Meet the misfits

12 Feb 2017animalsportriats

Meet the misfits, a group of elderly cats residing at a cat rescue charity in Sussex. I was asked to bring out their characters in an artistic way so chose to single them out using a studio portrait style on a black background.

Cats are renowned for being fickle, but being old meant these guys enjoyed staying still and were actually fairly docile during the photoshoot.

The shoot took place at Catastrophes cat rescue centre in Sussex in a small summer house that provided the cats with a place to relax and me an opportunity to get outside in the cool (it was rather warm in the summerhouse.

The Misfits

As well as healthy cats, Catastrophes takes care of old and sick felines as well. Some are feral and come in when they are not well enough to survive in the wild any more, others come from homes where their owners have passed away. All of the cats at the centre are cared for until they pass away naturally. They are cared for passionately by the staff and given all the medical attention they need. The misfits got their nickname because they are the cats with issues. One has a leg missing, another was blind, another had no tail and pretty much all have health issues that require medical care.

In short, they are the cats no one will want to take home and that made them instantly interesting to me. They are, as you can see, cats wih character. Cats who have lead a full and interesting life.

The shoot

The summerhouse was not huge, it was a cat sized summerhouse really, so a full studio set up was not going to work, so I turned to a scaled down version. I used a similar set up when photographing baby birds. Instead of studio lighting I use freestanding strobes, either on lighting stands or, as in this case, set on the summerhouse furniture. I used a black piece of cloth as a ackdrop and another was drapped over a comfortable cushioned seat (so comfortable in fat that some of the cats did not want to leave). I used a standard three light set up. A light from each side and a backlight to lift the darker cats away from the backdrop. The strobes were radio triggered so I could move around freely to capture the subjects wheerever they decided to position themselves.

They are cared for passionately by the staff and given all the medical attention they need

While the models were on the whole well behaved the same cannot be said for many of the other cats many of whom deceided they wanted to use the comfy cushion to relax on in the summerhouse. I had to constantly evict healthy cats from the seat in order to place a model down. It was comical really, but did mean the shoot too an entire day to complete.

If you have a pet you would like photographed in a classic or creative way then please get in touch.