Israeli Photographer Barks Up the Right Tree

The combination of person-dog-home creates a picture that’s a self-contained world,, says Dan Balilty of his 'Dog's Best Friend' series.

Dan Balilty, 35, is a Jerusalem-born photographer who is now working for the Associated Press after a long career in the Israeli press. His work has won prizes in the past, including one in the 2011 “Local Testimony” photojournalism competition held by Tel Aviv’s Eretz Israel Musem.

“‘Dog’s Best Friend,’” he tells Haaretz, “is a project that began spontaneously, from photographing a few friends at home with their dogs. When I looked at the small series of photos, I felt there was something special in it, and I realized that it was because of the dog’s presence. The moment that you photograph someone with his dog by his side is a happy moment for that person. He feels good, he’s giving love and getting love – and this comes across in the picture.

“The special bond with the dog brings out the subject’s sensitive side, no matter how tough he may be. The combination of person-dog-home creates a picture that’s a self-contained world and the subject’s energy is conveyed to the viewer. It generates a good, positive feeling.”

Dan Balilty