Over the last nine years, Dietmar Busse has been taking portraits in his apartment in New York City. The German-born photographer’s body of work covers fashion and street photography, still life and landscape. His portraiture has become a conscious and constant thread throughout his career.
Busse’s portraits are intimate and intense, always featuring striking, fascinating people. Although Busse selects his subjects on a mere visual level, the photographer never forgets the human side to his work. “When I am photographing someone, I always look to connect to the subject in some way,” he points out.
Busse’s series Dogs of New York started by accident. “One day, one of the people I photographed came with their dog. I decided spontaneously to take a portrait of the dog by itself. From then on I asked a few friends who had dogs to bring them in for a session and later I just approached people I saw walking dogs in my neighbourhood”, the photographer explains. “Dogs are easier to photograph than people. Dogs are free of preconceived ideas or expectations. They just are who they are and are at peace with it. People are much more complex. You can tell a lot about a person by observing their relationship with their dog.”
The dogs in the series appear mostly curious and aloof. The consistent neutral backdrop saves us from any distraction, allowing total engagement with these amused creatures. “With dogs you have to be very fast. As a photographer you get their full attention for a short time only. After that, you become boring and they move on to other things that are more interesting to them.”