We have the pleasure of meeting tons of amazingly sweet cat lovers when organizing the POP Cats festivals. Among those special people is the talented photographer Erica Danger. We are in ❤️ with her photographic work as she masterfully captures cats’ warm and innocent side, with a dash of joy.
Danger is originally from Portland, Oregon and now she is based out of Los Angeles. She travels around the nation looking for the gorgeous kitties to photograph. When she hangs her photographer hat, she fosters cats. How cool is that?!
Was your family into cats or was it a passion that grew in you? 😜
I’ve always loved cats, yes! But I wasn’t allowed to have any growing up, as my mom was allergic. I grew up with fish, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils, iguanas, snakes…almost any small animal you can think of! I definitely lived vicariously through all of my friends who had cats, and spent as much time with them as I could, haha! When I was 18 or 19 I rescued my first cat, Banjo, as a kitten, and it’s been one big cat party ever since!
My current cat is a little black and white cow cat named Miss Mou. She showed up on my doorstep at 4 weeks old, crying in the night, so her actual name is Mouth, after Corey Feldman’s character in The Goonies…that just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like Miss Mou does! She’ll be 12 this summer!
How did you discover that photography was your passion? ⚡️
When I was a kid, I loved creating ALL types of art – Drawing, sculpting, collage, photography…But film photography was expensive, so it wasn’t until I got my first digital camera in middle school that I started experimenting a lot with taking “artsy” photos. I tried applying for photography class all 4 years of high school and was never accepted, so I kept shooting on my own, and because photography was the one art form I was pretty much always itching to play with, I started taking it more seriously! I eventually graduated to my first digital SLR when I was 19 or 20, and since then, I’ve been entirely self-taught except for a class I took about Lightroom editing!
How did you get into photographing cats? 😻
My photography was based mostly in portraiture and music previously, and I used to lament that I would really just love it if I could pet cats for a living because I’m quite good at it. My partner at the time suggested I combine my two passions and become a cat photographer, but I argued that couldn’t be a thing…until eventually, I thought, well, maybe it can be – Why not give it a try? And here I am, years later!
Do you have any photography idols you admire? 🤘
I have SO many, I think the list would be crazy! I have dozens of photographers I know and admire, as well as photographers whose work consistently amazes me, ranging from people who work in music, portraiture, landscapes and nature, pets…There are just so many ways to be creative and present your own version of the world. In general, I’m really drawn to bright or unexpected use of color, interesting lighting, and anything emotional. I’ll name drop a few photographers I especially love: Dana Trippe, Jessica Zollman, Derek Bremner, Colin Gray, Vijat M, and Brian Stowell.
What is it about cats that you like the most? 🐈
Oh wow. I could make this answer so drawn-out and complicated, but I’m just obsessed with sitting and petting them. When they get comfortable and rest their little chins on you, it’s just the best thing, ugh!
I learned that you foster kittens. Can you tell us how you got into it? Was it scary at first? How has the experience been? 🐱
I had been volunteering with Best Friends Animal Society doing photography and photo assisting for a couple of years, so I knew of their foster program, and heck yeah, it was super scary and daunting! I think my nerves about being responsible, essentially for someone else’s baby, held me back from fostering for a really long time, honestly. But after bringing home my first batch of babies, those worries started melting away! Best Friends did a great job of training me what to expect, and then they were available around the clock to help with questions as new things came up or whenever I had any concerns with my kittens. And the wonderful thing is that there are loads of other rescues and shelters that have fantastic foster programs and can help anyone get started! I primarily foster weaned kittens, meaning they’re no longer nursing or bottle-feeding, from about 4 weeks of age, but you can foster cats at any age. Watching them grow and develop little personalities is so incredible, and giving them all the love I can to prepare them for their forever homes…I’m so lucky I get to spend time with them and share so much love with them!
Meet Erica Danger in person at the POP Cats 2020 tour. You can’t miss her Cat Photography 101 Workshop! ❤️