Dog People: Photos show what dogs would look like if they were human

Dog owners are forever anthropomorphising their pets, projecting thoughts and feelings onto them, and basically turning them into four-legged people. German photographer Sandra Müller's new book Dog People features 83 creative portraits that answer the question: "What kind of person would this dog be?"

Müller recruited friends and their dogs and then used Facebook to find subjects. She talked to each owner about their dog's personalities to figure out what kind of person they'd be, and then decided on the outfit they'd wear. Maja, Müller's own Bernese Mountain Dog mix, was her first subject, and she dressed her as a beauty queen because, "Of course, she is the most beautiful dog in the whole world".

Blue and Balin the male and female Boston terriers are an old married couple in typical Bavarian costumes. 'Anyone who looks at them can tell that she is the boss, the photographer says. She be like: 'Balin, come here immediately, the photographer is waiting for us.' 'As you wish, my dear Blue.'"© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Maja, Müller’s own Bernese Mountain Dog mix, inspired the book. She is dressed as Miss Dog People, the book's beauty queen. After all, as she writes in the prologue. "Anyone who has a dog knows that theirs is the best and the most beautiful in the world"© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Bella the Border Collie mix puppy wears a jaunty yellow jacket and would be 'just a little kid'© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved

Rather than using Photoshop, Müller worked in the studio. She prefocused and pre-lit each shot, and once her subject was seated, slipped on a shirt or jacket or scarf and, if "the dog didn't mind, I might add a hat or a necklace before pressing the shutter button," a process that took two or three minutes. Most of the dogs were "very chill," she reports.

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Ella the German terrier was so friendly and laid-back that Müller came to the conclusion that if she were human she would be the world's biggest Bob Marley fan© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Willi the Jack Rusell cross is dressed as a hunter, because his owner said he loves to be in the stable© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Wed Tamrit'n Shat-Ehad is an Azawakh, a breed of dog from West Africa. 'If she were human, she'd be an Olympic sprinter,' says the photographer© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Romero Livonija Baron Cesar may have a fancy name, but the Doberman's owner is a security guard and is training him as a defence dog, so the photographer was clear how to portray him© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Möher and Dori, a male boxer crossbreed and female Parson Russell Terrier Labrador cross are characterised as rockabilly fans© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
If Kissy the Schnauzer-terrier cross were human, she would be a charleston dancer," says the German photographer. The hair around her eyes reminded her of long lashes, and the fact that flappers were sort of the first emancipated women suited Kissy's independent personality© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Jella the greyhound loves being warm, so the photographer dressed her in a woollen jersey and a fur hat. Jella didn't want to take them off after the session© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved
Dog People by Sandra Müller, published by teNeues, £19, www.teneues.com© 2017 Sandra Müller Fotografie. All rights reserved

Rather than being a fashion show or a Halloween parade, Müller hopes the images function as real portraits, and that each one "honestly captures a type of person, a human being you could actually meet."

Dog People by Sandra Müller, featuring 83 creative portraits, is published by teNeues, £19, www.teneues.com. | Order the book here.

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