Dogs make the world a much better place than it would be without them. Imagine how much better a world could be if dogs were bigger!
Photographer Chris Cline has been taking photos of that incredible world and sharing the view from it on social media. In the past few years he’s gained thousands of fans and had his work featured all over. The story of how his new career came to be is an interesting one, and he recently told iHeartDogs all about it and about how his dog, Juji, inspired a new direction not only in his art, but in his life.
Four years ago, Chris was a truck driver and forklift operator. Had you told him that only a few years later he’d be photographing his dog and sharing his work with people all over the world, he probably wouldn’t have believed you. Chris had always been artistic, but photography didn’t come naturally to him. Also, he didn’t have a dog – nor did he want one.
“I would play with a hand-me-down camera that my girlfriend Christine had given to me. I didn’t take to it at first and found that using a DSLR camera was incredibly difficult. But, I also live in Minnesota where its winter for 8 months a year and I quickly learned that I needed something to keep my mind working.
I remember the day Christine told me we were getting a dog… and I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want the responsibility of a puppy because it’s so time consuming. And I really wasn’t happy when she told me it was a Goldendoodle. I thought they were dogs for little girls with pigtails.”
It took some time for Chris to hone his skills with his camera, but he says he fell in love with his new pet almost immediately. Chris continued to work with his camera and enjoyed manipulating photos, but like all proud-pup parents, his camera quickly found a new favorite subject!
“Juji is all guy… Juji and I bonded immediately. He’s so goofy and playful, but at the same time he can be extremely stoic and just mesmerizing to watch. His personality is nothing short of genius and I feel extremely lucky that he picked us to live with.
When I first got into photography I didn’t really have any direction. I just knew that I wanted to create images that made people look twice. So my first images were really random and were just an extension of how I was feeling that day. And then I started to play around with photographing my dog and playing with scale. Those always did very well on my social media accounts and I kept getting more and more requests for them. It didn’t take long before it was “all Juji, all the time”!”
The photos of Chris exploring the outdoors and embarking on outrageous adventures with a giant Juji by his side have charmed people all over the world. They bring to life the daydreams we’ve all had about our dogs, but with a pup a few hundred pounds heavier than the ones lounging on our couches!
Online, Juji is famous for driving tractors and leaping over traffic jams, but at home he’s still just a regular dog.
“My girlfriend Christine and I both have offices here at the house and Juji spends his days commuting from one office to the next. He sleeps a lot, as most dogs do. And he spends a lot of time chasing squirrels and chipmunks. They seem to be his arch nemeses.“
Chris now works happily taking photos of Juji and manipulating photos of other people’s pets – a surprising happy ending for a man who didn’t particularly care for photography or dog ownership! As an artist, Chris is proud to have created an oasis where people can come together over something that can add a little joy to all our lives. It’s the world that he and giant Juji live in.
Juji and I have worked very hard to create a world that anyone from anywhere can visit and feel right at home. And it’s not that we go out of our way to avoid these things, it’s that they just don’t have a place in what we are trying to do. The world is full of negative things and we like the fact that we are adding something positive to it.”
You can see more of Chris and Juji and contact Chris for a photo of you and your pet on their Instagram and Facebook pages. You can also order a 2019 calendar filled with more amazing photos by clicking here!