If you’ve been scrolling through social media lately, chances are you’ve seen an equally hilarious and nightmarish photo of a jumping Afghan hound. When I first saw it on Facebook, its quirkiness literally made my day. Thanks to the comments, I found the photographer behind this hilarious image. It’s Salla Kuikka, a photographer from Finland. We got in touch, and she told us more about the photo that recently went viral.
[Editor’s note: the lead image was edited using Photoshop’s Generative Fill to match the required format. The original Salla’s image is in portrait format, and you can see it in the article]
Salla took the photo in Muurame, a relatively small town in the middle part of Finland. She would spend two weeks there every month or two, helping her elderly relatives. “One of my favorite ways to spend my time there is taking long walks along the riverside, most often with my camera and my dog, an almost six-year-old Afghan hound named Baboon,” Salla tells DIYP. “The scenery along the paths that run alongside the river is absolutely beautiful, regardless of the weather or season.”
Baboon is a happy and curious dog. He likes to climb on rocks, venture into the rapids, and jump in and out of the water. Salla enjoys taking photos of these moments, and she takes plenty of them. She enjoys finding different angles and spots to capture Baboon and the beautiful nature surrounding him. She reveals that her doggo is quite adept at striking a pose and holding it, but it’s not his favorite activity. “He loves action, especially jumping,” Salla tells us. “Amidst the ‘stand/sit still and look pretty’ spots, I found a beautiful area with vibrant autumnal colors and decided to take some photos of him jumping into the water, facing me and the camera.”
“He’s well-acquainted with the “jump of joy” trick and has been doing it for a long time. However, training him to perform it safely and photogenically has been a process. For instance, not all dogs naturally understand that they shouldn’t land on the camera. I don’t have any assistance during these photoshoots, so I have to manage everything on my own and train Baboon accordingly. I can give Baboon rough directions, and he’ll jump on a vocal cue. But when water is involved, it becomes challenging.”
Unless Baboon is far from her, Salla tends to use a 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens (on a full-frame body). Particularly for these jumps, she prefers the 24-35mm range because the wider-angle shots look fun and work well. For this specific shoot, Salla positioned herself close to the water, set the lens at 24mm, and shot from a frog’s perspective. With the wide-angle lens, this angle gave Baboon an unusual shape and proportion in the photo. In that specific jump, he was moving backward, causing his hair to flow in a weird direction.
Salla typically takes two frames per jump, and she tells us this habit has proven convenient with the “jump of joy” trick. “The entire process can be chaotic as I try to give vocal cues, monitor the changing natural light, reward Baboon after a few jumps, and manage the water splashing from the enthusiastic, wet, long-haired dog jumping in front of me,” Salla tells DIYP. “After this location, we moved to two other spots for less action-packed shots before heading back to our accommodation to dry off and review the photos.”
Only after she imported the photos into Lightroom did Salla notice the hilarious image we’re talking about today. She says that it immediately caught her eye – and how could it not? It’s equal parts comedy gold and nightmare fuel! In post-processing, Salla removed the long leash she’s legally required to use for Baboon in that riverside area. Other than that, the raw file only went through basic adjustments. So, the hilariously scary doggo in the photo is absolutely real.
“I shared it with several Finnish groups related to both dogs and photography and clarified from the start that the photo was genuine and not AI-generated,” Salla points out. “I then shared it with two international dog-themed groups before going to bed.” She didn’t expect what happened the following morning. Her social media notifications exploded as the photo had gone viral, already having over 2k shares across Meta’s platforms. “My initial clarification about the photo’s authenticity was lost as it spread, likely contributing to its virality. And so, here we are,” Salla adds jokingly.
“The vast majority of the 25-30(ish) shots I took of Baboon jumping in that part of the river turned out well, with some being exceptional. This one, however, is the most peculiar and amusing of them all. Few things can appear as comical and bizarre as a soaking wet Afghan hound leaping in any direction.”
Of course, this isn’t the only photo from Salla worth your attention. I was thrilled I discovered her, as her photos are fantastic! So, I invite you to look at more of her work below, on her website, and follow her on Instagram for more of her work.