Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution

Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution
Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution
Photographer Sophie Gamand casts Pit Bulls in a new light—a very soft and beautiful one

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We simply could not be more taken with this project. Photographer and rescue volunteer Sophie Gamand’s new photographic series is not just lovely, it has a lofty goal at its core: to recast public perception of bully breeds. That it makes one smile in the process is, to us, a sure harbinger of its success.

A longtime volunteer with a variety of rescue groups, Gamand found herself warming up to the maligned bully breeds, won over by the sweet natures of the Pit Bulls she encountered in rescue. Soon, the idea for Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution was born and Gamand found herself making floral headdresses for adoptable Pit Bulls, then bathing the dogs in a soft warm light to create the magical, hippie-ish vibe seen in the these dreamily arresting photos. Working with three New York-based rescue groups, Sean Casey Animal Rescue, Second Chance Rescue and Animal Haven, Gamand had no shortage of adoptable Pit Bulls to work with.

Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution is about challenging oneself to look at Pit Bulls differently,” Gamand says of her series. “They have a bad reputation and are victims of prejudices. In America, a million Pit Bulls are euthanized each year. The truth is that the great majority of Pit Bulls are harmless and very affectionate. I realized that the imagery associated with them was always harsh and gritty. They were always portrayed as bad asses. I myself was prejudiced until I realized you can’t judge an entire group based on a few bad elements. So I took a different route, to invite people to look at them from a different perspective. I started thinking: what if these dogs were portrayed as sweet flower children? Would it make people reconsider their prejudices against them?”

All the dogs featured in Gamand’s work, including those seen on these pages, are currently waiting for forever homes. To find out more about adopting one of these dogs, go to sophiegamand.com. Prints (with a 2015 calendar soon to follow) are also available, with all proceeds going to the three rescue groups that took part in the project.

“This project is not about saying all Pit Bulls are angels,” Gamand notes. “It is about learning to look at things with an
open heart.”

>> Get Social! Gamand has organized a really cool social media campaign around the series. She’s inviting everyone to post a picture of their dogs with flowers (or wearing flowers!) and use the hashtag #PitBullFlowerPower to fight prejudice, support shelter Pit Bulls, and remember the multitude of Pit Bulls euthanized each year.

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