If you love a good “before and after” series, you will not be disappointed with this one. Pet and lifestyle photographer Grace Chon is back with Hairy, a series where she takes dogs who are in a desperate need of grooming and transforms them into adorable creatures. All of these dogs weren’t just given the normal treatment, however, they were cut in a Japanese-style of grooming, with an emphasis on making the dogs look as cute as possible. Chon worked with the talented groomers of Healthy Spot in Los Angeles to make this series come alive.
If the name Grace Chon sounds familiar, she’s the photographer behind the viral series Jasper and Zoey. (It’s still one of my all-time favorites.)
I got a chance to catch up with Grace and ask her a few questions about the new series, Hairy.
What made you want to start this new series? How did it come about?
I think a lot of us have a fascination with before and after images because it’s always fun to see dramatic transformations. I had the idea of doing a before and after series with dog grooming because there’s something about it that’s so funny to me. Sometimes the dog looks so different and you wonder if it’s the same dog in both images. I wanted to capture that idea in the series, and have the after photos be really extreme by showing Japanese Dog Grooming cuts since they aren’t that common and the results are so striking.
How much time and effort went into cutting the dogs’ hair?
These cuts truly are works of art – each haircut takes about 2 hours or more, as the majority of the styling is all done with hand scissoring.
Can you describe the Japanese style of grooming?
The emphasis of this style of grooming is to make the dog look as adorable as possible by highlighting the uniquely cute characteristics of the dog. My personal take on it is that they make the dogs look almost like stuffed animals – cute overload!
What did you learn from shooting the series?
Grooming is definitely an art form. I don’t have dogs that get groomed, but watching the groomers up close made me realize how much time and dedication goes into a cut especially when the majority of it is being done by hand with scissors. The groomers I had the pleasure of working with are so creative and great at what they do.
1-Yuki by Alyson Ogimachi
2-Athena by Donna Owens
3-Teddy by Donna Owens
4-Herman by Cindy Reyes
5-Raider by Koko Fukaya
6-Rocco by Patricia Sugihara
7-Lana by Koko Fukaya