It was a simple concept. Stanley likes broccoli (super weird for a cat) lets give him an entire head of it and see what he does.
Portrait photography is a process that requires planning, patience, attention to detail, quick thinking and a bit of luck. Usually you can mitigate some of these factors by working with your subject, however when they are a large moody (but lovable) house cat things can lean more towards the luck side of the equation.
I wish I could say I planned this image to perfection; a large cat staring down a head of broccoli half his size, pondering, licking his lips. Hilarious, confusing, adorable, timeless... (maybe not that last one...) Well, I did plan it but not like this. When I envisioned the photo, I expected Stanley would be really excited with the giant head of broccoli. In my minds eye I saw Stanley with a death grip on the stalk, voraciously eating the broccoli head. Not what happened, not even close.
In retrospect it makes sense. I was thinking from my perspective, with the understanding of what a head of broccoli is. My subject, a cat, had no concept broccoli came in anything but the little bites he had been presented with thus far. So lesson one, plan your photo from your subjects perspective, if possible. With my expectations adjusted, I moved to the second phase of the photo, the one I had planned for, patiently waiting for the moment occur.
Stanley, like most cats, isn't a fan of being moved unless he wants to move. So obstacle number one was getting him into position without pissing him off too much. With patience and clever navigating, I got Stanley closer to and more interested in the broccoli.
Also, animals aren't stupid they are acutely aware of what is happening around them. Even though I was bouncing my flash off a wall, it was still a distraction for him as was the clicking of the shutter. So obstacle number two became keeping my trigger finger light, and only shooting when I thought I had something worthwhile.
With some patience, frustration and several shooting sessions I got the money shot. Not what I had originally envisioned but an image I was very happy with.
Below is a digital contact sheet which shows the process of getting the shot.