When New York photographer and animal advocate Sophie Gamand began photographing rescue Pit Bulls in flower crowns, challenging the public’s perception of them as ‘dangerous’ dogs, she had no idea that her Pit Bull Flower Power project would grow as wildly popular as it did.
“I chose to start a project on shelter Pit Bulls specifically because I was afraid of them. I wanted to find out the truth, and the best way I knew how was through an art project,” she told Dogs Today in 2016, talking about her work.
“There are so many Pit Bulls in shelters across the country – and the world! As a member of the community, I had to help and become a part of the solution.”
After almost four years, the project is about to become a published book.
“I am beyond excited to bring the Pit Bull Flower Power book to life!” Sophie wrote. “This large coffee table book (9×12 inches, 250 pages) has your favorite Pit Bull Flower Power portraits, outtakes, as well as inspiring stories of these dogs on their way to new homes, and touching adoption updates.”
Sophie set up a Kickstarter page to raise the funds needed to publish the book – and the goal was shattered within days.
“I am crying, jumping up and down, doing a little dance with hubby and my little Puerto Rican brindle rescue MacLovin. I can’t put words on all the feelings,” she said. “I know Flower Power is important. And I know I can’t carry it alone. I am incredibly grateful you are willing to help me carry its flame further.”
With a month still to go before the crowdfunding closes, Sophie has decided to double the goal to print as many books as possible.
“First, keep in mind this might be your only chance at getting a copy of the book, because depending on the final numbers, and a bunch of other reasons, we might never reprint the book after all the pre-orders are fulfilled,” she said. “There might only be one edition and that’s it. So please do not miss this opportunity!”
“Second, I want to stick it to all of those who said ‘there is no potential with this book’, those who asked me ‘people really care about Pit Bulls?’. I want to stick it to those who think these dogs don’t deserve better than the crap they’ve been subjected to for decades.
“This is about celebrating all sentient beings, even if you are afraid. Life is life and it demands our respect. This is what revolution looks like. Tonight, I thank you. And I love you more than I can express.”
You can can contribute to the book, and snatch your own copy in the process, on Sophie’s Kickstarter page.
Images by Sophie Gamand.