My name is Maija Astikainen and I’m a photographer from Helsinki, Finland. I’ve been photographing pet dogs for several years for my project ‘One-Dog Policy’.

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I’m interested in the way we think of pets as something in between human and animal, and started exploring that in my photography project. Pets are often humanized, treated as family members and “furry babies”. Simultaneously they represent fragments of wild nature in our homes, and humanlike creatures just like us.

I’m shooting portraits of dogs mostly in their homes, without people, as though they were owners of the house. I’m interested in how the posing, face and gaze of the dog could create associations of human qualities and thoughts. Dogs are most often quite lively and sometimes it takes a lot of time to achieve the desired pose or look. Lots of dog candies have been given during the shoots.

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