Photography by Manu Helwegen

Staredown

The title is a literal translation about the doings of both subjects. They both are staring down, the woman and the dog. This is a normal posture for a dog when he is sniffing and guiding himself from scent to scent. He is looking where to leave his feces, prevailing his own over that of others before him. For a human staring down could imply insecurity, humility or even submissiveness. This is a natural feeling in everybody’s lives that we all experience for time to time. When you think of it, the life of a dog is mostly submissive to their owner and a staredown is about submitting to someone or submitting them to you. So both are looking down and it is not a staredown, or is it?

Photography by Manu Helwegen

My name is Jack

My name is Jack, although I don’t know the real name of the dog. But he looks so perky in the picture it is almost like he wants to present himself as such. After I took the picture I walked up to the dog, just to pet him. As I approached the dog, a smile came on the woman’s face. You are a pretty little dog, I said. He startled, making little jumps from left to right, forward and than back again. He is kinda afraid, the woman said, playful but mostly afraid. At first this is what I saw in the eyes of the woman. In the end they both didn’t have to be afraid. Both of them knew when I walked away again.

Photography by Manu Helwegen

I like to walk

It is quite obvious that this dog doesn’t want to move. For this reason the woman had to stop time and time again, pulling the dog along. In this process, she got hold of me photographing. While looking at me it is almost as she wants to say: ‘This is really something, you photographing me while having to walk my dog like this. How do you both have the nerve to tease me like this?’ I guess the dog and I were doing it on purpose. Thank you very much for the photo, lingering dog.

Photography by Manu Helwegen

Peewee

Peewee, it could be the name of the dog whilst it is a funny name and it is actually peewee-ing. A small dog with remarkable resemblance in hair colour to it’s owner. A woman which seems rather disgusted or even embarrassed that the little dog is making a tiny piss. It even looks like the dog itself is embarrassed. It is pushing itself as close to the wall as possible, making only very little gesture to the fact it is peeing. They both want to move on, for nobody to notice this embarrassing little fact. With the wind that catches her dress, this is even more emphasized. It makes it a funny little photo, this peewee.

Photography by Manu Helwegen

Rosary

From far I noticed this woman, with her funky hat and hair, like a time capsule that grew old. Later I saw she still believed, having a rosary in her hands. I couldn’t have seen this detail because of my distance to the subject. In the photo’s this is visibly disclosed and makes you wonder about the story behind this woman. What is this woman made out of? I like it that the photo lets someone tell their own story instead of the photo representing a story. I like having a balance between a prepared scene and a total random picture. To a point my pictures are all random but the combination of elements within the moment, being too bizar or too simple, let’s you rethink whether there is a staged element or not. Hopefully than you look further…