The 'Domesticated' project is an ongoing one and has found me starring down an 8 ft horse in a storm and kneeing under a half tonne Buffalo for at the perfect angled Shot. But the latest batch of animals to grace the portfolio were much smaller and a little scarier.
I got together with the lovely lads from Toms Talking Reptiles. A company that recuses and looks after every critter you can imagine. Including tropical frogs, snakes, gigantic scorpions, prehistoric Lizards and cave spiders that will give you nightmares.
I meet up with them in Crawley, perfect place for them to live, and set up my studio in the baking heat. Now I don't know much about reptiles, but I do know they love the hot weather and are way more animated when warm.
The heat added to the pressure of getting the right shots as instead of lying dormant and bored; they'd all scuttle about as if they'd just drank a claw full of Redbulls.
The snakes were the hardest to photograph. Always moving and shifting shape, it was a challenge not to end up with a long, thin body across the canvas.
I'm not a fan of spiders or bugs, so it seemed the right time to conquer my fears. I did shy away from the scorpions and African cave spiders; they just looked menacing.
Here's a selection and you can find more here: www.paulcliftonphotography.com/domesticated
And to prove I wasn't a wuss about the animals, here I am, happy as a pig in shit, experiencing the wonder of them. I want to thank Tom and Barry for allowing me to photograph their pride and joys and for all the Attenborougheque education that came with the days shoot.