My name is Ines Opifanti and I am a photographer from Hamburg, Germany. For this series, I photographed dog owners who mimic their dogs’ facial expressions. Almost 3 years ago I adopted a puppy out of the blue and quickly noticed her amazing ability to pull off almost human-like facial expressions.

But, what about the other way round? How easily can humans “read” our dogs’ facial expressions? I was very curious, so I posted a request for volunteers in a local, dog-centered Facebook group. I made appointments with over 30 mostly total strangers and their dogs.

I photographed the dogs first, letting them sit on a small podium. Owners had to interact with them, telling them phrases they know the dogs will react to. Of course they got lots and lots of praise and treats so they quickly stopped caring about the lights or the camera. It’s important that dogs are calm and relaxed, so they can show their natural behavior and are not frightened. After the dogs were photographed, the owners have to interpret and mimic. I noticed that dog people get really good in interpreting their own dogs. It’s really a fascinating thing because we’re two completely different species after all.

More info: ines-opifanti.com

Almost 3 years ago I adopted a puppy out of the blue

I quickly noticed her amazing ability to pull off almost human-like facial expressions

She even learned to smile like a human, whenever I rub her belly, she rolls around with a huge smile from ear to ear

But, what about the other way round? How easily can we humans “read” our dogs’ facial expressions?

I was very curious, so I invited over 30 people with their dogs to participate in this project

I noticed that dog people are really good in interpreting their own dogs’ often very subtle mimics

It’s really a fascinating thing, because we’re two completely different species

And finally, this is the image that started it all. My dog Fleur and me. Thanks for reading!