Jesse Freiden, Doggie Gaga Project.
Jesse Freiden knows how to put a smile on the face of humans and animals alike. He is a noted animal photographer, sticks passionately to film photography in an age of digital and photoshop, and has a cute collection of Lady Gaga inspired dog photographs, which went viral at the time, known as the Doggie Gaga Project.
Jesse was interviewed by Pinterest about his work, and like the Recapturist Bill Rose, we thought you would like to see some of highlights. Bill and Jesse are both advocates of holding onto the beauty of simpler times and practices, like film photography.
When asked why he sticks to film in a digital age, his answer comes down to craftsmanship: “analog photography forces the artist to slow down, have a deep understanding of the intricacies of the craft, be responsible for their work and intentional about their images.”
This is especially true when people no longer print images. Instead they get published on Facebook. Which is why it also comes down to a market demand Jesse is meeting: “I see people longing for realness and handmade work. Like a woodworker hand-carving a table or a painter filling a huge canvas – analog photography is all about the magic and history of the craft. Which is why I love it.”
The Doggie Gaga Project came about as part of a dare, which went viral online, and ensure he stayed true to his passion for print film. In 2010 Lady Gaga became the Creative Director of the Polaroid Corporation, whilst at the same time Jesse got to know the people behind a company looking to revitalize Polaroid photography, The Impossible Project. “They sent me two packs of very rare and extinct original Polaroid film (that had ceased production) and said that since I loved dogs so much it would be funny if I photographed a few dogs dressed like Lady Gaga,” he said in the Pinterest interview.
In the course of a few weeks some friends made Gaga inspired costumes which would fit his favorite dogs, and one night they shot the first run on one roll of film on his 4×5 field camera. We then “put it on the internet – and it completely blew up. The rest is history.”
When it comes to his work he has never been put off by the television adage of never working with children, or animals. The funny moments, the ones which can’t be accounted for, and the emotional – like dogs puking breakfast when they get too excited, or photographers falling down stairs – are just part of the job. Part of the reason why Jesse sticks to film is for him its all about: “the magic of … being able to find the quiet moments between those realities and create portraits about connection and love. Editing is a very powerful tool, and sometimes those awkward or funny moments actually result in great images.”
For more of Jesse Freidin’s work, check out his website, and Pinboards.