How do you take the perfect dog portrait? The Dogist has you covered.

Studio 360
Archie, a chihuahua, is pictured here.

Archie, a chihuahua, is pictured here. 

Elias Weiss Friedman via Twitter (image cropped)

Friedman is a dog photographer — or, more accurately, he’s the human behind the blog and online phenomenon The Dogist. The idea for the site ­came to him a few years ago, when he realized that there was nothing like Humans of New York or The Sartorialist for dogs. It was a glaring hole on the internet, he thought, and one that he could fill.

His Instagram account has 3.1 million followers. (Friedman also runs The Catist but says that cats “are not as generous with eye contact.”)

For Friedman, a typical day of shooting revolves around the bathroom breaks of New York’s dogs. “So mornings, midday, and after work,” he says. “And in New York, I like to shoot on the weekends, because the owners are more likely to be with them instead of at work.”

Posts on The Dogist usually include a photo, along with the pup’s “name, breed, age, location, and something interesting about the dog — some story about them,” Friedman explains.

One typical image features a pouchy beagle, half-sitting on the damp pavement at 21st Street and Gramercy Park East and peering into the lens for his close-up. The caption identifies him as Ace, age “14ish,” and quotes his owner: “He had a pretty lousy life before this in a laboratory, but he loves food. He once stole a sandwich from a homeless guy.” The post has been favorited, liked and shared hundreds of times across The Dogist’s social media empire.

This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI's Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen. 

(Originally aired March 23, 2017)

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