Blue was a shy little guy. Fortunately, he is also a ragdoll cat. These cats are very docile, going limp in your arms or wherever you place them. We set him down next to this old Martin guitar and snapped away.
Chang and 1960s Silvertone Estrelita
We discovered that Chang goes completely nutty for treats, so we stuck some on the guitar and he was so busy hunting for them he didn't even notice the strobes firing.
Frida and 1982 Gibson Les Paul Custom
When our friends Jay and Anne brought Frida over, they told us to watch for "that thing she does". When I asked what the thing was, they said when she's comfortable, she sits herself down crooked and looks at you like she's bored. I asked how I would know it when I saw it; they said, "trust us, you'll know it."
Isabelle and 1960 Gibson Melody Maker
Isabelle was so friendly she was a challenge to photograph. She's very curious, and wanted to follow me everywhere I went; as soon as I set her up and grabbed my camera, she would saunter back over to me to see what I was doing. I finally got her attention with a laser pointer on the ceiling...
Jack and 1941 National Collegian
It's no secret that a lot of cats love catnip. But I've never seen a cat go completely rubbery on the nip. It was as if Jack had no bones; he just rolled around and got goofy.
Mica and 1967 Hagstrom III
Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what makes a cat tick. With Mica, we tried food, toys and catnip. Nothing. Finally, I taped a small piece of paper to a guitar string, and Monika waved it over her head. She went nuts.
The Mister and 1968 Gretsch Country Club
I've noticed an interesting thing about the cats I've photographed - none of them is affected by the firing of strobe lights. It's as if they can't see them. The Mister, however, had a different aversion: he didn't like the sound of the camera's shutter. He got so shy, that I had to spend hours with him, coaxing him ever-closer to the guitar, at which point I could slowly reach for my camera and pull off a shot.
Momo and 1966 Fender Mustang
Momo made himself so comfortable in the studio that we didn't even have to pose him. We would set up the lights and camera, and he would mosey on over to the guitar. At one point, he seemed to get bored, and started yawning. So, I waited, and sure enough...
Pringles and 1973 Fender Deluxe
Pringles was one of our foster cats. This little guy had some sort of palsy in his back legs which made him kind of hop around like a rabbit - he would hobble all around the studio, following me wherever I went. He was easily one of the friendliest cats I've ever met.
Romeo and 1997 Rickenbacker 620
Romeo was the first cat to be photographed, and is the inspiration for this series. Perhaps the furriest cat I have ever met, this guy loved to have his picture taken. It was as if he was posing for me; he seemd to genuinely love the activity.
Spazzi and 1965 Silvertone 1457
Spazzi completely lived up to her name. This cat would not sit still for an instant. The problem was how to harness that energy for photos. Waving a guitar string around in the air sent her into overdrive, and we got tons of great pictures.
Woody and 1960's Hofner 459-VTZ
Woody belongs to Monika and I, and is very food-driven. Knowing this made taking his picture very easy. I stuck a piece of ham on the back of the neck of the guitar, and started snapping as he tried to figure out how he was going to get at it.