I met Elena at the opening event of My Cake BarcelonaI had decorated the space and she was photographing the cakes and sweets. Few words and many cupcakes were necessary for our pets to come to light in the conversation.
Elena was actually an "animal portraitist", something that pleasantly surprised me at first. Someone was professionally photographing animals! It seemed to me the best job in the world and at the same time the most complicated… and of course, I was curious to know how to do a session in the studio. At that time, at home we lived with Joaquín and Nacho, so the galguete was the model chosen after the hard casting.
The afternoon of shooting It was raining, so we arrived at the studio with wet feet and legs, but Elena "the queen of patience" had no problem with us staining the entire white set with footprints. Once we were all ready, he recommended that we act normally. So with a few sweets, I started doing my homemade tricks with Nacho. "Nacho, sit down… Look, look at the sweetie… .nowaaaa, the little leg!…." And so on, while Elena was releasing "clicks", of which I doubted that something good would come out since Nacho did not stop moving and closed his eyes when he heard the "clicks". Nacho asked for a few breaks, since he wasn't used to the spotlights, but Elena convinced him to go back on set with a few succulent treats.
At night, at home, the first photograph of Nacho's handsome girl arrived in the mail ... You will think that being my dog, it is normal for it to look like a SUPER photo to me, so I prefer you to judge for yourself:
Days later I received the rest of the photographs, each one better. Funny and natural, Nacho seemed to have been posing all his life.
I found Elena Kaede's work very interesting and excellent, and I thought you would like to get to know her a little more, so she has answered some questions in the purest style of the contra de la Vanguardia.
Elena, who is Kaede?
A hawksbill cat with incredible big eyes, the culprit that started taking pictures of animals.
How did you become an animal portraitist?
When I was finishing studying Fine Arts, a friend decided to set up a protector, precisely the protector from which Kaede came out. I guess one day he told me “get on with the camera and take some photos of the crawlies and I'll buy you a beer” and so, between crawlies and canes, a lot of projects came out. Every time I took it more seriously and now it has become my profession.
How do you prepare a photo session with your furry models?
It is important to talk with the client and know what he expects from the session, if he wants to be photographed with his furry or if he wants the session for something special such as Christmas greetings, in order to prepare the corresponding props. We send an email to customers with very simple recommendations so that they and their furry dogs come prepared and handsome and we make sure to always have a drawer full of various kinds of sweets, for the most gourmets furry!
Have there been any non-furry ones?
Oops there have been several! I did a session for some guys who made portraits with all their animals, including Filomena, a hen that they loved a lot. I also took photos of Evaristo, a very elegant pigeon with a lot of plants that was a host while he was healing from a broken wing, we set up a special set for him, it was a very special session.
Has anyone resisted posing for the camera?
Not for the moment! Although there are times that I have had to arm myself with patience. In a home session I remember that a shy cat hid under a sofa and it took him a while to get out. The client invited me to a coffee while the mustachioed man got used to me and allowed himself to be bribed with sweets.
Do cats go to the studio?
Sessions with cats I always recommend doing them at home. We have a portable set that we can mount almost anywhere, if the cat feels safe, in its territory, it is less stressful for him, he will be more willing to play and better photos will come out.
What does someone who wants to try doing a photo session with you have to do?
I'm already planning a photoshoot with the whole family! I leave you with a few of his photographs.