Due to the overwhelming adorableness that is a cat, most cat owners probably take far too many photographs of their beautiful felines. Even so, it can be tricky sometimes.
Cats have minds of their own and don’t necessarily cooperate with camera antics. It would be nice to boost a photo from the usual cat sleeping in the sun scene.
Here are 12 photography ideas that you can try with your cats, and we also included a few tips on how to get the best results, particularly when working with a cat with attitude!
Before You Start Snapping Pictures
Before we get into the nitty gritty of taking amazing photos, there are a few things that you should have ready.
First, it can help to have another person on hand to assist you with a few of these ideas. You can probably do it on your own, but it would just make things easier and give you more options.
Second, have cat treats and toys on hand. This is probably an obvious point, but you will have a more cooperative cat when they are at their happiest!
Finally, just have fun with it! Don’t take it too seriously. Capturing the perfect moment can sometimes happen by accident!
The Top 12 Ideas for Photographing Your Cat
Capturing your cat playing can give you excellent action shots! This is where having another person around can help. They can play with your cat using whatever toys your cat typically responds to best.
If you’re on your own, you can use a long feather wand or find something that makes a rustling sound, such as plastic or paper, that you can crumple in one hand.
Also, consider asking a friend to take candid photos of you playing with your cat!
2. Capturing the Personality
You can try capturing your cat’s unique personality. Can they be snarky when you come home or maybe when you’re using your phone? If your cat seems to not appreciate having their picture taken, capture the moment that they glower at you or when they try to swat the camera.
Have your camera ready when they shyly peek out from under their blanket or are licking their chops after a delicious meal.
3. Your Cat’s Profile
Cats have gorgeous profiles when staring out of a window or elsewhere. This can make a stunning photo if you use natural lighting and have an interesting background. You can take a full-body profile shot or a closeup.
4. Catching Them in the Act
When your cat is prowling around investigating things, grab a photo of them. Maybe they’re scratching something that they shouldn’t or are peeking around corners.
This can also tie into playtime pics, but try to capture your cat leaping onto the windowsill or jumping down from the bookcase. Make sure your camera is focused on your cat, and use the burst mode, which will give you multiple shots, so you are more likely to capture a fantastic action photo!
This is where you can focus on the details. Take close-up shots of parts of your cat, such as their soft paws or underneath the paw to capture those cute toe beans. Zoom into their fur, their ears, and their eyes. Just make sure your camera is focused on your cat.
This is one of the easiest ways to capture gorgeous photos of your kitty. They can get into so many different positions while asleep — sometimes weird but always adorable. Cats can generally hear you coming, so be as quiet as possible when approaching with your camera, and turn off the camera sounds if you can.
7. Those Eyes
These photos can be taken indoors or out, but find ways to accentuate your cat’s gorgeous eyes.
If you have a green carpet that’s close to your cat’s emerald eye color, take a photo with your cat on the carpet. Or capture your yellow-eyed cat sitting on yellow fall leaves. You can use different angles, but those eyes are the focus, helped by the background.
You can also use contrasting colors. The opposite of green is red, and for yellow, it’s purple. If you have a red blanket (or anything else), let your green-eyed cat lie on it and grab a photo.
Capture moments while you or someone else is having an affectionate interaction with your cat. Photos of stroking and scratching your cat or while they’re sleeping on your lap will make most people fall in love with your kitty. You’ll also have a fond memory to go with it.
9. All About the Lighting
Take advantage of the different natural lighting throughout the day. The late-day sun can be a mellow, warm color that will look beautiful on your cat.
Don’t be afraid of capturing your cat’s silhouette when the lighting doesn’t seem ideal. If light is coming from a window, but your cat is not lit up by it, you can grab a striking dark silhouette of them under these conditions.
10. Eye Level
Try to get down to your cat’s level instead of towering over your cat to snap a picture. While your cat is strolling around and stops to sniff your plant, get yourself on the floor and photograph them. This can make for a compelling perspective.
11. Stealthy Cat
When your cat is going into stealth mode and starts stalking something (or someone), follow along and take a few photos. Using the eye-level technique can also work quite well here.
12. Cozy Spaces
Cats absolutely love to squeeze into tight spaces, which can make for adorable and sometimes hilarious photos! Does your cat love to sleep in your basket of yarn? Perhaps they love to curl up inside your kitchen cupboards.
This might require a bit of stealth on your part, so eye-level methods can work well here.
Tips for Photographing Cats
One of the most important things that you need for photographing a cat is patience. It happens all the time: Your cat is in a perfect pose, and the moment that you whip out your camera, they move.
Just try to have your camera on hand most of the time, so you can quickly grab it and capture the moment before your cat changes positions.
You can use other objects near your cat for framing. For example, if your cat is outside, you can take a photo of your cat through leaves, shrubs, flowers, or long grass, which gives you a natural frame.
These items can be out of focus and your cat can be in perfect focus, which makes for a beautiful and interesting shot.
For indoors, you can use the same technique by using your indoor plants, stair railings, or chair legs.
If your cat is sitting in front of the window, you can use the window frame as a way to frame your cat. Use your imagination!
Whether you’re using a DSLR or a smartphone, burst mode is usually accomplished the same way. When you press and hold the shutter button, it will start taking a number of photos in quick succession.
It’s also known as burst shot, sports mode, continuous mode, and continuous shooting mode. If you’re unsure of how to use this feature on your camera, look at your camera or smartphone instructions. You can also search online for more information.
Patience, imagination, and having your camera nearby are all key to capturing those perfect moments of your cat being, well, a cat. As long as you don’t take yourself or the photo session too seriously and just have fun with it, you’re bound to capture unforgettable moments and photographs of your photogenic cat!
- Related Read: 13 Rabbit Photography Tips for Perfect Pet Portraits
Featured Image Credit: Lee Charlie, Shutterstock