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, as well as been absorbed into the public subconscious via posters, pet-food packaging,T-shirts, and other uses.
The Internet is awash with cat pictures, and Chandoha's cat pictures might be seen as the forefather of them all. They bear examination not only for their singular charm, but also for having established a vocabulary of the animal studio portrait with Chandoha's signature look: clean, brightly colored backdrops and high-key "glamour" backlighting of his tiny, fuzzy subjects.
This is a fun book for younger audiences, but also offers insight into the unique career of a successful commercial photographer who carved out his own niche within the field. Walter Chandoha is interviewed by David La Spina, who has been working with Chandoha and his family to bring his unique archive to public attention, primarily via the New York Times and New York Times Magazine. The interview will include photography tips and diagrams of Chandoha's studio set-up, as well as how the photographer came to make a living with animal photography.
Walter Chandoha (born in Bayonne, New Jersey, 1920) is a veteran photographer and writer who has worked as a professional freelancer for over forty years. His flora and fauna photography has appeared on over three hundred magazine covers; in thousands of advertisements for various companies, from small businesses to the Fortune 500; in numerous book publications;and on posters, billboards, various printed matter, and even credit cards.
David La Spina (interview) is a photographer and cofounder of Roman Numerals press. He freelances for the New York Times and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times 6th Floor blog.
Brittany Hudak (interview) is a Ph.D. candidate in the joint program of art history at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Case Western Reserve University. She received a master's in Victorian media and culture from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2007.