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Kittens not ready for their close-up

Published 3:09 PM ET, Fri September 20, 2013
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Photographer Arne Svenson has put together a charming yet unusual calender-style gallery of kittens called "Strays." Arne Svenson/Rex Features
Instead of capturing typical photos of adorable cats doing cute things, he photographed kittens turning away, looking up, walking off and otherwise doing their best to avoid having their furry faces seen. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
"After taking numerous pictures of the kittens looking at the camera, I realized that there was something missing. Finally, a kitten sat, looked at me and turned her head all the way around to stare at the background. I snapped the photo and realized this was the portrait I wanted: a kitten who was more interested in the world around her than in me," Svenson said. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
When Svenson began his project, he underwent rigorous questioning in order to borrow kittens from animal shelters to photograph. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
Eventually a cat and kitten rescue facility called Animalkind in Hudson, New York, allowed Svenson to borrow several previously stray moggies. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
After a disastrous attempt at letting all the kittens out at once, which resulted in total mayhem, Svenson and his two "kitten wranglers" began to take out one kitten at a time to be photographed. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
Svenson and his team used fabric, towels and blankets purchased from local thrift stores to recreate the garish, exaggerated backgrounds typically seen on cat calenders. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
He had his kitten wranglers snap their fingers, dangle string and sing songs to get the kittens' attention and get them into camera position. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
A white and orange tabby poses on a kitschy background. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
Svenson photographed 50 6- to 8-week-old kittens from the Animalkind rescue shelter. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
It took Svenson two years to complete his project. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
A sassy orange and white kitten waves his tail on a terry cloth background. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
Svenson admitted that he grew attached to many of the kittens he photographed. Arne Svenson/Rex Features
He has assembled a collection of 120 photographs for his book "Strays." Arne Svenson/Rex Features
A portion of the proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to the Animalkind shelter. Arne Svenson/Rex Features