This Pet Photographer Looks Past “Cute” to Capture an Animal’s Soul

If you can’t tell by now, we are a little crazy about pet photography. Pictures of our silent friends help us get through a tough day and provide us with a sense of comfort. Not to mention, they are just plain cute. One young pet photographer, however, aims to go beyond capturing animals in a “cute” or “sweet” way. Robert Bahou photographs animals up-close and personal in order to show the essence of an animal’s personality. His latest coffee-table book, Animal Soul, is a celebrated collection of his serious pet portraits.

A New Way to Photograph Animals

Robert Bahou believes every animal has a distinct personality. Unlike humans, Bahou believes that animals do not know what a camera is and therefore will not alter themselves in front of one. In order to show an honest portrayal of his furry subjects, Bahou avoids “all distraction by limiting the photographs to medium shots with a black background, and I have purposely avoided humor as a selling point.”  The pictures are different from what we are used to seeing from typical pet photography. The animals are calm and still, unlike louder, more boisterous pictures we have grown to expect from pet photography.

As a pet photographer, Bahou manages to personify each animal in a way that has not been done before. The photographs are telling; each animal’s portrait gives a glimpse inside that animal’s thoughts and feelings. Although we may never know what our furry friends are thinking, these images help us easily imagine who they are. One look at his photographs demonstrates how talented and special Bahou’s work truly is.

Animal Soul

Robert Bahou wanted to make his collection of fantastic pet portraits into a book because he believes “that the ultimate form a photograph can take is on paper. We can scroll through images on our phones and computers, but they will never carry the same gravity as when we can feel the paper it is printed on.” He chose to turn to Kickstarter, like many young artists, in order to fully be in charge of the creative process without teaming up with a book designer.

The pet photographer’s fascination with animals began in Jordan, where he grew up with his family’s golden retriever. Only 24 years old, Bahou currently works in Amsterdam. Although he loves photography, he also enjoys creating motion videos. On his website, he writes that “video demands a deft understanding of how to tell a story, or how to deliver a message in the most effective way possible. No matter the subject matter, there is always a way to bring home the point through a carefully thought out video.” You can check out some of his commissioned and personal work here.

Bahou’s work is published and celebrated throughout the world. Animal Soul is currently available for purchase on Amazon. Reviewers rave that the images are crisp, clear, and mesmerizing. His respect and love for these creatures are easy to see in his pet photography. We cannot wait to watch this young artist grow as a photographer and videographer.

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