A few weeks ago in our portraiture class we all shot pets (With cameras. Please nobody come hunt me down for pet murder.). 🙂 We all had to choose a pet, whatever sort of animal we wanted, and lug it in to the school campus. Most people brought dogs, although there was also a snake, a fish, puppies, a bunny, and a pig. Since my dog weighs 90-ish pounds and gets very excited when he sees doggy friends, I decided to drag my grumpy cat to school and use her as my pet model instead.
Something you should know about my cat: She hates. That’s pretty much it. She’s always devastated, when we go home for a weekend, to find out that no, I’m really not the only human being on earth, much as she would like me to be. She hate’s car trips, she hates her kennel, she hates when I wait too long to feed her, she hates when I don’t let her sit on my lap 24/7…basically, she’s a cat, just grumpier than normal. She’s getting to be an old lady though, so I guess she’s allowed to get away with it.
So when I dragged her to the school for a photo shoot, popping strobe lights, dogs in the other room, noises and smells and new places, she was pretty set to murder me. For my area to shoot I was put in the prop room, a small room very akin to a closet cluttered with lots of junk and places for kitties to hide. Willy kept trying to sneak off, but overall it was a decent shoot. Here’s some of the photos I got. Click for a bigger view.
My classmate trying to console my poor cat.
I used a softbox for most of the pictures. Here she is looking not terribly freaked out.
This was the photo I turned in to my teacher. I traded the softbox for a snoot, and it gave it a very dramatic feel, which I liked. My teacher seemed to have very pleased things to say (she kept coming back to it while discussing other peoples’ photos) which was nice but very strange. She suggested fixing the little light-colored spot on Willy’s ear to be less distracting, and removing the tail from the bottom.
I decided, in my free time yesterday, to see if I could fix it up any like she’d suggested. It’s not perfect work, but hopefully my editing isn’t painfully obvious, aside from the fact that I pointed out what I changed. (And yes, I did stick a lame watermark in there…if my tough-to-please teacher was interested in it, and if I spent that long trying to fix it, I’m going to try and protect my picture as best I can. But we’re all friendly, non-stealing people around here. 🙂 )
This one is just for fun. I liked the angle and the light.
The critique for this assignment was actually a tiny bit fun for once. It was cool to see what sort of shots my classmates were able to get, and see what animals they used. It was also somewhat reassuring, for myself, to hear positive comments not only on one of my photos in general, but also on a photo that’s a subject I’d actually be interested in shooting as a job. When I started college, I said I wanted to be a pet photographer. Now when people ask I tell them I have no clue what I want to do. Animals are still my passion, but I just have no idea. So it was nice to hear that I actually did a decent job on the subject I like best.