Dexter, I’ll never forget you. Photographing big cats are an experience unlike any other animal. The combination of power and grace within the animal is not only tangible but can be frightening. They command respect and one wrong move and things could escalate quickly. Dexter, a one-year-old mountain lion (cougar, puma, same thing) had a low rumbling growl the entire time we had him in studio. The trainers were feeding him raw chicken and he was using his hands to grab it off the feed stick. Dexter swiped at the chicken and it landed at my feet. He jumped off the riser he was on and came down to eat the chicken at my feet. The fear inside me was literally like a rushing wave drowning me. But I knew damn well not to move. I took a deep breath, HUGE deep breath, as the trainer gently walked Dexter back up on the riser, luring him with more chicken.