Sophie Gamand didn’t always like pit bulls. She used to volunteer as a photographer for animal shelters but was nevertheless scared every time she saw a pit bull there.
However, one day, the photographer decided to face her fear and forcer herself to work on a project with pit bulls, My Modern Met reports. Most of all, she wanted to see if the myths and misconceptions about pit bulls were true. She needed to know if the dogs really were as bad and aggressive as people were making them out to be.
She “discovered the sweet and gentle nature of pit bulls, and how obedient and eager to please they are,” Gamand tells Mental Floss. “They are goofy, loving, and very attached to people.”
With that new view on pitties, Sophie decided to put colorful flower crowns on them and take adorable photos of the happy animals.
Gamand started frequently posting her photos on her social media and says that they are making a difference. Many of the shelters and rescues she’s working with leave positive reports. They are saying that more people are adopting pit bulls thanks to her photos. “They have helped dogs get adopted who had had zero interest for months or even years,” she says.
Over the last few years, Sophie has photographed over 400 pit bulls. She plans to publish them in a forthcoming coffee table book titled Pit Bull Flower Power: The Book. The release date is set for October, which is the Pit Bull Awareness Month.
Today, Gamand believes that the stereotype of overly aggressive pit bulls is “completely unfounded”. For her, aggressive pit bulls are only such because of the bad training they get from people. Like many other pit bull fans. Gamand believes that pit bulls’ bad reputation is what attracts a certain type of owners to them. This, in turn, results in more aggressive pitties.
The dogs that she’s photographing, however, seem more than lovely.
“These are all shelter dogs who spend most of their time in a cage,” Gamand says. “They are so happy for all the attention, treats, and love they get on the shoot. They love nothing more than to be good boys and girls—learning tricks, sitting to get a cookie. It’s their special moment. Each shoot is a team effort between the handler, the dog, and myself.”
Gamand’s photos have reached all the corners of social media and have created quite the buzz. Thanks to that, the photographer is now receiving requests to visit animal shelters all over the world, from India to Kuwait to China. Pit Bull Flower Power isn‘t her first book either. Wet Dog, which features adorable dripping dogs, was published in 2015.