Cats of Kingsville
When you’ve lived in the same place for a while, walks around your neighbourhood can feel a bit droll.
The remedy? Cat photography.
Don’t like cats? Don’t let me lose you just yet.
A short while ago, Dion and I spent about a month walking around the Kingsville neighbourhood, primed for photography. Every time we spotted a cat, I took a shot. (A photo shot. Though a cat drinking game would certainly be interesting.) That aside, it doesn’t have to be a cat. It can be dogs, windows, letterboxes, flowers, street signs — whatever you like.
I like cats because they’re unpredictable — but often narcissistic — so you never know what sort of shot you’re going to get. It’s like a personalised Where’s Wally. You’re not sure when you’re going to find one, so it feels extra rewarding when you do. That said, the subject matter is up to you.
Going out on a mindful mission really gets you to appreciate the small details, especially when your neighbourhood can start to feel samey. You can focus on elements of properties that you might like in your own home, and compile them for future reference. For example, Dion gave documenting Kingsville’s fences a crack. After just one outing, the extreme variance in them was far more than either of us had ever noticed.
You could turn your collection into a little neighbourhood zine, fridge magnets, a thematic Instagram, a mosaic, or any other number of creative projects. Or you could just take time to appreciate the little things your local streets have to offer.
I think this date idea is extra enjoyable if you have an old film/disposable camera lying around. The delayed gratification and limited shots makes you promptly acknowledge your priorities. I’m super short sighted, haven’t the foggiest idea about the ‘rules’ of photography, and my camera is full of light leaks. In some ways, that made this even more exciting, because I had no idea what I was going to wind up with.
If you do some research, there are a surprising number of entities out there who will still sell/develop film. If you’re in Melbourne, I highly recommend Hillvale. But you can always opt for your mobile, no problem. It’s a significantly cheaper option.
The results were mixed. Here are a few noteworthy results from my first attempts:
I really like having photos of this period of our life together that aren’t just of us. When I look back at them I remember the time spent in Kingsville, the neighbourhood where we made our first home together. The broader context gives the memories more depth, which helps to capture a place in time, rather than just moments.