Hounds of Helsinki: Behind the Scenes of the 2014 World Dog Show

HELSINKI, FINLAND - AUG 10: A standard poodle named Afterglow Maverick Sabre--known as Ricky, stands at attention on the groomer's table before placing 2nd in group 9 during the 2014 World Dog Show on Sunday, August 10th, 2014, in Helsinki, Finland. (Photo by Landon Nordeman)
Landon Nordeman for TIME
A standard poodle named Afterglow Maverick Sabre--known as Ricky, stands at attention on the groomer's table before placing 2nd in group nine during the 2014 World Dog Show on Sunday, August 10th, 2014, in Helsinki, Finland.

It was pretty hard to avoid being barked at in Helsinki last weekend. It’s not too surprising, I suppose, considering over 21,000 dogs had descended on the Finnish capital for the three-day World Dog Show — an annual event, held in a different city each year, that sees pooches fiercely compete for the title of Best in Show.

I was there to write a story for TIME, and just two hours in to my first day of reporting I had been snapped at by a preened American Cocker Spaniel, licked a few too many times by a warm-faced Wirehaired Daschund and had narrowly avoided walking straight into the path of a pooping Shar Pei. It’s all part of the danger of working with animals, I told myself.

Richard Conway

Richard Conway

Landon Nordeman takes a photo of "Cazar," a Mastiff, Helsinki, Aug. 8, 2014.

Luckily for me, though, I was in veteran company. Editors had sent me on assignment with Landon Nordeman, a photographer known for his artful take on shows like this.

Put a dog in front of him and he’ll make a shot that is somehow comical and sincere. And sure enough, when I saw some of his early edits I hoped we could both go to shows every week.

There were shots of dogs like the regal Weimaraner Bekki, the Scottish Deerhound Minka, and five Shetland Sheepdogs from Sweden. All of them were weird, beautiful animals in real life, but his lens had somehow added an extra dimension, snapping them, it seemed, at just the right time, too.

“Experience has taught me to anticipate when moments are going to happen,” Nordeman tells TIME . “It’s great — because when you take their picture, dogs do not talk back!”


Landon Nordeman is a commercial and editorial photographer whose work has been featured in The Atlantic Monthly, TIME, Bloomberg Businessweek and ESPN The Magazine, among others. His images of the World Dog Show will appear in TIME on September 1, 2014.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for TIME LightBox


Related Topics: , , , ,

Latest Posts

Stephen Waddell

Off the Radar: Jeff Wall Puts the Spotlight on Stephen Waddell

TIME LightBox asked Jeff Wall to select an image maker whose work he admire yet may be unknown to a wider audience. His choice: Stephen Waddell

Read More
Driftless: Photographs from Iowa

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 25, 2014

2014.  Gaza.  Palestine.  Schoolchildren head to class at the Sobhi Abu Karsh School in the Shujai'iya neighborhood. Operation Protective Edge lasted from 8 July 2014 – 26 August 2014, killing 2,189 Palestinians of which 1,486 are believed to be civilians. 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians were killed.  It's estimated that 4,564 rockets were fired at Israel by Palestinian militants.

Inside Gaza with Photographer Peter van Agtmael

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 19,320 other followers