Monday, 10 January 2011

So many cats: personal work with Koc-pol cat*PL

Patryk Koc

I've been in Poland recently, and one of the reasons I travelled over there was to spend a day shooting some personal work at a cat breeders. Monika Koc and her family breeds ragdoll cats and they are totally stunning animals. These are by far the most chilled out cats I have ever met - you can dangle them upside down and they just look around with a totally relaxed expression.

Monika Koc

It was a real challenge taking these photos even though the plan for the day was only to take two images. I had to make sure that my composition and lighting set-up was just how I wanted it before I started shooting. I was planning to stitch together quite a few frames to make the final images and it is much easier to do this if the camera doesn't move. Monika's shot was made especially challenging as I had to communicate with Monika via others - she does not speak English and I don't speak Polish. And to top it all we were working with animals, and although ragdolls are very chilled they don't always do what you want them to do. But we seemed to manage and get across my ideas in a haphazard sort of way. The whole shoot was great fun and I loved how involved and enthusiastic everyone was, it's great to be surrounded by such a passionate bunch of people. Monika and Patryk were wonderful subjects, who were happy to try out anything I asked them to do. Everyone there helped greatly by preparing the room sets and making the cats looks beautiful for me to photograph, plus of course persuading them to look in certain directions or do certain things for me.

Below are some behind the scene shots that Monika took during Patryk's photoshoot when she wasn't moving cats around for me.

Olga watching the tethered laptop whilst I take pictures.
Photo: Monika Koc

I adjust my snooted speedlight: I tend to use black card rolled up and stuck with a bit of duct tape to make my snoots. They cost 10-20 pence each time I make one, and work very well.
Photo: Monika Koc

Patryk sits with a very relaxed cat whilst we take photos of him.
Photo: Monika Koc

A huge thanks to Monika and her family for letting us invade her home, to Joanna for her help throughout the day, and to Olga for being not only a wonderful assistant but also a co-driver, animal handler and translator.

Please take time to visit Koc-pol cat*PL online at either their website or facebook page.



  1. Your photographs are simply wonderful - A very polite and talented man you are !