August 2015, Paris France
One of my specialties is working with animals. As a dog owner and animal lover it is a privilege to work, play and create amazing photo's. For a Nestlé international campaign I was asked to shoot some very special models. Account director James Mascherpa from the London based agency McCann chose the breed Egyptian Mau for the look their client was looking for. The cat's we need for this shoot will be searched for in France, our animal expert Chris Brown (Tooth 'n Claw) does the selection and training. We take the wellbeing of the animals we work with very seriously and therefore for this shoot we need as many as possible similar looking kittens and cats. When shooting we can switch cats whenever there are signs of fatigue. The photographer however does not get these benefits.
Creating images like these is really a team effort
A shoot like this comes with a lot of planning and preparing. A list off requirements is provided on location, styling and props. Art director David Brown has drawn list of 'have to have' pictures and as I call them 'happy to have' pictures. Things are added and rejected, my stylist Karin (KFP) does her shopping. We head out to Paris with a carload of styling items and a 60 page briefing to meet the models.
Within an hour of arriving the house is transformed into a photography set and we are ready to start the first shoot. The cats are amazing and I soon get nicknamed 'One Shot Wilco' for getting the right photo on the first try but creating images like these is really a team effort.
Soon one of the kittens falls asleep. Of course not in the right light, not at the right place and not quite the right pose. Wait, wait, everything comes to a halt and I talk to Chris. 'I really do want this picture' let us try.
It will be like diffusing a bomb, Chris says. If she awakens we probably won't get a sleeping shot as perfect. We quietly change the lighting and setting. Chris gently lifts the kittens head en shoves the paw underneath. We hold our breaths and hope for the best. Ten minutes later smiling faces bend over my laptop, the kitten is still sleeping.
So you see it takes a big team to make a kitten to go to sleep
Do you want to know more? As a team we are more than the individual, be part of our team! Do challenge us and expect more than average. We'll give you our best.