By Sophie Gamand
Last summer I released a campaign called "Flower Power: Pit Bulls of the Revolution".
I was afraid of pit bulls. For no reason other than the stories I had heard and the way they were portrayed in the media. I wanted to find out for myself what the debate was about.
So I built flower crowns and brought them to shelters.
The idea was to address the pit bull crisis by portraying these misunderstood dogs in an unexpected way, while challenging my own apprehensions. America euthanizes upward of 1 million pit bulls every year.
Designed to help shelter pit bulls get adopted (the models are all adoptable rescues), the series is also an attempt to change the way we look at pit bulls.
The campaign has quickly gained a large following online and in the press.
Shelters receive millions of views on their portraits!
Dogs got adopted, including shelter longtimers such as Brownie who had sat in a shelter for 2 years... until her flower portrait caught the eye of her adopter.
Around the world, people are joining #PitBullFlowerPower in support of shelter pit bulls!
I saw some of my models grow older as they waited for a home.
I witnessed the unconditional love rescuers have for the ones they save.
Today I have about 100 Flower Power portraits and I keep visiting shelters and growing the project. I hope to export it to other cities and states.
I am no longer afraid of pit bulls.
I don't know where #PitBullFlowerPower will take me next...
...but the journey so far has been amazing!