REFlection: Carli Davidson

© Holly Andres

image © Holly Andres

Carli. Portland/USA. Fotografin.

Carli hat sich in ihrer Tätigkeit als Fotografin nicht etwa auf Porträts, Landschaften oder Partyszenen spezialisiert – nein, die Amerikanerin fotografiert am liebsten Tiere, im Speziellen: Hunde. Und zwar nicht beim Tollen im Park, sondern vorzüglich im Studio, ausgeleuchtet und für die Kamera posierend. Dabei geht’s aber nicht nur um die Schönheit der Vierbeiner. Ihre aller erste Fotoreihe widmete sie ausschließlich “Road Kill” (tierische Opfer von Verkehrsunfällen) und das Projekt “The Disabled Pets” zeigt Hunde in ihrer verletzlichsten Form, mit Prothesen, Amputationen oder anderen schwerwiegenden Behinderungen.

Die reine Fotografie hätte Carli Davidson gelangweilt, sagt sie selber. Stattdessen richtet sie ihren Fokus auf die Persönlichkeiten ihrer haarigen Modelle und verblüffte uns mit einem unglaublich spannenden Portfolio. Dieses machte aus der passionierten Tierliebhaberin eine international anerkannte Fotografin.

Die ehemalige Hundetrainerin realisierte bereits Projekte für Cartier, Vogue, NYT Magazine, The Atlantic, Village Voice oder das People Magazine. Darüber hinaus schreibt Carli auch an einem Buch über Hunde mit Behinderungen und Obdachlose und ihre Liebe zu den treuen Begleitern.

Uns war klar, die Dame muss etwas zu erzählen haben. Hier nun ihre Antworten…


1. What does the word „DOING“ mean in your world?

Doing to me means being present in my daily acts. If I am then I’m always creating.


2. What does „DOING NOTHING“ mean in your world?

Not doing means being caught up in minutia and drama, it totally kills my creative drive.



1. It all started when …

… I grew up next to a nature preserve that I worked and volunteered at throughout high school, and my father was a Madison Avenue art director so I was always looking at fashion magazines and sitting in on creative meetings.  I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t obsessed with animals, and art.


2. To me my job is like …

… It’s that thing. You know when you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and it is just torture? Like, you know you want to do something that makes you happy and is meaningful but you just can put your finger on it? Well that’s what it is. I put my finger on it like 2 years ago and I couldn’t be more satisfied.


3. A normal day at work is usually like this:

I get up and think about the shoot, I get all excited and art crazy, then I get slightly deprecating and think it’s gonna suck, then I obsess about shoot ideas and lighting and make sure I have everything that I need. Then a dog walks into my studio and I totally melt and roll around on the floor while the owner looks at me and questions my sanity. After the shoot I go straight to my office and edit, I love editing.


4. The Biggest influences on my work have been:

My father, and all of the animals in my life. My father gave me my first camera when I was in high school. I was a horrible student and had already been put in alternative school for being unruly. He handed me a Nikon F3 and said, go take pictures. I pretty much locked myself in the darkroom for the next couple of years. My first ever photos series was of road kill.We always had pets; dogs, snakes, spiders, cats, rats, and what ever else we could catch. They were amazing friends and very positive influences in my life. I worked at nature preserves and zoos doing care and training for many years. Working with animals is inherently fulfilling to me.


5. My latest project is called:

The Disabled Pet Project


6. Itʼs about …

… my total admiration of animals that overcome severe physical adversity, and the owners who care for them. The animals and people are totally amazing.



1. This is what I am today:

An emerging artist who is surrounded by the most amazing artist community I could ask for, and married to someone cooks me incredible gourmet meals in their free time.


2. This is what my parents always wanted:

My parent’s wanted me to be happy.


3. This is what I pictured to be easier in life:

I pictured making a living to be much, much easier!


4. And this what I pictured to be a lot harder than it is/was:

I pictured feeling fulfilled to be much, much harder than it is.


What is your question?

If you could be any animal what would it be, and why?


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