He has photographed dogs on all six continents that have dogs; if there is one in Antarctica, he’d love to shoot it, too. In Nepal, a Tibetan mastiff— bred to be defensive and quick to protect territory and family with a sharp nip — was impossible to pass by without taking a portrait, because the setting and majesty of the dog were undeniable. His series on Alaskan sled dogs unflinchingly captures the often brutal reality of the environment and landscape the dogs live in, while simultaneously providing a conduit for the viewer into the energetic and playful nature of the dogs on the team.
On an excursion to the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia — where the environment is so harsh that traveling from one rock outcropping “island” to another is done at night to minimize exposure to the heat — Ladzinski remembers a dog who showed up at their remote camp and laid down by the crew, as if he had arrived home. It was a surreal and deeply unexpected experience in a place normally void of flora and fauna. When they hopped to the next rock island, they met the dog’s owner, who had a small business selling supplies to travelers.
Any time that it is even remotely practical for Ladzinski to travel with his golden retriever, Vesper, he does. If he can’t bring Vesper along for an adventure, she stays at home with the rest of his family and watches over his eight-month-old son; he says it’s magical to watch the bond between his son and Vesper grow so quickly and from such a young age. Vesper is a family member who provides comfort and love, whose needs and wishes are as important as anyone else’s. But the dogs that Ladzinski interacts with during his travels have wilder, more visceral lives, with less gentle human interaction.