I wanted to find out how exactly Elias went from working a desk job to making a living taking photos of dogs, so I recently spent a day with him.
Before he started The Dogist, Elias had a corporate job, but he was let go during a round of layoffs.
He decided to create a new account called The Dogist in 2013, inspired by The Sartorialist, a fashion blog that highlights style on the streets of NYC.
Now, four years later? Some (including me!) say he has one of the best jobs on earth. Elias makes his own hours, he can travel on a whim, and he spends his days playing with PUPPIES.
When he approaches an owner, he doesn't introduce himself as "The Dogist." He just asks if he can take a picture of the dog. Here's the "before" photo that I snapped while Elias was photographing Porko, a Boston terrier.
And here's his final Instagram version:
And here's Milo, a 17-year-old Jack Russell. (That's 119 in dog years!)
He wears knee pads so he can get down to the dog's level, and he fills his pockets with treats, tennis balls, and squeaky toys to capture the animal's attention. He barks and makes ridiculous dog sounds so that they'll look him in the eye.
And in the final shot, it always seems like the dog is looking into Elias's soul.
TBH: It seems like Elias has a sixth sense for dogs. And he definitely has a way of getting dog owners to open up and tell him something funny or moving or interesting about their pets.
But as glamorous as the life of The Dogist might sound, it's tough work.
I can personally attest, as I followed Elias for miles from Washington Square Park to Battery Park in the 96-degree New York City heat.
But this golden retriever clearly didn't mind the heat. Would you look at that smile?!
Since he started his account, Elias hasn't missed a single day of shooting. During thunderstorms and snowpocalypses, and even on Christmas Day, he's out with his camera.
"The most challenging days to shoot — snow, rain, etc. — are often the days when I make my most memorable images," Elias told BuzzFeed.
Let's just say the dogs flock to him.
He also has a soft spot for dogs in bowties.
#CareerGoals, anyone? For more from Elias, follow The Dogist on Instagram.