Today’s guest post comes from Mike James and Boggio Studio:
10 purr-fect tips to take great photos of your cat
Cats are gorgeous creatures whose natural beauty has been dazzling mankind for many centuries. Not only do cats have the most exquisite unique physical markings and facial attributes that make truly awesome photographs, they’ve got strong personalities to match too.
Taking a great picture of your feline friend, however, is anything but an easy job. When you manage it, you’re rewarded with stunning results. But unlike Buddy the dog, puss will most likely have no intention whatsoever of cooperating with your idea of a photo shoot. This means you need to be a little bit crafty to engage him into the process.
Here are our top 10 tips to get your cat to work with you on a photo shoot.
Cats are creatures of habit and routine, and this can work to your advantage when you’re planning a photo session with your pet. Introduce the camera gradually into the home, so that Tiddles gets used to it. Take casual pictures every week, then every day until the presence of a camera no longer bothers your cat. Only then are you ready to plan your photo shoot.
- Observation and Research
A little preparation is well worth the effort. Watch your furry friend throughout the house and garden to find out where he likes to sit, play, hunt or sunbathe. Make a note of favourite spots in the garden that would take a good picture and check the time of day for the light. In the house, observe how different backgrounds could be used in photographs. Black cat on pink sofa? Fluffy tabby against floral wallpaper?
If you want your cat to look his best in the photos you’re about to take, a little grooming beforehand is a good idea. Many cats love being brushed, others don’t like it at all – you know your pet best. Of course, there’s always Photoshop post processing…
- Lighting Issues
Day or night? Indoor or outdoor shoot? It all depends. From a lighting point of view, daytime is best and if you can take outside photos of your purry pal, so much the better. Luckily, most cats love being outdoors, as long as the weather is good. For indoor photography, you may need to adjust the shutter speed, or use a flash which may be a problem. Not all felines like sudden flashlight, in fact hardly any, at all, ever.
- Golden Hour
Cat photos taken at dawn or dusk can look spectacular. All cats are crepuscular creatures, meaning that twilight is their favourite time of day. It’s when their (hunting) sense is at its most alert. If you can manage to take a good picture at this time, the result should be sensational.
Cats are nothing if not frustrating. If you’re used to having a dog or have ever tried to teach a cat to do tricks, you will understand only too well. Interestingly, it is actually possible to train cats, but the patience required to achieve this tends to exceed that of your average saint. There’s nothing for it but to make plenty of time to spend with your cat during the photo shoot. Don’t try to force anything, respect puss’ decision to have had enough or simply walk off location at any point in time. Keep telling yourself that patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who wait.
Cats are wired to respond to noise, and this is a useful piece of knowledge that you can use to attract attention. Whether you choose to call your cat’s name, knock on the table or give a whistle, puss’ ears will swivel, eyes will open and head will turn. But beware: you only have a few seconds to take that shot before he loses interest again.
Another way to attract your feline friend’s attention is by using little food treats – there can’t be a cat on the planet that wouldn’t respond to a tasty morcel of chicken or tuna! Try giving the treat while you’re photographing and be patient if things don’t go your way. Attention spans can be short and there’s no point flogging a dead cat, as it were.
- Toys and Games
Cats love playing chasing and hunting games. Whether you use a feathery cat toy on a stick or a simple ball of string, you’re bound to have Tiddles’ full attention for as long as he chooses. Use this to your advantage and, with any luck, you should be able to obtain incredible action shots.
Finally, think of some finishing touches to add extra interest to your composition. Where possible, be creative with cushions and blankets, toys or other props to inject serenity or dynamism as desired.
About the author:
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer and a 100% cat-man! For the information in this post, London based specialist Boggio Studios were consulted.
Thanks for reading his tips and hope to see you here again soon.
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