Tanja Brandt is a German photographer who has dedicated her career towards photographing animals and wildlife.
In one of her most recent projects, Brandt shot photographs of a highly unlikely pair of friends – Ingo, the Belgian shepherd; and Poldi (Napoleon), the one-year-old owlet.
Poldi and Ingo are both pets of Brandt’s, and have formed a bond over the past year that the photographer simply couldn’t ignore. Brandt is a professional photographer, and has years of experience doing photoshoots with various animals. Ingo, the shepherd, is one of her most loyal and popular models.
“The dog is very very well educated. He is able to do every order by far. Head down, head right, stay, sit, everything… but not so with the birds.”
Brandt describes the relationship between Ingo and Poldi as somewhat of a ‘protector-protected’ relationship. Ingo is a guardian for Poldi, whom Brandt states “doesn’t know how to live free”.
Poldi didn’t hatch until two days after his six brothers and sisters, and has always been very vulnerable due to his size. Ingo, on the other hand, comes from a family of strong and oftentimes ruthless police dogs.
Ingo is very protective over the year-old owlet, and their bond is as strong off-camera as it appears in Tanja’s photographs.
“They respect each other and they can read each other.”
Ingo is often photographed with various birds (such as the Harris hawk) and other animals, but he doesn’t share a bond with anyone quite like he does with Poldi.