Italian photographer Diana Bagnoli has always loved and lived with animals.

With her award-winning series “Animal Lover,” Bagnoli wanted to “explore the special relationship that people establish with what I would call ‘unusual pets,’” she said.

“I had a feeling that I would discover interesting situations and be able to document how someone can be involved in a different kind of friendship,” Bagnoli added.

To find her subjects, Bagnoli goes to the countryside near her home town in northern Italy. She visits animal sanctuaries, meets animal activists and finds everyday animal lovers, each with a unique story and special connection.

Bagnoli photographs her subjects where they are most comfortable, at their homes. She chooses a location that might yield an interesting interaction and show the animal’s connection to the world of the humans who care for them.

A goose egg was given to Nirvana fifteen years ago and she decided to hatch the egg by putting it under one of her hens. When the egg hatched, she named the goose, Letizia. Letivza roams free in Nirvana’s garden. (Diana Bagnoli)
A goose egg was given to Nirvana fifteen years ago and she decided to hatch the egg by putting it under one of her hens. When the egg hatched, she named the goose, Letizia. Letivza roams free in Nirvana’s garden. (Diana Bagnoli)
Lorena is an activist with Animal SOS, an animal sanctuary in Northern Italy, and dedicates her life to saving animals from abusive situations. She is taking care of Bea until she finds a proper home for her in Turin, Italy. (Diana Bagnoli)
Lorena is an activist with Animal SOS, an animal sanctuary in Northern Italy, and dedicates her life to saving animals from abusive situations. She is taking care of Bea until she finds a proper home for her in Turin, Italy. (Diana Bagnoli)
Donatella Di Cola has a small factory in her house that sells butterflies, cockroaches and larvae for scenographic use and animal food. She is based in the center of Italy. Insects are a big passion in her life. (Diana Bagnoli)
Donatella Di Cola has a small factory in her house that sells butterflies, cockroaches and larvae for scenographic use and animal food. She is based in the center of Italy. Insects are a big passion in her life. (Diana Bagnoli)
Chiara Sgambati, a breeder of pedigree rabbits, inherited her father’s passion for animals and has lived with rabbits since she was a child. She now has a farm in northern Italy, close to Piacenza, with many animals and 50 pedigree rabbits. (Diana Bagnoli)
Chiara Sgambati, a breeder of pedigree rabbits, inherited her father’s passion for animals and has lived with rabbits since she was a child. She now has a farm in northern Italy, close to Piacenza, with many animals and 50 pedigree rabbits. (Diana Bagnoli)
Tiziana Francisco and her husband are Maine Coon breeders in Ivrea, Italy. They dedicate their lives to Maine Coon cats. Tiziana says the most exciting moment of her life was when she first helped her giant Maine Coon cat give birth. (Diana Bagnoli)
Tiziana Francisco and her husband are Maine Coon breeders in Ivrea, Italy. They dedicate their lives to Maine Coon cats. Tiziana says the most exciting moment of her life was when she first helped her giant Maine Coon cat give birth. (Diana Bagnoli)
When M.L. was 8 years old, she received her first tortoise, Giulietta. She now has a big family of 50 tortoises, and all of them live freely in her garden. She knows them by name and takes good care of them. (Diana Bagnoli)
When M.L. was 8 years old, she received her first tortoise, Giulietta. She now has a big family of 50 tortoises, and all of them live freely in her garden. She knows them by name and takes good care of them. (Diana Bagnoli)

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