Profile: The Dogist

The Dogist Custom Letterpress Cards by Hoban Press

This profile interview is part of a series where we highlight the many interesting, talented people who use Hoban Cards in their everyday lives.

If you're a dog lover, you might already be a fan of Elias Weiss Friedman, better known as, The Dogist. Working primarily in New York City, he documents the varied and spectacular dogs who live there. His portraits are taken at dog's eye view and have captured the faces of thousands of dogs over the past few years. Photographing multiple dogs a day, The Dogist is a prolific photographer. His portraits convey the unique personalities of every dog and when considered in mass, they also say a lot about New York City and dog owners in general. Elias built a name for himself by simply hitting the streets and doing what he loves–photographing dogs. Outside of his social media success, he's also published a book titled The Dogist: Photographic Encounters with 1,000 Dogs. Today, we are talking with Elias about his work as well as the custom letterpress printed cards he uses as The Dogist.

Elias first used our original Typewriter calling cards template. Later, we printed a custom set with his integrated two color logo which was inspired by his original calling card.

How do you primarily use your Hoban Press business cards in your line of work?

I photograph people's dogs on the street and hand them out to everyone after I'm done taking pictures. The card is minimalist, but has all the information they need on it to view their dog's picture on the blog.

Considering how well known you are through social media, how often do you find yourself making professional connections face to face?

I credit a lot of my social media growth to face to face connections, especially in NYC. Many of the dog owners are influential people in their own circles, and that helps spread the word about my project. Everyone loves my business card and that's huge because it's one of the very few touch points I have. People feel special getting one because they can have it as a keepsake of our interaction.

How did you develop your logo? Is it inspired by a real life dog?

The Dogist logo I use on my card is inspired by the first dog portrait I took for the series–a Boxer I crossed paths with in Vienna, Austria. To me, it’s a symbol of the "everydog."

The Dogist Logo was illustrated by Kaori Drome

With so many choices in business cards on the market today, what made you choose a letterpress printed business card?

Standing out is crucial in everything. My pictures stood out from the rest, so every aspect of my brand had to follow suite. Having elegant letterpress business cards serves as a representation of who I am, what I do, and that I take what I do very seriously even though the overall concept of my project is silly in a way. It's a little ironic and I love that about it.

When you give your card to someone, do you feel that the quality of the card makes an impact?

Very impactful. It's more than the card itself. It's the confidence you have in handing it over–like they're about to receive a certificate of honor. They feel the card and they know you're the real deal. Many people post the card to Instagram in celebration. Also, I sometimes photograph guide dogs with blind owners and can see them appreciate the tactile nature of the card in their hands.

In 2015 Elias published a beautiful book of his dog portraits

Has anything funny or strange ever happened when exchanging cards with someone?

Yes indeed. Often times while photographing a dog I'll have a toy or treat in my hand to get their attention. Then afterwards, when I go to hand over my card to the owner, the dog will lunge up and try and grab the card thinking it's the treat or toy. Only a few cards have actually been eaten. It helps to give the dog the treat first, then hand over the card while they're distracted.

Elias at eye level. Photo by Jeff Hodsdon

Support The Dogist

The best way to support and enjoy Elias's work is to purchase his wonderful book or wall calendar. Also, join his 2 million+ Instagram followers to keep track of all his portraits. You can also follow him on Facebook or visit his website at thedogist.com.