Mr Bones: Dog Street Photography
Unlike a genre like portraiture, street photography offers a multitute of things to shoot. Aptly named “Mr. Bones” is a street photographer that focuses on mainly one broad subject: Dogs. Here’s some of his images and a few words about his own work.
I am a huge fan of street photography and candid photographers. William Klein and Henri Cartier-Bresson introduced me to candid and documentary photography. They are kings.
But there are others who acted as a stronger influence for the dog photography. In particular, Elliot Erwitt who is a huge inspiration, not only for his dog series, but for the levity and the humour that he can find and present in every day situations.
Similarly, Tony Ray-Jones had an incredible ability to cram huge amounts of charm, character and stories into each photograph. Both photographers looked for moments of character, humour and charm in often dull and grey environments.
Dogs in London epitomises that for me…Street photography is at its best when it captures the emotional honesty of a character or scene and dogs are nothing but emotionally honest!
I wanted my photos to be all about capturing the raw character of a dog…That moment of pure emotion when you first meet a dog or see an old friend, their character and excitement that boosts your spirit.
It exists and you see it every day and I wanted to capture that as naturally as possible. You immediately understand their mood and character just by looking at them and they aren’t aware of the camera and so have no self-consciousness. You capture them at their most natural, playful and sometimes uncompromising!
After I take a shot, I love meeting people and finding out what their dog means to them. Everybody enjoys showing off their dog: I’ve met an old woman who proudly displayed her handbag dog on the way back from a grooming session in Kensington, and I’ve met a homeless man showing me how his dog can walk on his hind legs in Mile End.
Both were really funny dogs, but when you get talking to the owners you learn so much…The old lady had been given the dog as a present when she lost her husband and the man in Mile End had lost his wife not long before he bought his for two cans of beer.
They were both completely different dogs from completely different walks of life, but they meant the same to them both. They were a comfort and a security and a friend. Dogs inspire people to share these stories with such warmth and generosity and I am so grateful to have met and got to know them all.