Dogs of Cincinnati Instagram creator, photographer talks about new project

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The list of things that Cincinnatians love is long, but there’s one tree we love barking up. 

“I now know that if there's anything Cincinnatians love more than Goetta and baseball, it's dogs,” William Imhoff told The News Record on his latest photography project, Dogs of Cincinnati.

Imhoff has created an Instagram profile with the goal of putting the faces of Cincinnati’s beautiful dog population on the web and increasing his own skills as a photographer. TNR spoke with him about his own dogs, the difference between his project and the Dogs of Cincinnati project and the best times to see cute dogs in Cincinnati.

TNR: Do you have a dog?

WI: I have three Beagles — Pumpkin, Piper and Pearl Bailey. They are the light of my life.

TNR: As an amateur photographer, is Cincinnati a good muse for your craft?

WI: I’ve only been seriously shooting for a little over a year, but as I see it, Cincinnati is full of beautiful people, places and animals. There's an interesting story to tell on every block, and I've only just scratched the surface.

TNR: What has the response to your project been like?

WI: The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Whether it be the owners of the dogs I'm shooting, or the family and friends that have heard about it, everyone is excited about dogs. I've yet to find a person who isn't thrilled about having a picture of their dog taken.

TNR: Have you seen the Dogs of Cincy Instagram? How do you differentiate from them, if at all?

WI: I have. There are a lot of similarities, but what I aim for is image quality. Although the submissions on Dogs of Cincy are fine, I hope to provide photo consistency to the page. I could very easily start a page where it's a mixture of my own work and others', but then it wouldn't feel like my own.

The experience of finding dogs, talking to the owners, seeing the chemistry between the two and walking away being a little better at taking pictures of dogs than I was before, is what makes this project different. It's personal.

TNR: Do you have any long-term goals for this project?

WI: The current goal is to keep shooting dogs as long as there are dogs to shoot. The long term goal is improvement. I started this with the intention of throwing myself into situations where I have only a minute or two to produce a good photo, the challenge has been great, and after only two weeks opportunities and work has been popping up, so I can't really say where this will lead me to. But, if this project continually brings joy to myself and others, it will be going on for a long time.

TNR: When is Cincinnati's dog traffic highest? Have you noticed a difference going out different days of the week or different times of day?

WI: Location plays as much importance as time does, I've noticed. In suburban areas, if I'm out before 9 a.m. and any time after 7 p.m., I'm going to photograph at least seven dogs. The closer to downtown I am, the harder it is to have a solid idea of when most dogs are out, because they are everywhere, all the time.