Cat Portraits

Happy Birthday

There are pets that come and go into our lives that mean more than some friendships or, in some cases, family members. A few years back my wife lost her favorite cat Max due to swallowing thread. She was devastate and felt that there would be no other cat who would be a Max to her. That Friday, which was the 13th and a full moon, a little black kitten cried until my wife found him and took him in. Once he had a bottle of food he balled up on her lap and fell asleep. That is when we knew he was ours and his name couldn’t have been more clearer, Triskaideka.

As he grew up he became a cat who loved he have his portrait taken. At first portraits were just of him but as time when on we added props to the portraits. One winter we upped the anti and added a hat, he loved it! A cat that will wear a hat was almost too good to be true. My wife was besides herself. My wife had always love the photos of cats with top hats or any type of hats but thought she would never have one that would wear a hat. So more portraits with hats and sunglasses were taken of this cat with so much patience to put up with such craziness.

Well it has been just over 5 years, June 13, 2014 since that cat became the next Max. He has been a great companion to my wife and will mean so much more than I will ever know. In this 5 years Triskaideka has experienced being a model wearing hats, camping, and a loss of his big dog Star with a replacement of a new dog Stella. I’m not sure he likes her as much as she liked Star but Stella is growing on her.

After the loss of Star we had hoped to find another dog with similar personality and demeanor. Star was part Aussie with a mix of a few other breeds thrown in. The Aussie was the part that she expressed the most and that was what we hoped to find again. As we looked we of course found Aussies but for far more than we were willing to pay. As the years ticked away the more we grew in the notion we were most likely were not going to have another dog like Star in our lives. Well that was until we saw a friends post about their new Aussie mix.

Once we saw that post of the dog we ask where they got it and if there were more to adopt. After getting the info we contacted the breeder and came to find out there were no other females left but there was another littler born on the 4th of July that had a few females. Oh and they were purebred Aussies. Once we found out their asking price we asked if we could visit and see them and put a down payment on one.

The day arrived and we drove up to the house and were greeted by a group of very friendly dogs ready to play. For me this was a good sign that if the parents were like this then the pups will be friendly too as they got older. We met the owners and after some discussion about ourselves and what we are looking for, we were taken to meet the puppies. They were still young and not walking much but I found one that was a beautiful black and white puppy that seemed to bond a bit to me. Both Buffey and I agreed this was the one and place our down payment. All we had to do now is pick out the name and get a few items she will need.

Stella came home to us on September 24th which happened to be a Wednesday and quite a crazy day. A few days earlier my wife ended up in the hospital, my employer was just about to change and I hadn’t gotten a kennel for Stella yet. So after work I went and picked up Stella and ran into Theisens with Stella under my arms. We walked around and found a kennel and a soft fuzzy woolen mat bed for her to sleep on. We paid for everything and headed home and a day later Buffey got to meet little miss Stella once again.

So today, July 4th, Buffey and I set up a background and created portraits of Stella for her birthday. Of course we did a few images on a plain white background of just her and a few that showed off her new collar. Once that was done we put together the Red-White-Blue background for her big birthday portrait and dressed her up. Stella’s collar and outfit came from Pampered Whiskers. Like Triskaideka’s 4th of July portraits, we ordered a jesters like collar with stars. When it arrived we were got a bonus gift of the hats which we were dying to try out. Our session went so smoothly and with both Stella and Triskaideka we got the best images to put into our family album.

Pets are so important in our lives. They are our camping companions, snuggle buddies, our keeper of secrets and comfort us when we are down. Both Stella and Triskaideka make me laugh with the things they do, so that is why I always create images of them, to keep the memories of them for as long as I am alive. Shouldn’t everyone?

Triskaideka's Spring Portraits

Today is the first day of spring and what better way to celebrate the season but to take spring photos, Triskaideka’s Spring Portraits. We had an idea of what we wanted but not entirely sure or set on a specific props. Buffey and I felt that the props should be spring like in nature but not Easter specific. We wanted to be able to put the portrait up for longer than a few weeks and if we shot it with Easter baskets or with cute bunny ears then the portraits display life would be short.



So after a cup of coffee we were off to a local craft store. We started off by just walking around to see what was available. We knew that if we started to pick up the first thing we saw then the chance of the portrait being hokey was very likely. Once we took in all the possibilities we started to weed out the trite and home in on the white washed box, plants in the pots and tin vase, and finally the pussy willows.


The setup was simple. We set the box and plants up on a card table that we covered with a piece of white background paper. We set the pussy willows in a five gallon jug setting behind the table. I placed my lights in their spots and after a few test shots we were ready. My wife, Buffey, place Triskaideka in the box and used a feathered toy to get his attention while I took the portraits. It did not take long before we knew that we had a handful of shots that will work.


We placed them into Lightroom and started the process of elimination and soon we narrowed it down to two portraits. I sent one photo to Buffey and the other I worked on. After a few minutes I created this portrait in which I am very happy with.


Triskaideka is so easy to work with because he is our cat and he is in his home. I know that is key to the success of this and other portraits we have done of him and our other cats. Think of how many times you take your dog or cat to the vets or any other place and suddenly they become shy or totally unsociable. Triskaideka becomes withdrawn at the vets believe it or not. This is why I believe it is necessary to have me go to the pet rather than the pet come to me.

Now that we have Triskaideka’s Spring Portraits done we will have to generate ideas for his Summer Portrait Session. Have you had your Pet Portrait Session done? Or having a portrait session of your family being done? Don’t forget to include your pet they are family too.