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How to take great photos of your cat

How to take great photos of your cat

Posted by Patricia on 10th Jul 2022

Taking pictures of your kitty probably ranks next to last on a list of fun stuff to do, with bathing him last on that list. Both require patience and can often have a high rate of failure on your part.

In terms of photographing your feline, you may be able to snap off a cute shot while he's asleep, but wait, can you do better? The answer is yes, and we'll show you how in four easy steps:

First things first

You don't have to be a professional photographer to take photos of cats, but make sure you know how to use your camera, whether a point and shoot or a digital one. Keep your camera close by at all times and practice using it with one steady hand. Remember, unlike dogs, cats don't seem to enjoy striking poses worthy of a nationwide magazine cover. Therefore, to jazz up your photo, start by bending down, at least far enough to look your kitty in the eye. This "point of view" will show off his world, not yours. And you'll be less likely to cut off his head in the shot.

Know your cat's movements

If your cat is basically lazy, search for sounds or yummy treats to engage him to move around a bit. On the other hand, if you have an active cat, set your camera to the continuous shooting mode, also known as burst mode. Experts at Digital Photography School explain that "in this mode, you are holding down the shutter button, allowing your camera to fire off a series of photos that will capture split-second moments that would normally be missed." This includes your cat running around the house or the yard.

Think up an interesting backdrop

Regarding backgrounds, strive for nothing fancy, just something to give his head or body a nice frame. For example, if your kitty is perched high on his cat tree, encourage him (with treats) to move to the round opening on the shelf below. Then, try to capture him sitting in front of that area. A note about lighting: forget your flash feature as most cats dislike bright lights of any kind. They'll scurry away, and you won't get a second chance. Most professionals say natural light is the best way to show off any animal's beautiful coat.

Distract and entice

You don't want your cat knowing you're trying to photograph him. Some felines have a sixth sense about this and will run and hide. Sometimes tricks are needed to distract him from your intent while enticing him to an area where you can perform your photographic miracles. Consider having a stash of his favorite feather or crinkle toys nearby. And since few cats can resist them, practice taking photos when your feline is "hiding" inside an empty box or paper bag.

Even if your efforts don't result in award-winning photographs, the time you spend with your cat will be priceless. So remain patient, keep practicing, and remember what Leonardo da Vinci once said, "The smallest feline is a masterpiece."


Digital Photography School

9 Cat Photography Tips for Beautiful Photos