Gray Malin and the Hounds of Aspen - petsitterbank

Gray Malin and the Hounds of Aspen


Gray Malin and his models while filming at Aspen Mountain. (Courtesy of Gray Malin)

Aspen dogs by Gray Malin on Vimeo.

Aspen loves his dogs, of course. The ski resort’s avalanche dogs are local celebrities. He loves his sled dogs and purse dogs, welcomes his four-legged friends in most public spaces. For many years, Aspen even had a courier-carrying golden retriever that accompanied Terry, the downtown mailman, on his way.

It’s no surprise, then, that Los Angeles-based fine art photographer Gray Malin has turned his flattering lens on the phenomenon in his new ‘Dogs of Aspen’ series, following on from his ‘Gray Malin in Aspen Series’. 2019 celebrating local ski culture in retro chic and retro alpine elegance.

He recently released his 25-photo “Dogs of Aspen” series which was shot on Aspen Mountain and at the Little Nell this winter, featuring a cast of charismatic dogs. The footage shows them riding the Gentlemen’s Ridge chairlift and admiring the view from the top and sitting down – much like the famous painting of puppies playing poker – sitting down for an afternoon tea and drinks in the snow at Ajax Tavern. They wear vintage hats and glasses, earmuffs, sunglasses and scarves. (None are pictured skiing, but posed with skis, yes.)



“I wanted this series to be an extension of my love letter to Aspen that brings joy and a snowy escape to everyone,” Malin said.

The series has yet to have a proper display in Aspen, although the Aspen Skiing Co. is expected to have some of the new “Dogs of Aspen” photos mixed in with the framed prints from the “Gray Malin in Aspen” series at the Sundeck by Presidents Day.



While visiting Aspen in September with her family, Malin made a habit of bringing her children to play at Wagner Park. Witnessing Aspen’s central park in all its canine glory was inspiring.

“Day after day I marveled at the number of beautiful dogs playing in the nearby field and it really kicked my imagination into high gear,” Malin said. “When you think of Aspen and dogs, your mind immediately goes to dog breeds that were built for the snow – so it was fun to include some unexpected breeds in the shoot to add a bit of humor and an element of surprise to the series.”

Yes, Malin has a family dog ​​in California, Stella, a rescue that is a “lab mix”. But no, she’s not in the Aspen photos. (“She’s getting old,” Malin said, “but I like spending time with her and playing catch when she’s ready.”)

The project continues Malin’s long series of shooting dogs in high-profile destinations dressed in vintage props, with his canine subjects posed like tourists.

Prior to Project Aspen, Malin did dog shows at the Beverly Hills Hotel and a “Dogs of New York City” series.

It echoes the vintage vibe of his previous Aspen project and brought Malin back to many of the same mountain and hotel locations. Working with an experienced dog trainer, Malin picked his canine subjects and helped him bond with and position them – everything in the series is real, no camera effects or PhotoShopping gimmicks.

Much like his shoots with humans here at every location, Malin would stage a vintage scene and dress up his dog models in gear and clothing, then shoot them poseless.

“It’s been fun and creatively challenging to re-imagine some of my favorite moments from my previous shoots at these famous destinations with dogs instead of people as subjects,” Malin said.

Returning for a second Aspen-focused series, Malin – who also designed the upcoming “snow beach” ASPENX experience on Ajax – tapped into the community of friends and repairmen he met on his first project.

“When you need a last-minute classic car or Boston Terrier, it’s so nice to know you can turn to friends in the community for help and to feel warmly welcomed. “, did he declare.

Malin made a name for himself over a decade ago with his dreamy aerial shots of beaches, taken from doorless helicopters, and his playful portraits of llamas and other balloon-clad animals that made him famous. on Instagram.

He first shot aerial shots in Aspen between 2011 and 2015 as he transitioned from his beach landscapes to his mountains.

His vintage fantasy worlds photos, he explained after the release of ‘Gray Malin in Aspen’ in early 2020, were originally inspired by his grandparents’ 1950s travel photos. and beyond the era of casual glamour, dressing in airplanes and fashionable over-functional ski gear.

“Dogs at Little Nell” (Gray Malin)

A doggy takeover of this world was a natural next step for Malin.

“I knew this was going to be a hit show because of the subject matter, but I was really surprised at how well the locations worked with the dogs and how the final aesthetic of the show really turned out. spectacular in the final product,” says Malin. “The addition of vintage hats, scarves, skis and other accessories associated with dogs reinforced the elements of style and whimsy in this corpus.”

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