Photographer Captures Dogs Displaying Human Expressions

Photographer Captures Dogs Displaying Human Expressions

A photography duo has together worked on photographing more than 500 animals over the last two-and-a-half years in order to create a series that documents pets demonstrating human-like expressions.

Based in Melbourne, Australia, husband and wife team Tony Ladson and Belinda Richards are the brains behind the operation: “Belinda makes funny noises and I feed them peanut butter, resulting in weird looks that are so human, it's ridiculous,” says Tony.

The images include puppies, kittens, bunnies, and even ferrets. It’s the animals’ reactions to the different noises made or words used that continue to inspire the series. Each, the pair say, are unique to each individual animal — just like with people. Belinda, who in August was named the pet/animal photographer of the year by the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers, explains:

The idea behind each shot is to capture images which emulate human portraits and elicit a connection with the observer.

As for working with animals, Belinda says it’s all about watching the animal’s behaviors and waiting for “that split second to release the shutter.” So unpredictable are some of her subjects, she admits some of her clients often assume she didn’t get any successful images until they see the selections. Being able to predict what an animal will do helps too, something she says stems from years of experience.

The series is entitled: "Dogs are the Best People." See more from the series below, as well as a behind-the-scenes video. Be sure to check out their website.

All images courtesy Belinda Richards, and used with permission.

Log in or register to post comments


Teemu Paukamainen's picture

Hmm... I dunno... I've yet to take a photo of a human trying to lick his/her nose or have drool bubbles. :P

Jack Alexander's picture


Lee Christiansen's picture

You never worked with PR people...? :)

Matthias Kirk's picture

Most of what's displayed here are mild calming signals that dogs use to diffuse a stressful situation. Cool photos, but human? nah...

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Come on, don't be so professional... :)

Les Sucettes's picture

My wife works with dogs as a trainer and helps people even out their behaviours to better their dogs behaviours. The fundamental problem with dog owners is that they treat their dogstoo much as a human. They want to cuddle it and take the dog on the sofa and have it sleep in their bed. The problem with all that is that dogs aren’t capable of understanding exceptions. They only understand consistency. So when you introduce random behaviours such as “cuddles” too often they have no sense of what is appropriate and what isn’t appropriate behaviours. Treating dogs as humans is the no 1 cause / next to not enough socialisation and enough walks for creating an animal that is either fearful or aggressive / bad behaved.

So no, I don’t think it is cute to try to photograph dogs with “human” expressions