Mao and Kalissi

“Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste —
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his name.” T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Curious, sweet, adorable, Mao and Kalissi (one is a siamese/ragdoll cat, and the other one a bengal) are some of the most friendly cats I have met while working on this project so far. It was lovely to spend some time with them and her mum Manna, and I believe these photos below speak for themselves about how we enjoyed each others company!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Love come from rescued cats – Margot, Jerry and Monty

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”, wrote Charles Dickens, and I truly believe it is hard to find something more special than an affectionate cat. Especially rescued cats can share so much love with their owners that you can feel it as soon as you meet them.
This happened also last week, when I visited Kelly and her two beautiful furry children, Margot and Jerry. They have been together for ten years now, and the three have a very special way to communicate to one another. While Margot is curious but a bit cautious, Jerry is more independent and definitively not interested in photography! It was lovely to see them play and at some point fight – in a gentle funny way – together, and follow their human mum even with a simple look, as to say: “we are waiting for you!”.
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Monty is an adorable twelve years old cat that Karen lovingly took from the street after he was abandoned from his previous owners. He is a very shy but gentle cat, with beautiful yellow eyes and a total black fur. He loves his human mum very much and he makes this clear kissing her and spending almost his entire day by her side. Unfortunately he was not confident enough in front of the camera to show me his unique way to say: “I love you!”. After all, precious things must be kept a bit secret to remain special.
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A huge thanks to Kelly and Karen to share with me these sweet moments!
©2018 Flavia Catena

Graduation portraits – Oxford

No, this is not a dream: the best season of the year has finally started, with lots of interesting events and great people to photograph. I could not be more happy! Only a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to work with Asuka, a lovely japanese girl and a very talented student who successfully graduated from the Oxford University. Here are a few photos I took to her and her husband Sigfrid in a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Congratulations again, and “ad maiora”, as ancient romans used to say!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Shepherds Bookbinders – The beauty of paper

At the beginning of this year, I had the chance – a very lucky one – to visit Shepherds Sangorski & Sutcliffe’s bindery. Thinking about my craft project, a few weeks before, I was looking for interesting places where to photograph artisans working with paper and books, so you can imagine my joy when I found a few articles speaking about one of the oldest bookbinding companies in England. For a woman, and before that, for a child who believed that books, especially the antique ones, smell even better than flowers, having the opportunity to access to a similar place was already a small exciting miracle. Everyone at the bindery welcomed me with an happy smile. I spent a few hours (more than planned) looking at the craftsmen working. While I was not taking photos, I simply enjoyed listening to their stories. Some of them where in the middle of restoring an old book, some where carving and decorating precious leather covers, some other were hand sewing pages and bringing ancient maps to life. I believe that the images below will give you an idea of what I briefly but happily took part into: art, in another of its form, art shining through layers of delicate paper.

I really suggest you to pay a visit to Shepherds Bookinders’ shop, whether possible, or to look at their website: http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Comfort Station – Looking at the stars

Another chapter about my craft project is going to be open. Today I want to tell you a bit about Comfort Station, a jewellery brand I have discovered a few years ago, while I was visiting Shoreditch as one of those turists that always make the city of London crowded, noisy and happy. As soon as I noticed the shop’s window, I knew I had found something special. I immediately fell in love with all those necklaces and rings inspired by the constellations and the grandness of the universe. Being a real “vintage girl”, I was close to scream of joy seeing how old maps had been used on beautiful pendants, and how books had been hung on the wall to display the jewels. Not to mention the antique instruments, the suitcases, the music paper that were murmuring, together with the bracelets and earrings, words about love and beauty. Since that day I was waiting for the opportunity to photograph the person who was behind that work. And late in January this year I had that opportunity. I was very happy when Amy Anderson, the British fine artist who is the creator and designer of Comfort Station, replied to the email I had sent her saying she was interested in having me in her studio. When the day arrived, and I was friendly welcomed in her own little world (just in the basement of the shop), I was really excited and curious to see her at work. My camera was ready, so my eyes! I always find “behind the scenes” interesting. What can be better than photographing an artist who creates something in front of you? That’s why I want to thank Amy, once again, and leave you with the photo I took that magic afternoon!

Don’t miss to visit Comfort Station website: https://www.comfortstation.co.uk

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Amanda & Billy – A countryside wedding

Amanda and Billy got married last summer in the lovely village of Wytham (Oxfordshire). I had the pleasure to work and collaborate with Amanda the year before, and I was very happy when she asked me to photograph her wedding, treating me as a friend and really trusting my vision and style! The ceremony, celebrated at All Saints church, was a very heartwarming one, and it was followed by a reception in the Wytham Town Hall. Everything, from the cake to the decorations and the childrens’ games, was handmade (families and friends worked hard on that) and beautiful. Speeches were hilarious, funny and moving. I could not expect anything better from a couple in love! Everytime I photograph a wedding like this, I feel blessed to work with such lovely people. So, thanks again Amanda and Billy, and all the best in life!

©2016 Flavia Catena

 

All’angolo… la vita

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to have in front of my camera a male model, Neil Chatterjee. I really enjoyed working with him (so thank you Neil!). Here a few conceptual photos I took on a rusty and old platform we found along the Thames river. And when life seems too far and we walk and lay down on crosses, suddenly we discover something that is coming to save us.

©2014 Flavia Catena

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