For years now, the term ‘Crazy cat lady’ has been given far too much air time! Here, at StyleTails, we love turning that stereotype on its head, showcasing cat owners for what they truly are; a loving, stylish and savvy group of people. So when we first learned about the world-renowned Instagram account, @GirlsandTheirCats, we fell in love.
Brooklyn-based fashion and beauty photographer, BriAnne Wills’ Instagram account, Girls and Their Cats is taking the digital world by storm. BriAnne photographs New York ladies and their rescue cats, while telling the heart-warming stories of how they have changed each other’s lives, to much-deserved praise from thousands of followers.
Here, we caught up with BriAnne, who shares her inspiration behind the account and what it’s like to photograph some of the world’s most stylish cat owners.
BriAnne, tell us the story behind Girls and their Cats?
I decided to start this project as a way to highlight interesting cat ladies and to dismantle the crazy cat lady stereotype.
Did you ever imagine it would become the success it is today?
No, definitely not. I thought it would be a series of maybe 20 cat ladies that I would share on social media and then move on to something else. The attention it’s received has encouraged me to keep it going.
What are your own cats like?
I have two cats, Liza and Tuck. Liza is a beautiful brown tabby. She’s passionate about food, despite having only one tooth left. She loves a rough rub down and is quite the chatterbox. Tuck is a black and white tuxedo cat. He plays fetch, loves belly rubs, and is very mischievous. If I scold him for doing something he shouldn’t be doing, he’ll talk back as if he’s a moody teenager rebelling against authority.
Tell us about the women you photograph. How do they break the ‘crazy cat lady’ stereotype?
They are all cool, stylish, interesting, career-driven women and not the crazy, cat-hoarding spinsters that the media portrays.
Who meets the mark for being photographed?
I’m looking for inspiring women, who have rescued/adopted their cat(s) and who have a unique story to share.
What’s the best thing you’ve gained from the project?
I didn’t know anyone when I moved to NYC. Through this project, I’ve met so many amazing women; some have turned into professional connections and some have turned into pretty great friends.
What photography tips would you offer our readers for capturing Instagram-worthy photos of their cats?
Cats are difficult models. They don’t take direction well and when they’re done, they’re done. I make sure there are cat treats at each shoot to help keep the cat motivated and interested. When I want them to look at the camera, I shake a noisy cat toy right above the lens. It works (almost) every time.
Follow Girls and Their Cats on Instagram here. We promise you won’t be disappointed!