Approaching an Abstract Subject Matter

I am shooting a feature story for the Humane Society's magazine. The feature is titled Approaching a Closed Door, and is about people with mental illnesses that cause them to horde animals. The basic stereotype is the "cat lady," the woman who lives with 300 cats yet she is unable to properly care for herself. There's even a "cat lady" that makes an occasional appearance on the Simpson's. For the story I'm shooting a lot of mysterious window and door shots, some cats doing things horded animals might do like drink from the bathtub, and some other shots still in progress. I can't just go take pictures of a cat miser because of the legalities involved so I shoot a lot of staged shots. So far I have about 18 related shots including this one I took tonight at Dave and Rose's place of Dave's silhouette. He has a cat and some other dramatic lighting situations I was looking for.

Local Bird Lady

This is Helen Veronica, Foggy Bottom's neighborhood bird lady. She said she spends $70 a week to feed the birds popcorn and birdseed. The homeless guys in the park like her. One of them named Eugene calls her Miss Helen, everyone else calls her Roni. I met Eugene while I was waiting in the park to meet Roni. When I went across the street to get a drink at the drug store one clerk told the other Roni was so good-hearted that she, "has already made it to Heaven."

Homeless Stereo System

This is Eugene's radio that he seems to have tuned to classic rock most of the time. He lives in Potomac Plaza Park. He told me about Miss Helen's cat before I saw it. He said it was a big fat cat. When I first saw it come out of her apartment into the hall I was surprised by its size. I saw that the hair on its back was matted. Roni said it was because her cat couldn't reach its back to clean itself. About five minutes later she told me it was because the cat had been shedding a lot, so Roni put moisturizer on its fur earlier. "It was a bad idea," she laughed.