Swiss Artist Creates Stunning “Mad Scientist” Dog Fotos

Part of the Underdogs photographic series, a dog wearing a Cardigan and shirt | Photo © copyright Sebastian Magnani

Be prepared to do a double take because the dog photos you are about to see are going to BLOW YOUR MIND! Rewind back to 2009 on a rainy weekend in Brig, Switzerland. Down in the basement, photographer Sebastian Magnani set out on an experiment that would change the Pet World forever! 

In the basement where Mr. Magnani had his studio, it started off as he took a photograph of his girlfriend. He leaves the settings of his camera in the same position and same settings and photographs the family dog. Afterwards, the images are brought into image editing software for post-production and begins the “merge.” The results are stunning: a portrait of a dog with blond hair with a shirt and cardigan that ended up in a September 2009 edition of a skateboard magazine. Alas, the first creation from Mr. Magnani's imaginative lab!

Fast forward three years later in Spring of 2012, Mr. Magnani continues his project and works with dogs and their owners at a dog obedience school. He sets up a background with studio lighting and the results are his follow-up to his photographic series.

A dog takes on human-like traits in the photographic series Underdogs | Photo © copyright Sebastian Magnani

We recently reached out to Mr. Magnani regarding his series “Underdogs” in a Haus Of Paws exclusive interview:

Haus Of Paws: What was the initial reaction of the dog portraits when you first began?

Sebastian Magnani: My mother was (pleased) to have a picture of my girlfriend and my dog in a merge. Now she has a great picture on her bedside table!

Haus Of Paws: In your blog, you described the process as having the human and dog in the same camera position.Can you describe how was it working with the dogs in getting them to sit still for that shot?

Sebastian Magnani: To photograph animals is of course always a little more difficult than with people. Many of the dogs do whatever they want. Others are naturally well behaved...Of course, this is like the people too. Each has its own character...One of the dogs was quite nervous, for example, (it was) really difficult to capture the look because he always wanted (to go) down from the podium and... had his head down. The other dog, for example, was the perfect model. Well behaved, not bad, totally focused and super-professional.

Haus Of Paws: Do you have any dogs?

Sebastian Magnani: My mother had three dogs so far. By that, (I have always been brought up with a dog! I like dogs!!! They are very true, straightforward...And yes, in some way very wise. I would like (to) foster a dog. I love dogs. But right now I (don't) time to have a dog. In my mind, the animal may (need) a lot of time (which I don't have) right now but should at some point. 

A dog a takes on the traits of his owner in the photographic series Underdog | Photo © copyright Sebastian Magnani

Mr. Magnani titled the series “Underdogs” referencing the underlying pretenses of what Wikipedia describes as “a person who is subordinate to the social hierarchy.” According to Mr. Magnani he describes the titling process as “The approach was perfect for me, in psychologically and philosophical Way.

His series gets praises worldwide. Mr. Magnani says that When I am finished with the dogs, I would like to try this with cats and other animals.

Mr. Magnani wrote in his blog “The Project is still at the Beginning. I'll leave it open...I want to expand the project definitely!
A dog wears a hoodie in the photographic series Underdog | Photo © copyright Sebastian Magnani

Mr. Magnani now resides in Berne, Switzerland and has been a graphic designer for five years in Brig before becoming a photography professional. More of his commercial work can be seen at his website at:


  1. Anonymous said...:

    I think one of them was in the elevator with me this morning !!

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