I first heard about William Wegman in a Polaroid forum, where they referred to him as the artist that took Polaroid photos of Weimaraner dogs. Such a statement would be an over simplification of a complex and deep artist.
I went to his website. After a short visit all I knew was that I wanted to buy something from his store, I wasn't sure what but I loved everything that I was seeing.
Let me start by the medium. Yes he was shooting polaroid photos, but not your regular polaroid that you could (at that time) get film for at your corner pharmacy. No, William was using one of the few Polaroid 20x24 cameras, an impressive creation from 1978 that shoots photos on 20x24 inch instant film. This camera has been used by such diverse artists as Andy Warhol, Spencer Tunick, Lady Gaga and many many others. The camera per se is a very impressive object... and to this day, it remains in use in select locations such as the 20x24 studio in New York - see links at the end of the entry.
Photo taken from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0913/life-art-photography-cameras-polaroid-land-grab.html
Then, the photos themselves, were far from simple photos of pets. William Wegman has been experimenting with his dogs as models/muses from the late 70s, and his dogs have become experienced and willing models in the creative process. Let's let a couple of photos from his books speak for themselves.
For those who had the pleasure of growing up watching Sesame Street, these dogs might look a bit familiar. William Wegman has also created films, including several segments for Sesame Street.
I have in my collection two of his books.
How could I resist them? I've been to an exhibit of some of his polaroids at a local museum. It was a great time.
Online store: http://www.wegmanstore.com/
Also, as reference, the 20x24 studio on