Photographer in Louisiana makes most of quarantine with ‘EXTRA’ newborn kitten shoot

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Marshall-based photographer Jacie Wilson came up with the idea for a tongue-in-cheek newborn kitten photo session with rescue kitten Daisy as a creative outlet and to help ease the stress she and her young children are feeling while staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it’s gone viral. (Photo: Jacie Wilson Photography)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – What do you get when you have a professional photographer in quarantine with three bored young children and a rescued kitten?

A “newborn kitten session” that’s too cute not to share, which is what thousands have done since Marshall photographer Jacie Wilson first posted photos from the shoot last week.

Wilson says her work focuses mainly on family and maternity photography, “specializing in bump to baby.” She also works closely with the Women’s Clinic at Highland in Shreveport. But thanks to the coronavirus and quarantine, none of those subjects are available and she’s had to improvise, to adorable effect.

“You quarantine a photographer too long, and we get EXTRA 😆. Meet our new kitten Daisy!” Wilson said when she shared a photo album on her professional photography Facebook page.

Wilson has three children under the age of seven. Like many families, she says hers has struggled with the stress and isolation of stay-at-home life amid the pandemic. She saw an opportunity for a positive distraction when she came across a friend’s Facebook post looking for a home for some kittens.

“I thought it would be a great way to not only do something good and give a home to a kitten in need, but also bring some joy and excitement into the home for our kids with having to be at home for days on end,” Wilson said. “And I finally talked my husband into it, so we gave them her picture in an Easter egg after our backyard Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday and surprised them with it. It has done wonders for their overall daily mood. And for my husband and I as well! She has been amazing, and it came about at the perfect time.”

She came up with the idea for the tongue-in-cheek newborn kitten photo session as a creative outlet and to help ease the stress.

“I thought it would be a good catharsis for me since I am not able to photograph babies right now, and also something fun for my daughter and I to do together. She is 4 and helped me with the setups and choosing headbands and things like that. We had so much fun with it.”

So far, it’s since been shared more than 8,500 times and reached more than a million people.

“I shared them in hopes that it would that it would make someone smile and maybe brighten their day even just a little in a time when so many are facing fear, anxiety, and even depression. The response was so positive and I have had so many people commenting and messaging me from all over the world about how much it has helped them and brought them joy. I have felt so helpless in this time not being able to really ‘do’ anything to help the cause other than follow the stay-at-home orders which we have been doing, so it is amazing to feel like I was contributing and helping people even in a small way. I never would have thought that it would have gone viral, and it has been amazing watching it shared in so many different playing and the outpouring of love that I have received from it.”

It’s also turned out to be a way to supplement her family’s income at a time when she can’t work and her husband’s carpet-cleaning business income has been significantly reduced by the pandemic. Half of that income was servicing restaurants.

“I have had people messaging me asking to purchase canvases of the images, and I had so many asking for calendars, so I started offering those as well. So in this, others have also been helping our family in a time when I cannot work and my husband’s income has been cut significantly as well.”

So far, she says she’s recieved about two dozen orders and she may just have found a new niche.

“I definitely could see myself doing more! I have had a few people message about pricing of doing their pets, so who knows. It may spark a whole new facet of my business. Or I would even be open to taking pictures of other rescue animals to help them find a forever home. I think that would be an amazing use for it!”

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