A Day in the Life of a Cat Photographer

We all love our pets, but there are different levels of pet lover. In the world of cat fanciers, for example, many of them head out to big, popular events throughout the States each year to show off their cat and meet other cat lovers. Many also pay a professional photographer to take pictures of their beloved pet, in the style of a child’s school photo, to put on the mantle or wall. But, who do you turn to for professional feline portraiture? The country’s biggest cat photographer, Larry Johnson, that’s who:

Johnson specializes in feline portraiture. He travels the globe taking photos of show cats and while at one of these shows, film director Mark Zemel met him and became quite curious. Over the next little while, Zemel came up with the idea for his short film, “The Purrtraitist,” which follows Johnson through his photography process at the Central Jersey Cat Fanciers show in Parisppany, New Jersey.

cat portraiture

“It’s not a picture of a cat, it’s a picture of my cat.”

That’s what Johnson tries to capture for the owner—an image that captures the cat’s personality. He says these are quite different than your child’s school photo, however, where you have 1,500 kids and every photo looks the same. In his photos, Johnson is able to capture the subtle expressions and unique personalities of his feline friends.

To get the cat to relax and just be itself, Johnson employs a number of cat-charming techniques he has mastered over the years. Using an array of cat toys and his own cat language, complete with purring, Johnson has been dubbed ‘The Cat Whisperer.’

photographing cats

Each year, Johnson travels to over 35 cities around the globe to shoot at major cat shows. He’s known on the circuit and many of the show’s cat owners have had him take pictures of their cats, always with happy and grateful responses.

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