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Hilarious photoshoot helps cat mom make the purrrfect "birth" announcement


Michelle Stein

posted in Pregnancy

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a series of “birth” photos that made me stop in my tracks — and nearly pee my pants laughing.

Lucy Schultz and her partner Steven of Denver, Colorado, adopted a 5-month-old kitten last week from a local animal shelter. Lucy (who is a wedding photographer) enlisted the help of fellow photographer friend Elizabeth Woods-Darby, and together they created a hilarious, yet incredibly authentic birth/newborn photoshoot — with a cat.

Using photos from the shoot, Lucy ended up sharing her purrrfect birth announcement on Facebook. Her post quickly went viral, attracting over 19,000 likes and 71,000 shares. “On 1/10/18 we welcomed our first baby kitten, a neutered male DLH,” Lucy captioned the Jan. 13 post. “He is 22′ long and weight 6 pounds 7 ox. He is already eating solid food Name to be announced. We are so in love.”

As a cat lover myself (I recently adopted my own 5-month-old kitty!) I simply had to speak with the people behind these photos. Here is the Q&A I did with photographer Elizabeth Woods-Darby and cat mom Lucy Schultz.

Why did you decide to do a photoshoot like this?

Lucy: For years I’d been talking about doing a kitten announcement shoot when I was finally ready to adopt — I just wanted to celebrate my new kitty adoption! My friend Elizabeth was so excited about the idea and jumped in with both feet.

Elizabeth: It was meant as a fun project and announcement to friends and family on Facebook, not much more. We laughed hysterically discussing ideas for it, wondering where we could possibly find a hospital bed and how to, I believe my words were, ‘dampen the cat’ in an animal friendly way for an authentic just birthed, look.

How did you go about deciding on the types of shots you wanted to include?

Lucy: Then we got together for the shoot and things snowballed really fast — we both had so many ideas since we are both creatives and had photographed births together before. I knew I wanted some of the classic details, like the hospital blanket, holding hands, and the labor-hair (which Elizabeth totally NAILED).

Elizabeth: People ask about my inspiration for this session and I have to say I drew on my background shooting birth videography. I’ve really been impacted by the beauty and raw strength of birth. It’s brave and messy and vulnerable and my favorite images are the ones that tell that story. Even though this was a parody of sorts, I still wanted to keep that authenticity, sweetness, and excitement in these images as much as possible. And I think that really guided my choices for shots and angles. I’m really pleased with how they came out.

What was it like while taking the photos?

Lucy: It was one of the most fun and memorable afternoons I’ve had! We definitely have more outtakes and bloopers than anything else. It was a struggle for me to look like I was in serious pain when I was laughing so much! My partner just cracks me up with his funny faces, and we couldn’t believe the cat was just sleeping through it — purring, even!

Elizabeth: We wanted the images to feel as real life as possible. The unmade bed, the messy sweaty face and hair, the natural light and the sweetness of the new (5-month-old) kitten with his new parents. The hilarity did not escape us. But we charged on through our laughter. And yes, we laughed the whole shoot. But Lucy and her partner were troopers and we managed to capture some incredibly heartfelt images as well. It was one of the funnest shoots I’ve done in a while.

What’s your favorite photo?

Lucy: I love the back of his head and ears flanked by my legs — the “crowning” part! And his “newborn” images of him all wrapped up with his tongue sticking out are just the cutest. But I’m his mom, so I’m biased.

Elizabeth: I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just one, as my personal favorite, there are so many incredible moments but I’ll tell you, all three of us laughed SO HARD shooting the ones of him between his mom’s legs. Well actually, we laughed hard for most of the shoot. It was a great time.

What has the overall reaction been?

Lucy: I thought I’d get a few hundred likes, but nothing like this! It’s thrilling to see how many people think it was hilarious and said “omg, this is so us.” Once I got over the initial shock of going viral..never mind, I’m still not over it.

Elizabeth: People have been mostly positive about it, although there are a few who think we’re crazy cat ladies, or that the poor cat should be rescued from us. I’ll just say that he loved the shoot, after we were done he just kept napping all wrapped up in his little newborn blanket.

It’s an overwhelming experience, this going-viral thing but it’s also amazing and this strange reminder that we’re all connected somehow, even by pictures of a woman giving birth to a cat and the delight/outrage that that seems to spur. And I’m grateful for it.

I don’t know about you, but the crowning cat photo is the funniest thing I’ve seen so far this year. And just look at that little kitty burrito. Awwww. Congrats on your newest little bundle of fur, Lucy and Steven!

What do you think of this photoshoot?

For more of Woods-Darby’s photography, visit her website or follow her on Instagram (@barefootinthefog). You can also keep up with the work of Lucy Schultz on her website or by following her on Instagram (@lucyschultzphotography.)

All photos by Elizabeth Woods-Darby

The post Hilarious photoshoot helps cat mom make the purrrfect "birth" announcement appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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