How many of us are guilty of keeping photo diaries, videos, and portraits of our beloved pets? All of us, I guess, at some point in our stints as photographers, will have amassed a big photo collection of our adorable furry or feathered companions. The pet portraits of Amsterdam-based Liselotte Habets, however, go beyond the usual adorable photos that make everyone melt into a collective “awww”.
Instead, she came up with the idea to tell the relationship between people and their pets — or at least, how she imagined the relationship would be like if people made odd choices for pets. To make it even more out of the ordinary, Liselotte chose to tell her story through animals made immortal via taxidermy.
According to Liselotte, she created the photo series called Me & My Pet after watching a TV documentary about an elderly couple who had their dead dog stuffed. At first, it may seem the inspiration for this set is the rather strange manner of paying tribute to pets. But for Liselotte, it’s more about the relationship that we often find ourselves missing and honoring when our dear animal companions pass away.
In fact, if we take into account that the animals in Liselotte’s photos have also gone through taxidermy, an emotional narrative exploring this relationship surfaces. Despite the unusual pets being reduced to museum pieces, their human companions cannot seem to part with them. At the most extreme case of longing, they bring their stuffed pets around as they go about their days, from doing mundane tasks inside the house to taking scenic walks. Celebrating birthdays with the stuffed pet is perhaps the most emotional in the entire set.
If you liked this set of conceptual portraits, head over to Liselotte Habets’ Behance portfolio to show your appreciation for Me & My Pet and her other photography projects.