This is a Helmi Flick photograph of a black Maine Coon family. Not only is it an excellent photograph it is also interesting for me for several reasons. The parents have male and female appearances. The male is quite a lot larger than the female and their faces also give away their gender. It is nice to see parent cats together to compare appearances. We see this rarely on the internet.
While the parents look as if they are 100% black the kittens consist of two dilute classic tabby-and-whites, one of which has a more dilute coat than the other and the third appears to be a tuxedo (black-and-white). You can read and see many more pages on the Maine Coon by clicking on this link.
At one time the Persian was the most popular cat breed. I think the Maine Coon has overtaken it. Certainly the Maine Coon is more attractive and I’d say more inherently healthy (better genes). Helmi uses a mobile photo studio table and lights to take her photos. She uses three flashlights on tripods fired off by a remote control on her camera. The cats don’t mind the flash which freezes motion which is important because cats don’t tend to stay still under these circumstances (they want to jump down). The whole session when the cats are on the table lasts around five minutes. Beyond that you are probably wasting your time because the cats have become less cooperative.
I suppose you could bring up the question as to whether is is unkind to photograph cats like this. The environment is very strange for a cat. Most of the cats are show cats who are used to being in strange places and with strangers so they cope well in Helmi’s photographic studio. I can remember a cat breeder saying that her show cat had had enough of being a show cat and she retired him. It seems that some cats start to reject their role and begin to dislike being at cat shows and so become fractious.