How to Make Your Cat Photos Better

Tigger a tabby cat portrait

The one thing many cat lovers struggle with is how to make cats look better in photos.

Your photos may look good but you don’t feel you have captured your cat’s unique personality, the one special thing that makes them special, the cat you love.

I am going to offer one tip, with an extra option, that applies to every camera from a little compact to a smartphone or DSLR. Try this and you will find yourself making progress towards your perfect cat picture

Cameras for Cat Photos

Every professional photographer will agree when I say ‘it’s what you do, not the equipment you use’ that makes all the difference.

This means, don’t be discouraged if your device isn’t a shiny new top of the range smartphone or DSLR but more like my little compact, shown here in an earlier Katzenworld post.

Get Close To Your Cat

If like me, you take lots and lots of cat pictures, you might find a lot of them are like this:

White cat portrait Using a Smartphone
Rectangular Harvey Image – Compact

While this is a good cat picture with different textures and it would look great on a missing cat poster, it isn’t the photo you want to show to your friends.

As a cat lover, you want to capture a cheeky look, fabulous whiskers or the gleam in a beautiful eye. This means you need to move in close, then closer still.

So close that it surprised me that I had my smartphone 30cms (about 1 ft) from Harvey’s face in this picture.

Harvey Closeup White Cat Portrait
Cheeky Harvey ‘Mr Personality’ – Smartphone

How to get closer to take a photo

Much depends on your cat and their ‘cattitude’.

If you move closer in gentle stages this allows your model time to adjust to the fact you are pointing the ‘flashy box’ closer to them. It does work, with patience. My cats took a bit of time to get used to the clunk sound the DSLR makes but, as nothing scary happens they have learned to ignore it.

TIP: You may need to check how your camera behaves when taking close-up photos

When you get close, you will need to focus from nearer your cat. This sounds obvious but it is easy to forget in your excitement to capture an image. There will be the option to either focus by hand (manually) or using your camera’s autofocus options. Both are equally valid as options to take a good picture.

  • Check Your Camera Manual for Macro or Close-up Modes

How long your cat takes to get used to you being close depends on the individual feline. If your cat really doesn’t like you getting super close you may need to try the next option.

Tigger a tabby cat portrait
Tigger a Close-Up Portrait – DSLR

Using Zoom In Cat Photos

Every camera has a zoom capability and this can help if a cat is not keen on your paparazzi antics.

Get as close as you can, brace yourself for stability and use a small amount of zoom. Why a small amount? Because the more you zoom, the harder it is to focus and get a sharp ‘wobble free’ picture, especially if you use a smartphone or compact. These cameras are very lightweight and so easy to move, even if you don’t mean to.

In this picture of Tigger the tabby, from my local cat cafe in New Zealand, I focused on his eyes. for that intelligent gleam and intense personality.

Zooming in on Tigger the Tabby Cat
Zooming in on Tigger the Tabby Cat – DSLR

There will be plenty of blurry eyes and whiskers but you will begin to take pictures that are sharp and capture your cat’s special purrsonality. Getting close and filling your picture frame with your cat sounds scary but it can transform your cat photographs. Give it a try, I know you can do this.

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6 thoughts on “How to Make Your Cat Photos Better

  1. erinthecatprincess says:

    It’s always a pleasure to read one of Marjories posts. She puts real feeling and effort into them and has first hand experienced all the things she talks about, usually through spending lots of time herself experimenting and practicing.

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