Within the genre of commercial animal photography, Walter Chandoha is a master. His photographs of cats in particular have appeared in the pages of National Geographic and Life magazine, and have been absorbed into the public subconscious via countless posters, pet-food packaging, T-shirts and other uses.
The Internet is awash with cat pictures, but Chandoha's cat pictures might be seen as the forefather of them all. Chandoha's images are striking not only for their singular charm, but also for having established a vocabulary of the animal studio portrait with a signature look—clean, brightly colored backdrops and high-key glamour backlighting of the subjects. The Cat Photographer is a fun book, but it also offers insight into the unique career of a successful commercial photographer who carved out his own niche. Here, Chandoha is interviewed by David La Spina, who has been working with Chandoha and his family to bring his archive to public attention, and Brittany Hudak. The interview includes photography tips and diagrams of Chandoha's studio setup, and an account of how the photographer came to make a living with animal photography.