Jordan James’s experience photographing skaters came in handy at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. “Paying attention to the dogs’ body language and actions is very similar to shooting a skate trick at the exact right moment,” says James, who owned skateboard company Corpse Corpse in New York until 2014. Once that came to a natural end, James began to develop his own photography and graphic design gigs, making ends meet through fashion shoots.
His project, Best in Show, captures the frenetic energy, precision, and “unique routine”’—James’ words—of dog shows. New to this world, James was naively unaware of the utter seriousness with which the entrants take the competition. One owner was concerned about the camera flash stressing out his dog, there were tears when people didn’t place, and grooming sessions would take hours. “You have to respect that!” James says, while noting: “Most of these dogs are treated better than some children.”
A heartfelt thank you to all the photographers, artists, illustrators, and writers who trusted us, dived in, and brought us delight, grace, excitement, courage, wilderness, and wonder over the last five years. Their work not only reflects the bonds we share with our animal companions, it also celebrates their spirit.
None of this would be possible without our four-legged counterparts who sprinkle magic dust time and time again, and our readers, who embraced this kooky idea, rallied around us, and made this world theirs too. With friends like these, who needs nine lives?
February 5, 2019