Some things haunt you in a good way. Kate Lacey‘s book Show Dogs: A Photographic Breed Guide is one of those haunting things for me. I’ve seen it in store after store, I’ve given it as a gift to people, I’ve been given it as a gift (twice!)–and I would not want things any differently! I find this book all around me and I love it. It’s such a happy, fun, glorious piece of pictorial literature.
Exactly what the title describes, Lacey’s Show Dogs is simply a guide book to dog breeds done in a very playful manner. The book is the spawn of Lacey’s being assigned to photograph the Westminster Dog Show in 2005, which turned into a pursuit to capture every American Kennel Club dog breed. Similar to the very funny, very smart Point It by Dieter Graf, the book showcases dogs as they are, straightforward, without any commentary besides their name and breed.
Lacey does an excellent job at letting these dogs’ breed personality shine, best exemplified by the ever ebulliently fashionable Shih Tzu (top) and the always alert sportsman Vizsla (second, left). Unlike, but not too dissimilar to, Jo Longhurst, Lacey’s gaze does not project too much on to the dog and lets them speak for themselves. If they are a playful, jolly dog, they look playfully jolly. If they are an aspiring old lady lap dog, they aspire for a lap to lie upon. If they yearn to lounge around panting in the sun, they lounge around and pant, purple tongues out.
The book is absolutely divine and a perfect gift for anyone who loves dogs, loves photography, or with a heart. If you are a dog owner, you will definitely flip through immediately to find your dog’s breed, as if you were ready to root for them at the AKC.
Lastly, for those of you who did not have his iPad stolen out of his car one night, you can download Lacey’s new iPad application: Show Dogs by SimplyFormed.com! Please buy this and flip through all the dogs as if you were me!
Photos courtesy of Evil Twin Publications.