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Best Ways To Capture A Photo Of Your Cat

cat portrait

Do you have a cat best friend who you just adore? Maybe you want to take great aesthetic photos of your pet cat for social media, a blog, or even for framing. Cats can be feisty and it is challenging to get them to strike that perfect pose or cooperate especially if you aren’t a professional photographer. These tips have you covered the next time you want to take a memorable click of your adorable cat and share it with the world. 

Work With Available Light

Getting the right light conditions is always a challenge in photography. Any photographer will tell you that natural light looks the most appealing and should be used whenever possible. Does your cat have a favorite spot on the porch or by the windowsill? Try to work with the light available to you during the day and you’ll have brighter and sharper photos. 

Cats usually move around a lot and can lack discipline so using an extra studio or LED light or even scaring them with flash from your camera may not be an option. Save the retakes and just shoot during the day. Cats also have fairly sensitive eyes so shining any kind of artificial light on them is likely to make them cranky. 

Perfection Takes Time

Taking photos of animals is never easy because unlike people they don’t act out their cutest expressions on cue! Bear in mind you’ll probably take dozens of photos before you find one that really strikes your fancy so be patient and flexible. Your cat may get bored, may need a snack, etc so work with their moods and abandon the idea of perfection. Not to mention some of the most precious photos are candid! 

Burst Mode Is A Lifesaver

When taking a picture of your cat in action (eating, jumping, or playing) you may find that burst mode works well to capture as many moments as you can. You can always choose the best one later and spruce it up a bit but burst mode means you don’t miss anything. Most standard DSLRs do have continuous shooting mode while some smartphones have it too. If your smartphone doesn’t have continuous shooting, it probably will have a panorama feature that can quickly take a few pictures one after the other. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Close

Photographs are all about telling a story and stitching together a narrative. The saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ definitely applies when you’re capturing the essence of your feline companion. Cats have beautiful eyes and whiskers and a personality all of their own so you need to get really close to them in order to get that perfect shot. The zoom feature is not a bad place to start (especially if the cat gets up and leaves if you approach with a camera) but ideally, you should be really close to them with the right ISO setting so you can capture them in all their glory. 

Mix It Up

The perfect set of pictures is often composed of different angles. Mix up the angles you are using as that adds interest and variety. Ideally, you want to capture the face and the eyes of a cat for that authentic wildlife magazine vibe. An angle of looking down on the cat is a good classic shot, and so is pointing the camera upwards. For the latter, you’ll probably need them to be on a wall, balcony, or tree. 

Flexibility Pays

Suffice to say your cat is not going to adhere to your schedule or convenience. To take wondrous and impressive cat photos you’re going to have to incorporate a level of flexibility in your endeavors. Be prepared to whip out the camera (keep the settings ready) at any moment to catch your cat in action or sitting peacefully by the window in contemplative silence. A cat portrait for the ages is as much a matter of luck as preparation. 

Stage ItIn their minds, cats are masters and not beholden to anyone. If you’re trying to elicit a response from them of any kind to take a picture, you will probably be trying in vain. Instead, use their inquisitive nature to your advantage. Distract them with a ball of wool to get them to reach or look up for example. You may want to play loud music to capture a look of exasperation or get them to chase an object you’re moving around and then click the picture when you’re ready.