Behind the Lens: Cat in the Hat
This image started as I was trying to establish a homemade studio in my shed on our rural property. I was using a simple setup: a frame, a bedsheet backdrop, and some beautiful natural window light. My daughter, ever ready to take part, had dressed up in her favourite outfit of the day and settled in front of me on a stool - a bundle of restless energy.
Whilst I was adjusting my settings and moving around my daughter, frantically seeking the best angle of light, our unsuspecting and ever curious pet cat Tiggy wandered into the shed.
She was used to photoshoots - the cat that is. I had been documenting my daughter and my sons (and by default our pets) for their whole lives. My obsession with capturing their every moment started when my son was born extremely ill. As doctors told us his chance of survival was slim, I felt the need to pick up my camera and snap every moment I could, in case it was all cut painfully short. And so, my photography obsession began.
In this moment, Tiggy displayed a remarkable lack of concern. She was gently coerced onto my daughter's awaiting lap, her demeanour calm despite the onslaught of pats, strokes, and affectionate squeezes.
This was not Tiggy’s first time experiencing such affection - she knew the drill. She would stay for a few pats, wait for the camera to click a few times and off she would go.
Little did she know, that this time was going to be different. She was soon to be hoisted onto my daughters head, becoming an utterly unique form of headwear.
The moment was fleeting, and presumably uncomfortable, for both parties, so Tiggy shot off and out of the shed door, wishing her inquisitiveness had never lured her through the entrance in the first place.
It was only when I uploaded the photos that I realised how amusing this image was, and that deciphering what exactly is unfolding requires a couple of moments of observation.
To me the image captures a sense of connection, trust and mutual tolerance, qualities worth cherishing in both human relationships and the bond between people and their pets.