogs too. Zmyslowska will even stop people out walking on the street to take a photo of their dog–now that’s a lucky dog walker!
Zmyslowska takes photos all year long, and has a number of locations she prefers to conduct her work. “I have a few places in my area where I usually go shooting. Which one I choose depends on the season, weather and also on what type of pictures I want to take – running, playing or just still portraits.”
Zmyslowska’s favorite setting varies depending on the type of project she will be working on. For instance, if she is shooting for a dog portrait, the forest makes a great backdrop. On the other hand, if she is shooting action photos of dogs, an open meadow is more ideal.
It might seem difficult to work with dog models, after all dogs can be wild and crazy, and they don’t speak the same language as us. You certainly can’t tell a dog, “Now put your paw here!” Despite the language barrier and most dogs’ short attention span, Zmyslowska prefers working with dogs compared to humans. Still, in order to get dogs to pose and corporate, a certain amount of interaction with owners is key. Meaning Zmyslowska also exercises a good deal of people skills.
Dogs might be hyper and fidgety but their vast range of talents can make them very useful. Zmyslowska loves to employ the unique tricks different dogs do, it makes for a great photo and it also helps capture each dog’s authentic personality.
Zmyslowska loves photographing homeless shelter dogs because she is able to give back to dogs that truly deserve it, but she admits they make some of her most challenging models.
Zmyslowska tells Bored Panda, “Homeless dogs from shelters…those poor dogs often don’t react on anything, they are not interested in food, toys, they won’t do what we want. Those sessions are always the hardest for me. But it is worth it!”
Zmyslowska is no one-trick wonder, she has taken photos of many different things, from sports photography to show-ring photos. Yet, she enjoys taking photos of dogs most. Her passion shines clear in each breathtaking image. Keep up the pawsome work Alicja!
Up Next: Portraits of really old dogs.