Tag Archives: Cat Fancy

Model Fancy

She decided that she’d like to help him with his career. “That’s sweet of you,” he said. “What did you have in mind? Updating my web portfolio? Helping me set up the monolights on Tuesday? I told Anichka and Danya that I’d have sushi for them on set except the place they like doesn’t deliver…” But she was an autodidact zoologist and these services sounded beneath her.

“I’d like to art-direct your next photo shoot,” she said. He turned from the naked female image he was editing on his 27-inch computer monitor and faced his girlfriend. She sat primly on their couch wearing his boxer shorts and an XL t-shirt with an anthropomorphized cartoon of a goat on it. She’d recently dribbled Nutella down her chin.

“But you hate fashion,” he said.

“No I don’t,” she said. “Even though fashion is responsible for decimating the beavers and for yanking the hair out of millions of angora rabbits and for driving one more wedge between rich and poor, I can still respect your job.”

“You’re rich and I’m poor,” he said, smiling, “and it didn’t drive a wedge between us.”

“But I know fashion photography isn’t about that stuff for you,” she said. “It’s more about making art. Which is why I want to get involved.”

“I saw that the coffee shop across the street is hiring,” he said. “It might do you some good to get out of the house, away from your terrariums.”

“No offense, but I think all your editorials are starting to look the same.”

“That’s actually the most offensive thing you could have said to me.”

“You could use an outsider’s perspective. Like, why do all your photos have to be so gloomy, and shot in black and white?”

“Because heavy contrast is on trend right now.”

“Is it?” she said. “Or has everyone just run out of ideas? Here’s what I think. Have you ever read Cat Fancy magazine?”

“No.”

“Well the reason Cat Fancy magazine is so popular is not because the quality of its photographs is especially high. It’s because the magazine features cats.”

“Sure, that makes sense.”

“Cats are really fun to look at. They’re gentle and beguiling and often quite colorful. Plus they have such charismatic personalities that a photographer doesn’t have to do much to make an image sparkle.”

“Okay.”

“If you look at the success of Cat Fancy magazine, a few things leap out at you. Or pounce, I should say. One, the art directors aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel with their stories. They don’t feel the need to take the cats out into the desert and, like, shoot them rolling around naked in the sand in front of giant sheets of gauze like they’re Kim Kardashian. A staff photographer just puts the cat in front of a solid, neutral background in a studio, takes a snapshot, and tada, there’s your cover.”

“Right.”

“I mean you can change the background color depending on whether it’s Christmas or whatever, but for the most part it’s pretty simple. That way it’s all about the cat, you know?”

“Sure.”

“Two, no one is trying to tell the cats they need to lose weight.”

“Right. I know you hate that.”

“So with your 19-year-old anorexic Polish models on Tuesday, I think you should just, like, put them on the floor there, so they’re kind of lying in that patch of light from the window, and maybe scatter some catnip around so they’re kind of happy and docile, but not with those dead eyes you like so much, no offense, because all your models seem to be on heroin, which is another way in which your art is sort of dated.”

“Okay.”

“And then I think you should, like, optimize the image for poster or billboard size. And maybe Photoshop some words into the background that could easily be a speech bubble coming from a cat, or a motivational message that a cat could be thinking, or perhaps just existentially representing, you know?”

“I get you. You want the image to capture a feline essence. Even though it’s people.”

“Right. I don’t want to say ‘Garfield’, because that’s too obvious and plus I know you like things to be sexy, but just take a look at Cat Fancy when you’re doing your mood board for Tuesday. I have a whole bunch of back issues in the bedroom.”

“Okay, sounds good.”

“I just really want you to break out of your artistic rut, baby.”

“Thank you. I appreciate that.”

“You’re welcome.” She went back to reading Misty of Chincoteague.

“Hey sweetheart,” he said.

“Mm?”

“I know you promised you were going to get me that Canon 85mm fixed 1.2 lens for my birthday, but I was wondering if you could order it a little early, especially since it would really help with this upcoming photoshoot you’re art-directing. Which is going to be awesome, by the way.”

“But I thought you wanted the Canon 5D Mark III camera for your early birthday present?” she said.

“That too,” he said. “You’ve inspired me.”

“Thought so,” she said with satisfaction, and went to get her credit card.

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