Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 12 februari 2013 | Nog geen reacties >

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?

Would you like to see more shots of these sweet duos? Take a peek here, and here!

Winner photoshoot Catspiration

Door: Jolanda Boekhout | 28 december 2012 | Nog geen reacties >

On 4th October, World Animal Day, I wrote about the special edition of Catspiration and Dogspiration. In that edition useful animal photography tips were given and there were also four giveaway photo shoots available with your own animal.

The photo shoots with the winners already took place. I had a wonderful shoot with Grijsje, Lotje, Sep and Jip and their owner Veronique, one of the lucky winners. It was a special shoot and the result turned out pretty special too.

Veronique wrote about Grijsje: “I’ve got a very beautiful grey cat, Grijsje, but she is extremely shy. As soon as she hears an unfamiliar voice she hides in a closet. She does sit on my lap, but only when it is really quiet in the house. She likes to be cuddled when we’re in the bathroom.”

When I read that something stirred in me. For me it felt like a special challenge to try to photograph Grijsje. A cat like her often means a lot to an owner. With a photo shoot I always spend as much time as needed, so I was really anxious to see whether Grijsje would warm up to me or not.

Sep immediately searched my bag and viewed the shoot as a true gentleman. He laid himself down on top of my stuff as if he wanted to say ‘Hello, I’m here’. Old lady Lotje was curious. She paraded around me like a wise lady. With help of some toys Jip forgot her shyness very soon too. The photos of Jip and Grijsje have turned out beautiful. And, yes, with a lot of patience and especially some ignoring I was able to photograph Grijsje.

What I often notice afterwards is that very shy cats are mostly very photogenic. Grijsje’s gorgeous round eyes pull you into the photo at once and Jip’s focused gaze is hypnotic. And Lotje and Sep? Old modest Lotje and lazy laidback gentleman Sep were just gorgeous.

Like to see the result of all four shoots? Take a look at the December edition of Catspiration & Dogspiration.