Bringing a smile to your face. That must be the reason why German photographer Christian Vieler does what he does best: Catching dogs catching treats – all in an anticipating, goofy and oft-times, hilarious, split-second moment.
Christian has been taking these pinprick sharp photos since 2013. Using a portable flash to work with shutter speeds as fast as 1/8000th of a second, his first ‘shot’ of Lotte, his Labrador retriever, produced the results seen in his photo, books, calendar and posters.
The images let us see dogs in a new light, Vieler says. “I think the expressions of the dogs remind us of well-known feelings like desire, loss, pain or joy. And that's what we normally don't see that clear in the faces of our dogs.”
Most of the portraits are taken at his studio in Waltrop, Germany and as his popularity with his photo series “Dogs Catching Treats” grew, it led to the production of “Treat” and “Snapshots” in 2019.
Once the dogs are settled down for the photo shoot, “I start feeding the dog with his favourite treats to become his best friend for the next 30 minutes.” Vieler says. He takes about 30 – 50 of these freeze frames.
He notes that the dogs he works with are almost always on their best behaviour as: “All models behave because I am the guy with the treats,” Vieler jokes. “And I have many treats in my bags.”
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Text : Therese Tan | Photos: Christian Vieler