Playfully purr-fect photos of hairless cats: Serenah Hodson captures the feline Sphynx
posted Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 5:55 PM EDT
Serenah Hodson is a pet photographer but she may have found her greatest muse with the strange-looking Sphynx cat. Hodson, who is from New Zealand but is now based in Australia, is drawn to photographing these hairless felines both for their bizarreness and their unusual beauty.
While hairless cats have been around throughout history, the Sphynx emerged as a breed as recently as the early 1960s, from a combination of nature and selective breeding. Their soft skin, which is warm to the touch, is the color of what their fur would have been and includes a variety of classic, feline marking patterns.
Sphinx cats are known to be extroverts, which is another reason why they're such good subjects for photographers. We recently interviewed Hodson about what drew her to this distinctive breed and how she goes about photographing these hairless wonders.
To see more of the photographer's work, visit her website and her Facebook page.
Imaging Resource: What attracted you to photographing Sphynx cats?
Serenah Hodson: Sphynx cats have always fascinated me. There’s something mysterious and almost mythological about their appearance. It’s like they come from another planet. I wanted to photograph them because they are so bizarre looking but I also wanted to show people their beauty. I think some people are just turned off by their nakedness, but I love that they’ve got nothing to hide.
IR: Can you give us some background on setting up a Sphynx cat shoot? Where do the cats come from and what type of environment do you photograph them in?
SH: I actually visit the cats' homes as I feel this is where they are most relaxed to get the best out of them. These cats originate from one breeder, who lets me visit from time to time. I don't really "set up" shots. I let the cats do the work and I sit and wait for the shot, unless I am using a prop. But even with props, it's a matter of waiting for the cat to take curiosity in it and then the shot comes.
IR: What type of gear (cameras, lenses, lighting etc.) do you use?
SH: I use a Nikon D800 or D700 and use natural lighting or an off-camera flash. My main lens is the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. I love that baby.
IR: Are cats more difficult to photograph than other animals, such as dogs?
SH: Cats don't sit and stay you have to wait for the shot so they do take more work. But, in some ways, because they don't have that awareness of what you want from them, you get images that are even better.
IR: What's next for you?
SH: I still want to concentrate on more cats, maybe look into a few different breeds and hopefully look at getting this published.
IR: We've really enjoyed your photos. They definitely deserve to be published as a book!
(All images used with permission of the photographer.)