Patience pays off. That is common knowledge. But knowing and acting are two different things. Animal photography brings you back to the essence of patience. When an animal is scared of the camera, the sound of the flash or even the camera, flash and photographer all together you need a whole lot of patience to end the photo shoot successfully. In situations like that patience and time go hand in hand. That is what an animal needs, time, a lot of time. There is no other way than waiting patiently until suddenly there is that click. That click is something I’ve experienced now for a couple of times. Each time again it is a surprise and, oh, so beautiful to see it happen.
Past weeks I had two photo shoots with shy cats, one with Will & Grace and one with Smilla & Mijntje. Beforehand Smilla’s owner had told me that the cat in question wasn’t the easiest to handle. She had read my blogpost about the Catspiration shoot with Veronique’s Grijsje. That story made her decide to try a photo shoot with Smilla & Mijntje. Soon after I got in the difference in character showed itself. Mijntje enthusiastically turned circles around my legs, Smilla disappeared into the guestroom. The shoot with Will & Grace wasn’t easy either. Will behaved like himself, an eager and chubby tomcat. His girlfriend Grace hid under the bed as soon as she heard the flash zoom.
With both shoots I needed extra time. Time to let Smilla and Grace adjust to my presence. My patience got rewarded. At the end of both shoots the girls showed their pretty faces and started playing with me. I got rewarded with some amazing shots too.
One moment during shoots with shy animals a mental switch seems to occur, the click. The moment that an animal loses fear of me and my camera is awesome to experience. That moment is heartwarming. At home flipping through the result fills me with joy, and with the knowing why I love to be an animal photographer.
When you look at the shots of Grace (black) and Smilla (white tabby) with this post do you see two shy cats?