Brooklyn photographer uses ‘flower power’ to get shelter pit bulls adopted

BROOKLYN — Sophie Gamand is a woman on a mission some might call daunting: to break down a stereotype that has long plagued the city’s most misunderstood animal, the pit bull.

The Brooklyn-based photographer works with animal shelters in and around New York City, finding the pups in need of a home and photographing them in hand-made flower crowns.

The final product speaks for itself.

“I just felt like as a member of the community and an artist, it was almost my duty, my responsibility to try to shed a different light on them,” Gamand told PIX11 News. “And try to help shelters overcome this difficulty that they have.”

Gamand’s series called “Flower Power, Pit Bulls of the Revolution” has become a viral sensation for all the right reasons.

“The first time the series came out I got a lot of hate mail,” she said. “People told me I had blood on my hands and that these dogs were killers.”

“Overall the response has been very positive and people are very supportive and I get a lot of messages from people saying I’ve changed their perception of pit bulls.”

The project has connected numerous dogs with forever homes, putting a small but significant dent on the enormous population of pit bulls currently waiting in the city’s shelters to be adopted.

Gamand’s “Flower Power” series takes over Photoville in Dumbo this week. It's her first solo exhibit in New York and is a show truly spreading the message that one person can make a difference.

“This woman told me she was walking her very scary, big pit bull on the street and this mom and her daughter came up to her,” Gamand recalled.

“They asked what kind of dog is this and the woman said, ‘Oh, he’s a pit bull’ and the little daughter said, ‘No, he’s not a pit bull, he’s a flower dog,’ and she went on to talk about my project that she had seen!”

Proceeds from “Flower Power” prints and merchandise go to local animal shelters.

For more information on how to purchase, visit Sophie Gamand’s official website, here.

For information on how to donate or adopt, visit Mr. Bones & Co. website, here.