If Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, were all furry four legged canines, you’d have Elias Weiss Friedman’s The Dogist. Amassing an impressive, 1.8 million followers on Instagram since its launch in 2013 Elias has traveled the world photographing man’s best friend on the streets.
Elias discovered his calling as a dog photographer after leaving the corporate world when he realized that he, “missed having a dog and saw that nobody was really telling the story of dogs in a consistent, beautiful way,” Friedman said in an interview with HuffPost. “I’ve always loved dogs growing up, my own and others and wanted to pursue something creative.”
Being a street photographer for pups has its downsides, I’m sure. I actually don’t see any, but in the following video, a short documentary about The Dogist, Elias can be seen getting ready and putting on knee pads; I’m sure it’s hard on the knees getting to a dog’s eye level all the time and maybe the dog hair on his clothes? It’s pretty much the perfect job.
Elias’ first Dogist doggy subject was a “photogenic boxer” in Europe, which he posted on his Instagram and used popular hashtags such as #dogsofinstagram. His work began getting noticed by dog-lovers everywhere, and he built a huge following. Now Elias spends his days walking the streets of New York, looking for people walking their dogs and asking if he can photograph them.
So how does one create a dream life like this dog photographer? Though he has 1.8 million followers on Instagram, I have never seen any sort of advertisement or product placement (aside from a handful of images of his personal book that just came out). On his website, Elias says that he funds the entire project “along with help from donations from people who want to see it continue and grow.” From The Dogist site:
- $5 buys me a lens cloth to get dog slobber off my lens
- $8 replaces the squeaky tennis ball your dog ran off with
- $10 buys The Dogist a treat while he’s out chasing your dogs
- $15 pays to get dirt and slobber out of all my clothing
- $30 pays for a fresh MetroCard that gets me to your dogs
- $50 buys an extra memory card to take more pictures of your dog with
- $100 goes towards the next Dogist travel series
Elias’ book The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs is a New York Times Bestseller and he spends his days squeaking dog toys and hoping people walk their pups. An enviable life…
Apparently, I read somewhere that Elias is also The Catist, but that’s not as cool (in my opinion).