Let's face it, our cats are cute! From the tip of their nose to the end of their tail, cats make ideal models for great photos. Whether they are curled up in a ball having a cat nap, or chasing around the garden after an elusive mouse, they can strike some wonderful poses!
But cats are notoriously independent and by the time you're ready to snap a shot, they've often moved!
So how can you take great pictures of your kitty?
Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your kitty model:
As we know, cats are independent creatures and won't necessarily stay in one place for very long. Let them decide what they want to do and don't try to corner them or force them into any position. If you know their routine, plan your photoshoot when you think they might be more receptive and responsive.
Just after your cat has had a nap is a good time to try to take photos - they will still be a little sleepy and less alert.
Think about your cat's personality. What do you particularly like to see them doing? Where do they feel comfortable and relaxed? If you know they like to sit on top of a cupboard at a regular time each day, this could be a good time to get your camera out!
Is there a time in the day when they are more receptive to playing games? This could be a good time for some action shots! Cats are instinctively active early in the evening, as this is when they would have been most active and searching for prey in the wild; but you may have developed a different routine in your home and know when they are likely to be frisky and playful - plan accordingly.
They are also curious creatures and some good photos could be taken when they are being inquisitive. If they are showing interest in your camera/smartphone, let them investigate and you could well get some great closeup shots without them knowing!
Have your camera to hand and set up ready to go - perhaps on continuous shooting mode so that you can get lots of shots. Don't expect your kitty to hold their position whilst you are grabbing your camera - they'll be gone when you turn your back! If you are snapping away from your mobile, make sure you have the camera app open, on the correct mode (photo, video, slowmo etc.), and be ready to tap.
Of course, treats or favourite toys might further increase the appeal of staying put! FELIWAY Classic can help cats feel comfortable in their environment, and music has shown to have a calming effect too.
If you want to capture their 'alert' pose, enlist some help to dangle a furry toy on the end of a piece of string or rustle some paper. This will get your cat's attention and you'll be able to take some all-action shots at the same time as they are having fun.
Familiarise your cat
Remember that cats don't like change, so allow your cat to get familiar with the camera/smartphone before you try to take any photos. An unfamiliar sound or a flash might make them run away, so leave them around and let them get used to you having the phone in your hand before you take any pictures.
Consider the angle
Your cat doesn't need to be looking directly at you to get a good photo! If your cat likes climbing, you can get good shots from a low angle to give a feeling of how high they like to go.
If you are taking a photograph looking down at your cat, this perspective can emphasize its face, eyes and whiskers. And if you can get to the same level as your cat, you'll be able to take photos as if you're in their world and could have more impact.
Keep the surroundings simple so that you focus on your cat - avoid a busy surround if you want a clear photo. Don't forget, cats often have a natural camouflage with their markings and could disappear in your picture!
Think about the lighting
Natural light is best for taking photos of cats. If you are indoors, try and use the natural light from a large window. An overcast day is good, as bright sunshine can create shadows. On a sunny day, leave your photoshoot until the sun is low in the sky and is casting fewer shadows; try standing with your back to the light, being careful of any shadows that you might make.
Try and take photos without using the flash. This could startle your cat, making them run away, and because cats have a reflective layer at the back of their eye (to help with their night vision), using a flash will result in colours being reflected back, giving a similar effect to the 'red eye' look that you get with humans.
Keep it natural
Remember that cats are naturally photogenic and don't need to be adorned with ribbons and bows to make them beautiful, and trying to dress them up can cause them stress.
Focus on the subject
If you want to take a closeup, approach your cat very slowly, avoiding any sudden moves. Make sure their face fills most of the frame. Focus your camera on their eyes, rather than their nose, and if taking it from an angle, focus on the nearest eye to get the perfect shot. But avoid zooming to get a close up - this degrades the photo quality - it's much better to use the editing feature and crop the photo afterwards.
Professional photographers take lots and lots of photos before they get the one they are really looking for, so don't be afraid to keep snapping and you'll soon find that perfect shot!