In the ’80s, photographer Terry Gruber didn’t need Photoshop or Instagram to cash in on his goofy cat pics, and he didn’t have Tumblr to land a book deal either. It took countless trips to thrift stores, a photography studio and friends who accepted payment in wine.
Cat High, originally published in 1984, is a parody yearbook featuring dozens of real cats around the Northeast. From the modeling to the costuming, to the set production and props, everything was painstakingly done by hand — even the photo development and retouching.
Despite having the kind of modern-day photo magic that could outfit a cat in minutes, he wouldn’t. Now a wedding photographer, Gruber prefers as little retouching as possible.