Sunday, 27 March 2011
Having photographed Faye and Ken's wedding at Hazlewood Castle just over a year ago, their baby pug, Finn, last summer, followed by getting an enlargement of one of their wedding photos printed and framed as a surprise first wedding anniversary present from Faye to Ken, which was very appropriate as the first wedding anniversary is paper, we were asked if we fancied the challenge of taking some portraits of the couple's cat, Maori. Ken had said that it was unfair that they had a big frame containing three photographs of Finn and none of Mao! We were really looking forward to catching up with Faye and Ken anyway as they have become good friends and we decided to keep an open mind when it came to Mao's portrait session, as cats don't generally do what you tell them. Someone said to us recently that dogs have owners and cats have staff! With studio lighting and a black backdrop set up, we thought that the best approach was to just let Mao explore the studio and do his own thing in the hope that he'd settle somewhere in the right vicinity to get some decent shots. A long session of bribery followed, involving cat treats, lumps of cheese (which Mao loves) and a feathery cat toy dangled from a stick which Mao kept stalking and leaping on. We thought children could move quickly but Mao was like lightning so Alex had to be on the ball! With a few decent shots in the can, we decided to break for tea and huge Rolo cookies which Faye and Ken had brought along (delicious they were too) and leave Mao to do what he liked. Just as if he was at home, he jumped up on the studio's leather sofa, posed himself in a corner and stared at us with those amazing eyes of his before dropping off the sleep. So much for setting things up because we have to say, the best images from the session were the ones taken whilst he was relaxing on the sofa. What a beautiful cat he is - and he knows it!