Ring A Fing. Photo: Albert Lewis
When Albert Lewis saw the faces of the dogs waiting to start the 2012 Iditarod in Anchorage, Alaska, his thoughts about the sport of dogsledding shifted. “I was a pessimist about the race, about the treatment of dogs, about the sport as a whole,” says Lewis. “This all changed as I witnessed the start.”
The dogs, which lined up in teams of up to 16, were about to run 975 miles through freezing temperatures, across two mountain ranges, for anywhere from eight to more than 20 days. “These dogs were comfortable in the 10 degree weather,” he says. “Their breeding and physical make-up allowed them to ignore the cold that was biting at my toes and fingers.”
Lewis has photographed campaigns for everyone from The North Face to Land's End, but at that moment he decided on his next personal project. “I was going to make a book to share and display their beauty and their happiness,” he says.
Since then, he's driven more than 4,800 miles to 30 kennels to photograph 300 dogs. Currently, he's raising money through Kickstarter to help finish the book, Born to Run: Athletes of the Iditarod. I emailed him to find out a bit more about the project.