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Monday, September 5, 2011

No baldy loves me: Photographer sets out to prove bald is best

By David Scholefield

Naked kitty: An alien looking hairless Sphinx cat, also known as the Canadian hairless from the country where the breed was developed in the 1960s

Next time you're having a bad hair day spare a thought for these guys whose bald bodies have made them undesirable to thousands of people when it comes to picking a pet.

But one man, photographer Jean-Michel Labat from Paris has set out to prove even these bare beasts are a thing of beauty.

Now the receding rodents and fur-free felines and canines have found themselves in the limelight for all the right reasons after a animal-loving photographer chose to make them the stars of his latest shoot.

Jean-Michel Labat, from Paris, made it his mission to track down these unconventionally cute creatures and capture them in a photo shoot designed to show the extraordinary animals in a different light.

Pictured against a white backdrop the 60-year-old, who has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years, said it was one of the most rewarding photo shoots he had ever done.

He said: 'This was something I had always wanted to do because I have been weirdly drawn to these unusual animals for a long time.

'I remember first seeing the Sphinx and its strangeness just beguiled me.'

Skin deep: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder for this Mexican hairless dog, Sphinx cat, Guinea pig and rat

'Then I had the idea of photographing them and decided to start tracking down more animals such as dogs and rodents on my travels, particularly in Kenya where I spend a great deal of time.

'The Sphinx is the most common bald animal but the others are quite unusual to see. Most of them belong to farmers in remote locations.

Fur ground: A naked rat and a Mexican hairless rat are photo stars for Jean-Michel Labat

'Photographing them was exactly the same as capturing any other creatures. They all have their own personalities of course but they are no easier or harder to shoot.

'I decided to opt for a white background because I wanted a homogeneous collection which didn't deter from the animals themselves. Hopefully I achieved that.'



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