I've been a big fan of Ronan's mom Bonnie since we met at a Rising Tide Society meeting a few years ago. She's a talented illustrator, designer and copywriter and I love following along with her instagram because she posts really cute, funny and inspiring stuff in her feed (check her out @bonniebryantcreative and her adorable products at shopbonnie.com). Her Instagram Stories, though, are where I was first introduced to the gorgeous little Ronan. Bonnie and her husband Dennis have 3 pets, a goofy lovebug tank of a dog named Rooney, a beautiful red kitty named Rudy, and the shy but sweet Ronan. Now, they love all their pets, but Ronan is the prince of this family and he has a special place in his parents' hearts. Dad Dennis told me that he had never had a cat before, but Ronan turned him into a cat lover.
I've always loved watching Bonnie's online documentation of her furry family, so I was so sad when she posted back in February that Ronan had a tumor on his paw and his prognosis was not good. When Bonnie asked to schedule portraits for him before he became too sick, I was honored to be able to help immortalize their love for him. Animals leave such a lasting mark on their owners, it's only fitting that we humans should have beautiful photographs to look back on when they have to leave us.
At our session, Bonnie and Dennis told me a lot about Ronan and the little quirks and eccentricities that make him such a unique and special cat. For instance, Ronan has a very peculiar obsession with tape. He loves to chew on anything sticky. At the beginning of our session, he was shy and hiding under the studio furniture and the only way we could lure him out was with some catnip and a sticky piece of lint roller tape for him to nibble on. Ronan was pretty shy at first and he even managed to open up the door to my studio closet and crawl inside. Dennis had to get on the ground and squeeze almost his whole body into my cluttered little closet to get him out! He started to calm down a little after a few more hits of catnip and we were able to keep him in place just with a nice loving touch from mom.
I love the way the photos came out, because you can really tell the special bond between all of them. My heart goes out to Bonnie and Dennis during this really tough time, and I hope that the photos we took will be a comfort to them when their little Prince Ronan is no longer around to eat tape, pound catnip and melt hearts.
Here are my favorite photos from Ronan's session.
Stella’s mom Veronica wanted some photos of her, but was worried that Stella wouldn’t cooperate for her session, since she’s very shy. I told her not to worry, we were going to get great shots. For cat sessions, I always offer the option to go to the client’s home, because cats can get very nervous when traveling to a new place and that doesn’t make for good photos! When I got to her house, I had Stella’s mom bring her in to observe me a little bit.
I set up a few things, then I just sat on the floor for a little while, and let Stella get used to me. I threw her a couple of treats now and then, and once she was comfortable enough to come up to me, I knew it was time to test out my lights. The flash of my lights can bother some animals or make them blink too much, but only rarely. Stella didn’t seem bothered by them, so I was able to start shooting! My lights are very portable so I was able to twist them around to follow Stella’s movements. Treats, jingly toys and a ribbon on a stick were all very helpful in getting Stella to look my way so I could photograph her beautiful eyes! Here are some of my favorite photos from her session!
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