Southern Focus

Backstage at Westminster

Beyond the show’s spotlight, photographer Landon Nordeman captures good dogs and their handlers

Photo: Landon Nordeman

After judges eliminated the dog he was assigned to photograph at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City, Landon Nordeman used his press pass to wander Madison Square Garden, capturing, he says, “the non-moments, those in-between times on the periphery of the action.” In this image, a man waits in the arena’s wings with his vizsla. “I was drawn to this scene by the man’s missing head—which had been replaced by the dog’s,” Nordeman recalls. The University of Virginia alum has also shot other dog shows (and one cat show) throughout the world. “I love the fashion element and the juxtaposition of people and dogs,” he says. “All the handlers are in formal wear but still carry bacon and sausage bits and rags to clean up slobber.”