Surprisingly Gorgeous Portraits of Chickens

While the word “chicken” brings many adjectives to mind — nervous, noisy, boring, tasty — beautiful isn’t necessarily one of them. 2 Chickens in Every Garage, a series by Brooklyn-based photographer Aliza Eliazarov, could possibly change your mind about that. Set against a stark black backdrop, her intimate portraits of this unofficial mascot of the small farming movement play up details that you might not notice when the birds are hanging out in a coop; the variety of colors and textures found in their feathers is absolutely stunning. “These pictures take the chickens as alternately sentient beings, sources of nourishment and income, part of the pastoral scenery of an envisioned moment,” she explains in her artist statement. “They ask the question when in the journey from the field to the plate does a chicken cease to be and chicken come into being?”

So how hard was it to capture these portraits? “It can be very difficult to work with the chickens,” Eliazarov admits over email. “Some of them are afraid of the black backdrop and won’t go near it. I try to coax them with food, but it doesn’t always work. I have spent many hours lying on the ground waiting for the right shots, but the hens are so funny and entertaining that I really enjoy every minute.” Click through to check out a slideshow of select photos from the project, which we spotted on Feature Shoot, and let us know what you think of her work in the comments.

Photo credit: Aliza Eliazarov