Since 1993, Vincent J. Musi has been a regular contributor to National Geographic, covering a vast range of subjects from the Texas Hill Country to the legendary Route 66, to the ancient crypts of Sicily and life at the base of volcanoes. A specialist in animal portraits, his recent work includes projects on domestication, intelligence and cognition. When Vincent’s work shifted from documenting the world to photographing animals, he knew he was in over his head and feared it would end his career. He’s still unsure, as he works with subjects who routinely growl, bark, roar, bite, hiss, claw, poop, or pee…on him. When the world got smaller during COVID, Vincent and his wife, former White House Photographer Callie Shell, created the Unleashed Studio, where he taps into his inner Dr. Dolittle to capture unique dog portraits. As a way to amuse himself (and us), Vince imagines the inner lives of his subjects and shares often side-splitting and sometimes poignant life stories from their perspective. The weekly Instagram series, which grew into a book—initially planned to last one year—is called The Year of the Dogs. The project and posts went viral and the world won’t let him end it. Vincent believes that everything we learn about animals teaches us everything we don’t know about ourselves.