Weston Photography | Focusing In - Edward and His Cats

Edward had an affinity to cats. At one point in time he had upwards of 40 living on his property in The Carmel Highlands, rightfully known as "Wildcat Hill." They were somewhat wild, finding their own means of shelter and mice but Edward and Charis would also feed them. All their feline friends had names, usually after close friends, people in history they looked up to or darkroom chemicals Edward used.  

Johnny, Photograph by Edward Weston | Collection Center for Creative Photography © 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents

Minor White had written an essay about Edward where he wrote that he must have terrorized the cat to get the above picture with his 8x10 camera. 

.... my pet cat who worshipped me. By no stretch of the imagination could his alert exhibitionism be construed as terror. I started photographing cats because Charis goosed me on. I certainly didn’t use them in any symbolic way.
— EW to May Weston Seaman, 27 July 1944, Foley, EW's Gifts to his Sister, p.59

cats of wildcat hill.jpg

Charis and Edward collaborated on a book titled "The Cats of Wildcat Hill." The book contained photographs of their cats by Edward in conjunction with text by Charis. In the book Charis recounts the history of their cat family on Wildcat Hill. The photographs of the cats using his 8x10 is nothing short of exceptional. It can be hard to get a picture of a cat with an iPhone, let alone a large view camera mounted on a tripod. If you have a chance to read the book and see the images we would strongly recommend you do! 

We have continued the tradition of cats on Wildcat Hill. Just as Edward and Charis felt this property was so well suited for our feline friends, we also believe it is quite the paradise. Since Zach has been born, there has not been a time without a cat on Wildcat Hill. 


Currently, we have one cat named after Charis. She has a wonderful soul and loves rolling in the dirt, chasing after anything that moves and licking your fingers when trying to use the computer. 

If you want to see more pictures of Charis and other cats we have had on Wildcat Hill, check out Zach's instagram!