New York photographer Kate Kunath’s series on rabbit breeders captures owners with their furry friends, looking every bit as possessive and enamored of their pointy eared pets as any slightly obsessive dog owner might be. Of the photo essay, she says: ‘I got my big break in 2004 at the American Rabbit Breeders Convention. I’m kidding, but there really is a Best in Show for bunnies every year, similar to the Westminster for dogs, without the high-brow. The first time I went to a show, I was really impressed by the rabbit breeders, so I returned the following year with a photo studio’.
‘The rabbit Standard of Perfection is attained through a regimen of breeding and selecting, much more rapidly than a dog breeder, for example. Which means that they are culling, a process of removing the undesirable genes from the pool, by way of killing the rabbits for food or fur, or giving them to pet stores to sell. It doesn’t sound very pleasant coming from me but the rabbit breeders have a very eloquent way of stating things when it comes to the cycle of life. They are also very professional, as one can see from their expressions. Even proud. Their rabbits as subjects took away some of the anxiety of having their own portraits done. The portrait studio I set up at the show was well attended. I did over 100 portraits in a week’s time’. There’s a full interview with Kate Kunath on the Feature Shoot website.