Born out of Lennette’s childhood dream to actually become one of the animals her vet father used to treat, the San Francisco native finally gathered six different species this year to partly realize her wish.
“The picture set was made up of Susie the elephant, Tabitha the baboon, Tango the cheetah, Ace and Stripes the zebras, Daisy the Burmese python and Bombay and Cashmere the tigers,” said Lennette.
“Posing with them were Jasmina, Paulo and Kaela, who went through seven hours of make up, for four days in total. I wanted to show humans and their animal brothers in a new light that maybe hadn’t been seen before.The exotic animals came from in and around Los Angeles from renowned Hollywood and television trainers and we shot at the famous Smashbox Studios in LA. Each of the animals came with their trainers and every second they were observed and watched whenever the models came in contact with the animals. Some like Susie the elephant were fine to work with, the only problem she posed was how to get Kaela on top. In the end we used a long ladder and then we set about photographing inside the mammoth studios. For Jasmina and the cheetah and tigers it was bit different. We had to make sure that they were comfortable around her and that she had ample time to make a getaway should they become uncomfortable.”
Totally naked and posing for some delightfully funny portraits, Lennette feels that there is a seriousness that needs to be felt through the series. “I think that we forget our origins as animals ourselves,” said Lennette. “We need to re-connect with nature and we should be closer to the animals that live on this world. We should look on these pictures as something more natural and not as odd as they might first seem. I used to fantasize about being the animals that my father used to treat and now with this project I am a little closer.”
“The tigers just wanted to play, but with their claws and the fact that Jasmina was naked was a problem for her obviously,” said Lennette. “But that aside, the cats were watched at all times and everyone had a great time during the shoot.”
Ani Human is Lennette’s latest work and it has already received an honurable mention at the International Photography Awards. “The reaction to this has been amazing,” said Lennette. “People have taken to the pictures and that has made me very gratified”
Lennette Newell’s interview on her new Ani-Human series was written by journalist James Nye (email@example.com) and syndicated by Barcroft Media.