Award Winning Cat Photography - Portraits of Taytu the Savannah

February 21, 2017  •  2 Comments

I do love it when my family ask for photo shoots for Christmas. Last year my sisters Christmas gift was a voucher for photo shoots of all 6 of her fur-(& furless)-babies. My sister, Natalie, is the very proud owner of 2 Savannah cats, 2 Sphynx cats, and her 2 dogs, a Chinese Crested and a Chihuahua.

We decided it might be a little manic to bring all 6 of her pets to the studio at the same time; in fact we'd just start with one of the cats! I actually have never had a cat in the studio before and wasn’t quite sure how it would go. The first shoot, which took place on 14th of January, was with Taytu.

Taytu is a 7-month-old F2 Savannah cat. For those that don't know, a Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and the Serval (pictured below), which is a medium-sized, wild African cat. The F2 generation means that Taytu has a Serval grandparent. These cats are extremely intelligent, and love to explore and climb, and with Taytu being so young (I'm not going to lie) I expected the photo shoot to be a bit of a disaster!

The Serval wild cat is also known as tierboskatThe Serval wild cat is also known as tierboskatServal wild cat in the Savannah of Masai Mara

(Above & below are photos of wild Serval cats)

Serval cat climbing in tree catching food. Tenikwa wildlife sancServal cat climbing in tree catching food. Tenikwa wildlife sancServal cat climbing in tree catching food. Tenikwa wildlife sanctuary. Plettenberg Bay. South Africa.

I couldn't of been more wrong! Taytu was an absolute dream to work with, and it turned out she is a right little poser! So much so that I decided to enter 3 of the images into The Guild of Photographers Image of the Month competition and all 3 of them got an award! I am absolutely over the moon! I achieved 2 Bronze Bars and a Silver Bar!

But what does that mean? The description of the awards taken from the Guild website:

Bronze Bar - Images of a strong standard at a national competition level (something to be proud of)

Silver Bar - Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)

So I am sure you can understand why I am so happy! Now back to the shoot...

We wanted some nice portraits of her, but also some portraits of her looking wild, as the better-bred cats of this breed should closely resemble their African Serval ancestors, and Taytu is very wild looking. I decided to go for natural colours in this shoot, choosing a brown backdrop, posing her on a tall wooden pedestal (to satisfying her instinct to climb up high) and drape a green wrap over it to add a pop of colour while keeping with natural colours to start.

We then decided to try a few photos with Taytu sat on an elegant chair that was given to me by my Grandma for the studio. And I love how these came out, especially fitting, as "Taytu" was the name of an Ethiopian Princess. I love how regal these portraits look, although Natalie and I disagreed on our favourite. I prefer the first image, where Taytu is sat tall, paws crossed and looking elegant. Whereas Natalie prefers the one below where Taytu is in a crouched position and looks more 'wild'.

Natalie hopes to breed from Taytu when she is old enough, so these photos will be used for adverts as well as Wall Art for Natalie's home. To keep up to date with Natalie's Cats, please 'like' her Facebook page by clicking HERE.




Lorraine Waite(non-registered)
Absolutely amazing pics Jodie ..... well done we are so proud of you xx
Deborah Unsworth(non-registered)
Absolutely outstanding shots of the very beautiful Taytu Jodie!! You have captured the very essence of her managing to show her looking regal and serene...and also with an element of the wildness of her ancestors! Fantastic Jo! Well done on winning these highly acclaimed awards, they are very much deserved xx
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