Tahlullah – 7.5-year-old Black Bombay cat wearing a diamante necklace with her claws outstretched.
The saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’ this pretty much goes for everything when it comes to cats…..you can encourage them to go somewhere but you certainly can never force a cat to do anything, especially not Tahlullah!!! Tahlullah, a stunning Bombay Cat, has a very fickle personality and only ever does anything on her terms, which is pretty normal for a cat really. It took me three days to finally get her to cooperate for a photo shoot, the first two days my assistant and I used food and feather teasers to try and encourage her onto the black velvet background, she would follow but as soon as she got near the background she would decide she wanted to be elsewhere or she would hop onto the background and then pay absolutely no attention making it impossible to get a portrait of her wearing her diamante choker necklace. Finally, on day three Tahlullah must have realised she had put us through enough turmoil and decided to allow us to work with her a bit more, though she still wasn’t keen to just sit on the background and pay attention; during the previous days of getting to know her personality, we realised she loved a good neck rub, so I got my assistant to sit down and I placed the black fabric background over her shoulders and down onto her lap. We then encouraged Tahlullah onto my assistant’s lap, there she relaxed completely with my assistant tickling her under her chin, this made Tahlullah claw the air in happiness; it is the added drama of her outcast claws in this portrait that make this image so striking…..often a little patience really does pay off.
Tallulah features in Rachael’s first cat book 101 Cataclysms: For the Love of Cats and also in Rachael’s book It’s a Zoo Out There.
Rachael captured this portrait of Tahlullah in the backyard of her breeders home, Tahlullah always preferred to be outside so it was important to photograph her where she was most comfortable. Rachael captured this image on her 4x5 inch Toyo View camera with Portra 160 film using Natural Light.
* This image is from Rachael’s earlier work, which were all photographed using a Large Format 4x5 inch Film Camera, and occasionally an 8x10 inch Polaroid Camera. Rachael used a very shallow depth of field when photographing with film cameras, this gives these images a softer more painterly quality when printed, the prints still look stunning in all sizes and make magnificent Art pieces, they just don’t appear quite as crisp as an image created on a digital camera.
Rachael recommends this image to be framed using a Black Frame, this image looks best full-bleed when using a Black Frame; this image can also look striking with a white border and framed with a white frame.
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