Whether you fancy an Instagram account for your furry friend or you just want to capture her best side for posterity, you can learn to shoot shutterstock-quality images of your cat.
Check out our nine quick tips, grab your camera or phone, and start shooting:
1. Engage a helper.
Cat photography is a two-person, one-cat job. Since cats don’t generally pose—or do anything else—on command, you’ll need help to keep them calm and engaged. Ask a partner, friend, or roommate to serve as chief scratcher, toy waver, and treat server.
2. Shed some light on your subject.
Light is key to crisp and clear cat photos. It’s not easy to get right. Flashes can startle cats, and bright lights may distract them. Soft natural light casts intriguing shadows on your cat’s fur, but she could easily disappear into the gloom. A poorly placed light will leave your subject’s eyes gleaming out of the darkness. What to do? Experiment with lighting until you get it just right for your camera and your cat.
3. High quality from a great quantity.
Ensure getting a few outstanding pictures by taking lots of shots. Since you never know when your cat’s about to do something remarkable, keep snapping. Most cats will engage with you for about a 30 minute photo session, enough time to get several good snapshots in. If your camera has a sports mode setting, use it to freeze frame clear action pics.
4. Shoot from a cat’s-eye view.
We all know what cats look like when viewed from above because we see them from that perspective all the time. Squat or even lie on the floor to photograph your cat from his level. That way, your subject will fill the screen, giving him an impressive appearance.
4. Capture your cat’s unique personality.
Zoran Milutinovic, a professional cat photographer in Serbia, recommends piquing your cat’s inquisitiveness by crinkling paper or tossing pebbles. The cat’s legendary curiosity will take over, and you can photograph his charming expressions.
6. Lure your shy cat into the limelight.
Have a bashful baby who hides behind the sofa or under the rug during a photo shoot? These cats require a lot of patience. Never chase a cat to get a photo. Just wait patiently with your camera, talking gently to your cat, and holding a favorite toy or treat. Eventually, she’ll come around.
7. Use your black cat’s sleek beauty to your advantage.
Notoriously difficult to photograph, black cats make elegant subjects when the lighting is right. To photograph a black cat, get up close, use plenty of indirect light, and employ a contrasting solid color like white or blue for background. Don’t let your cat’s dark monochromatic tones keep you from photographing her. Remember, #blackcatsrule.
8. Show off your hairless cat’s lines and curves.
Professional photographer Alicia Rius takes remarkable photos of Sphynx cats. She recommends plenty of patience, unlimited affection, and a good supply of treats. Alicia’s work shows what a skilled photographer can produce with the clean lines of a hairless cat’s anatomy. Try it with your Sphynx, and advertise the results on Instagram.
9. Take advantage of black-and-white photography.
Have you spotted black-and-white images of cats and would like to replicate them? Try it! Black-and-white styles enhance a cat’s famously mysterious nature. Be sure the lines are sharp, frame the shots well, and flood the space with plenty of light. Let us know how these turn out.
After your next feline photo shoot, why not post your new pics on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and tag us? Happy, healthy cats make fantastic photo subjects. We’d love to see what you and your cat come up with!
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